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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: New Product Evaluation Procedures
Project Researcher: Dave Huft, SDDOT
Project Manager:
Research Period: -
Status: Approved
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Vendors attempt to introduce products to the DOT and no procedure exists to evaluate them. Department personnel are unsure whom vendors should be referred to. Vendors may contact several individuals to present their product, consuming considerable amounts of employees time. In the absence of formal evaluation procedures, vendors may not receive a definite, timely answer regarding the acceptability of their product.

SDDOT evaluations may be inadequate or may go unreported. Different types of products require different evaluations. If a specific group was responsible for a grouping of product evaluations, results could be shared and would be done on a timely basis.

Furthermore, relying on other states endorsement is difficult, because endorsements are not easily interpreted. Several national programs, including Civil Engineering Research Foundations Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (CERFs HITEC) and National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP) have been established for certain classes of products, but to date the Department has not utilized the results systematically.

A standard product evaluation guideline and a product report with possible recommendations need to be developed.


Research Objectives:
1  To develop a policy or guideline for the Department to use in screening, evaluation and approval of products.
2  To establish procedures which make dealings between Department and vendors easier.
3  To identify ways to tie into national product evaluation procedures.
4  To determine product category groupings.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Review literature.
3  Interview and survey field and central office personnel to review existing product evaluation procedures and obtain ideas for improved procedures.
4  Propose standardized evaluation procedures, organizational responsibilities and mechanisms for implementation.
5  Provide a method for department wide on-line access for product data.
6  Group products within areas of interest.
7  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
8  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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