Engineering and construction build up to a strong 2020

The engineering and construction (E&C) industry has had a successful 2019, with many E&C firms getting involved in building the smart, connected future.

Worldwide, market growth is set to continue in 2020 as construction spending rises in line with the overall GDP growth rate. But although firm revenues are rising, there’s still considerable pressure on bottom lines. The industry faces challenges including sustained cost pressures, an ongoing shortage of labour that saps productivity, and the increasing popularity of fixed-bid projects, meaning companies have to avoid going over time and over budget or take the financial hit themselves.

While the industry hasn’t been the fastest to go digital, adopting more digital technologies could help with these issues - automating tasks that were previously done by humans and enabling companies to predict the time and cost of projects more accurately. However, implementing the new tech and training employees to use it will bring its own set of challenges.

On the upside, E&C firms are looking at some big opportunities, including the rise of smart city mega-projects and America’s plan to upgrade its transport and infrastructure. Industry leaders will need to keep their competitive edge sharp by defining a new vision and a detailed plan for adopting digital tech in order to seize these opportunities. They’ll also need to forge supportive partnerships both within the industry and beyond.

What’s disrupting the E&C market in 2020?

  1. Intensifying cost pressures are driving E&C businesses to plan and execute projects to higher standards of precision.
  2. New digital technologies are changing how many E&C companies work.
  3. US infrastructure projects present opportunities that call for new project structures and partnership models.
  4. The rise of smart cities is driving E&C firms to use smart technologies to help transform cities.

A dynamic 2020

2020 promises to be full of both challenges and opportunities for the E&C industry. E&C industries can play central roles in several major worldwide trends, including smart city projects and infrastructure upgrades. However, they’ll still have to grapple with cost pressures and ongoing trade uncertainties. Building a solid plan for the adoption of new digital technologies can help them face these challenges and reap the competitive benefits of early adoption.