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The world has an enormous need for investment in infrastructure to fulfill the needs of the growing population and increasing urbanization. This presents the civil, MEP, structural, and environmental engineering sectors with a lucrative opportunity to earn more revenue, as well as a host of challenges.

From concerns regarding global climate change and increasing level of pollutions to shrinking workforce and decreasing productivity, there are a number of challenges that have accelerated the adoption of new technologies like 3D rendering and simulation and building information modeling (BIM) by the engineering sector. While these technologies help engineering companies make the design and planning process more efficient, when it comes to construction and infrastructure management, problems remain unaddressed.

Declining productivity of the workforce remains a pressing concern for the engineering industry despite rapid technological advancements. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the engineering and construction industry has experienced a decline in productivity in the last 40 years[1].

While there are a number of factors that contribute to labor productivity, the operation of various engineering disciplines, such as architecture, construction, civil engineering, structural engineering, and GIS, in silos remains a major workflow hindrance. In a traditional engineering firm, each of these disciplines maintains its own information island that make it difficult for stakeholders to integrate existing data in a seamless view and make better decisions faster.

In addition to high operating costs resulting from information silos, competition from engineering and construction players from China, Korea, and India also threatens the bottom line of engineering enterprises operating within the US and other countries. These enterprises not only have extensive experience, but cash reserves and internal expertise as well to give tough competition to established players. Since many of these companies have access to cheap labor and building materials, they are able to offer more attractive bids to investors. While established enterprises may continue to win contracts because of their long-standing reputation, the margins are likely to be lower than what they have enjoyed for a long time.

As a leading retained executive search firm with extensive experience of providing tailored talent solutions to the engineering and construction industry, Allen Austin has in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by engineering companies.

We believe that managing the productivity challenge and staying ahead of the competitors, engineering enterprises need visionary leadership that’s capable of anticipating and addressing risks in a proactive manner.  We provide outcome-oriented leadership development and executive search solutions to help engineering firms find high-caliber professionals, bridge their skill gaps, and fulfill their current and future leadership needs.

[1] eWork and eBusiness in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction, ECPPM 2012