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”…

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