The Scoop on the Latest A/E/C Industry Business Trends

How are A/E/C firms dealing with competition? What kinds of business strategies are they utilizing? And just what are the industry's biggest concerns as a whole?These are just a few questions that a recent survey conducted by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) attempts to answer, in addition to providing some insight into the innerworkings of firms nationwide.

12/01/2001


How are A/E/C firms dealing with competition? What kinds of business strategies are they utilizing? And just what are the industry's biggest concerns as a whole?

These are just a few questions that a recent survey conducted by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) attempts to answer, in addition to providing some insight into the innerworkings of firms nationwide.

Headlining the survey's results are the issues of most concern: profitability and finding qualified professionals. Concerns over profitability increased from 56% of respondents last year to 62% of the 587 A/E/C firms who participated in ACEC's 2001-2002 Business Trends Survey . While concerns about qualified staff ranked second, the percentage of firms listing it as an issue actually decreased—from 50% in 2000 to 46% in 2001.

Other issues of concern include quality management, cash flow and price competition. More specifically, a high percentage of firms (87%) ranked local and state A/E firms as their biggest competitors, followed by national A/E firms (46%) and public agencies (28%), down from 35.8% last year.

In response, 68% of firms plan to expand their marketing efforts in existing markets and 46% anticipate diversifying the services they offer. The third most popular competitive strategy (44%) is entering new markets.

In addition to reporting statistics about growth rates and earnings, the report also surveyed firms about training and development. Marketing, quality management, leadership development and proposal writing were listed as the top skills targeted for training investment in the near future.

For more on the results of this year's survey, visit ACEC's web site at www.acec.org .



Web Threads

A monthly compendium of facts and figures

Based on an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) survey, percentage of A/E/C firms that have a market research budget: 25

Percentage of surveyed firms that ranked finding qualified people as an issue of concern in 1999: 51.8

Median staff turnover rate percentage at A/E/P firms, according to market research conducted by ZweigWhite: 16.7



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