10 Things an Agency Should Consider When Changing EM Providers

As the electronic monitoring industry has matured, government agencies and service providers are changing vendors more frequently. There are some very important questions agency directors should ask before making a change. I ve broken the questions down into 10 subject areas.

  1. Budget How much does the equipment and service REALLY cost? Are there hidden costs that will make it hard for my agency to operate within its budget? Are there additional fees for monitoring services, on-site inventory, insurance, data transmissions, shipping, court testimony, etc.? If my agency needs to put 25 offenders on Electronic Monitoring, will I end up being able to afford only 20 when all other costs are factored into the total price? How much will it cost in staffing and other direct costs?
  2. Ease of Transition Will the prospective vendor provide services to assist with the transition? Will the vendor provide all necessary training and support services?
  3. References What are other agencies saying about the prospective vendor"s service/support and system?
  4. System functionality Will my current computers and communication system support the prospective vendor"s software application? Do I risk catching malware/spyware/viruses with downloading or installing software on individual computers? Are there limitations on accessing the vendor"s software application?
  5. Latest technology If a product is enhanced, will I receive the enhancement under the terms and conditions of my contract with the prospective vendor?
  6. Equipment functions Can I test the equipment on actual offenders prior to signing a contract? Do the features I test meet the specifications provided by the vendor?
  7. Geographic circumstances Is there good cellular phone coverage in my area to run an effective program? Are there limitations concerning where I can use the equipment due to space or access to proper utilities?
  8. Communication after implementation Are there any services the new vendor will provide after the initial implementation to reinforce training or system understanding? Do I have a dedicated account manager who can assist outside of normal technical support?
  9. Staff support Is my staff supportive of a change? Were they involved with the selection process? Do they see the value a new vendor can bring to our program?
  10. Trust Can I trust the vendor to perform as they pitched during the sale? What assurances do I have the program will succeed with the new vendor?

If your vendor struggles with answering your questions" look again.

My next entry will explain how STOP can answer all these questions and more

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