Mobile Command Centers are the new age of a central office. They come equipped with industry-standard technology and allow people to work on anything they need from anywhere in the world. However, there are several factors worth considering before buying a mobile command center. The main factors include the following;
- The command center’s primary mission and functions
- The agency’s initial budget allocation in buying the command center
- The agency’s long-term budget for maintaining the command center, including the labor costs for operating the command center.
The Costs Of A Mobile Command Center (There Are Hidden Costs)
It’s advisable to consider the different costs involved in using the command center besides the original capital investment to acquire the vehicle. The price tag of these vehicles can start from $1,000,000 or even higher. Mobile command center vehicles have an elaborate logistic life-cycle which most agencies overlook when purchasing them.
The vehicle’s enormous size and complexity can push its life-cycle tail cost to range between 10% and 20% of the original price. The figures mean that you’ll spend between $100k and $200k or even more annually.
A typical command center vehicle will need at least one or two full-time equivalent personnel (FTE) to operate and maintain it as the need arises. The essence of FTEs increases, especially when you’re required to acquire a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the vehicle. The vehicle may also have specialized systems requiring only individuals with special skills to operate or deploy it.
Life Cycle Of A Mobile Command Center
The life cycle of the vehicle’s communication equipment ranges from seven to ten years because of the rapidly evolving technology. As a result, nearly every communication system and equipment in the vehicle will become outdated within ten years. As a result, the command center vehicle will need a complete renovation involving replacing its entire equipment at least once in its lifetime.
You spent about $1,000,000 to purchase the vehicle, but a time comes when it needs complete renovation. The process is almost unavoidable if you want to maintain top notch performance of the vehicle. In addition, installing new communication system equipment means you’re complying with the rapid technological changes.
Consider The Renovation Risks
Replacing a command center’s communication systems comes with many risks that can drive the logistic costs even higher. For example, you may replace the systems only to incur significant maintenance problems that will plunge you into further expenditures. Therefore, it’s advisable to be cautious when choosing a command center renovation company.
Command vehicles exhibit a brief lifespan than most agencies realize because the communication systems form the weakest links. Therefore, upgrading an older vehicle requires highly skilled personnel to minimize possible failures and frequent maintenance.
Overlooking any of the command center’s costs from initial purchase to maintenance may render an agency unable to keep its vehicle in operation. Therefore, whenever the cost of a command center vehicle arises, maintenance costs should be part of it. As noted earlier, if the car costs one million dollars, it’s vital to factor in the approximately $200k required to keep it running annually. It means in the first year of purchase, the command vehicle will cost you roughly $1.2 million and about $200k every year after that.
Are There Cost-Effective Command Centers?
A command center’s communication capabilities are another primary factor beyond the cost. It’s vital to ask yourself what you expect from the command center vehicle. Choosing a cost-effective but high-performance command center will enable the agency to live its public safety goals. Besides communication capability, anything else about the command center vehicle boils down to the individual community or agency’s luxury.
Any community or agency ready to trade off the vehicle’s most expensive elements will access a more affordable emergency communication package without purchasing the heavy vehicle. In addition, the agency can turn any mobile platform or vehicle into a command center with only a portion of the cost that it could have spent to maintain these vehicles in a year.
CSG is a mobile command center providing all the essential emergency communications of a full-size command vehicle at some of the friendliest rates in the industry. The company offers all aspects of rapidly deployable critical emergency communications at a considerable mobile package. In addition, clients have access to a broad spectrum of contacts in the realm of public safety by offering autonomous performance capabilities. Agencies looking for ways to improve public safety solutions can visit the company, explore the available packages, and choose those that meet their budget and needs.