While research and data provide a snapshot of the consulting industry, hearing directly from you helps Consulting-Specifying Engineer track business trends.
One of the most difficult and exciting things we do at Consulting-Specifying Engineer is track industry trends. The information comes from our own proprietary research, Google Analytics data, external research reports, conversations with engineers, feedback from editorial advisory board members, discussions with manufacturers, and a smattering of other resources.
The most interesting, however, is conversations with consultants who are working every day to make buildings more efficient, to design new systems, or to resolve their clients’ challenges. In short, the most helpful details come from you directly—the engineer or building professional working, on average, more hours than you’d care to. Recent research shows that respondents to an internal audience study indicate that 42% are working 41 to 50 hours/week, and 21% are working more than 50 hours/week. Based on the fact that you’re working so much, I’m sure you have a lot to share.
An example: A senior electrical engineer specializing in health care facilities recently told me (after I’d tried to reach him about 20 times) that he hadn’t seen his family in a couple of weeks. He’d been on the road visiting clients, launching an office in a location new to his firm, and hiring staff to support the new office’s efforts. I was happy to hear that business was booming for him and his engineering company, and his anecdotes supported the data that show that the hospital and health care industry is still going strong, albeit slightly changed due to new requirements and restrictions on patient care.
Another story: There aren’t enough fire protection engineers to go around, a fact that has been considered by engineering schools across the United States and around the world. The principal and owner of a fire protection engineering firm on the East Coast has emailed and texted me from across the globe. I never know where or when to find him, as he’s always in the Middle East, Asia, or some other far-flung location. The work he does is vital, and while some U.S. business is down, international business is doing well.
While frequent flier miles and hotel perks are nice, there are many of our junior audience members who don’t ever leave the office. They create designs and write specifications to help support a larger project; however they don’t interface with the client or the construction trades. They need to better understand the big picture and obtain education to expand their knowledge of the tools at their fingertips.
So how’s business? Whether you’re at the top of the ladder at your firm or just a few years into your career, I’d like to hear how things are going. This will give Consulting-Specifying Engineer valuable anecdotal information to serve you better. Keep the phone calls and emails coming.