Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Accelerating adoption of Cleantech through the Engineering & Construction channel

Thinking through some of the key issues facing the cleantech industry, it would appear that as a whole, this industry (or sections thereof) will need to rely upon established channels in order to evangelize and deploy solutions across key sectors.

The engineering, environmental & construction industry (that is: those services firms that provide consulting, design, construction mgt, and facility operations) is an industry that could be leveraged effectively to accelerate adoption:

  • Multitude of cleantech: solar, nano, intelligent energy mgt systems, biofuels (requiring a range of domain expertise, but consistent engineering design expertise)

  • Target industries to adopt are traditional verticals: process and discrete mfg, transportation, telecom, government, infrastructure

  • These industries rely upon the global Engineering & Construction firms to build business cases, develop conceptual and detailed design, manage construction operations, and in many cases, actually operate facilities as well

  • E&Cs have invested in specific 'cleantech' projects, usually around biofuel design - build; wind and solar power, BUT: projects, training, and alliances with cleantech vendors are scattered; no consistent strategy

  • Opportunity exists to foster relationships, invest in training, and build alliances with E&Cs; specifically business units that are targeting specific verticals or those that are focused on new energy technologies

I would be interested in hearing from those in the cleantech industry (entrepreneurs, investors) as to their thoughts on this channel strategy.

Read more!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Market Drivers in the Engineering & Construction and Environmental Markets

I have been working with a couple of major software vendors who serve the AEC and environmental management market industries; providing market strategy and business development services in the E&C and EHS sector.

(Note: I could write a whole series on business development strategies targeting an industry that traditionally is very conservative, is leery of any expenditure that cannot be passed on to the client, and has executives who are trained geologists and civil engineers…….sub-note: I am an environmental engineer, so I can talk about that last topic…).

I typically work with C-Level or VP – level executives, and have collected a significant amount of feedback on trends and strategic initiatives. These companies can be found on the ENR (Engineering News Record) Top 50 list, and they provide services globally into the infrastructure, transportation, federal / municipal government, and discrete mfg industries. Over the coming weeks (months?) I will provide some interesting anecdotes (well, interesting to me….) regarding technology adoption and business process changes facing the E&C industry.

But to summarize, here are the primary market drivers:

  • Abundance of Work
  • Scarcity of Talent
  • Outsourcing by clients
  • Consolidation of the industry
  • Risk Management

The combination of an abundance of work worldwide, across all target market sectors, along with the shortage of trained talent (and the forecasted attrition of talent as experienced engineers retire), opens the door to technology- enabled productivity gains. These solutions may include richer, more intelligent toolsets and visualization technology (such as ‘BIM’: Building Information Modeling), as well as re-engineering of work flow across multiple, dispersed teams worldwide; leveraging advances in collaboration, design review, and content management technology.

As an executive from an ENR 25 company told me last week, “Given our dispersed structure of offices, work-sharing and effective file sharing is critical, especially as we adopt BIM”…

Read more!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Been away for a while....

Thought I would revisit the blog arena, after being away for a while working on projects. Given that my primary market focus has been in the AEC and environmental / sustainability markets for the past 2 years, I am focusing this blog on those sectors, and the market drivers, business process changes, and new technology adoptions that are enabling change.

I hope to provide insights and maybe even some pithy comments in the weeks ahead, especially around 'real world' examples of technology - enhanced productivity gains in this industry segment. Read more!