This research project aimed to provide an analysis of the suitability of existing benchmarking methodologies for use in the roading sector in New Zealand.
The chosen methodology needed to normalise for unique network characteristics outside the control of the maintainer that might impact on cost and quality.
Data envelopment analysis, supported by other analysis techniques, was recommended due to its ability to normalise for such characteristics and the fact that it has been shown to work in the highway maintenance and operations sector.
In addition, this research project aimed to collect benchmarking data from two overseas road agencies, to both assess the availability and ease of collection of such data and to enable initial comparisons to be undertaken with the New Zealand roading sector should the NZ Transport Agency wish to do so.
Benchmarking data from two overseas road controlling authorities was collected; however, significant challenges were faced with collection of the data including a lack of timely cooperation, composed of delays due to obtaining approvals to release the data followed by delays in interrogating the road and financial databases, as well as differences in performance measurement, definition of maintenance tasks and accounting systems. These challenges are in line with international experiences in this area.
Keywords: benchmarking, highways, maintenance, performance management