HAMILTON, NJ – The latest issue of the Civil Quarterly (TCQ) from Dodge Data & Analytics reveals a dramatic increase in supply chain challenges faced by civil contractors. However, contractors remain optimistic about the state of their industry in the near future despite adversity.
The report, based on a quarterly survey of civil contractors, engineers and owners, shows that the vast majority of civil contractors (92%) have had projects impacted by fluctuations in the cost of construction materials in 2021. The latest report also found that 89% expressed concerns about cost increases for materials over the next six months, including prices for steel, piping, paving materials, lumber and aggregates.
Despite these concerns, over half (53%) expect to see increases in revenue and nearly two thirds (63%) expect to see their profit margins hold steady or grow in the next year. This is likely due to the fact that nearly three quarters (71%) are highly optimistic about the volume of work they expect in the next year.
The report also features new data from the survey about cybersecurity and reality capture.
The current TCQ finds that civil construction project owners are more likely to consider a cyberattack possible or likely than civil contractors or engineers. Among civil contractors, only large firms frequently consider the risk of cyberattacks a likely possibility. In fact, nearly half (43%) of small contractors with revenues under $10M believe such an attack is unlikely to hit their firms.
Not surprisingly, there is also a direct correlation between those who consider an attack more likely and the degree to which they are prepared for such an attack. For example, owners and large companies are far more likely to have documented cybersecurity policies, engage in cybersecurity training and employ numerous other means of protecting themselves against cyberattacks, including having a mobile device plan, protected IoT devices or creating an incident response playbook.
With the overall increase in cybersecurity attacks, the leading obstacle among contractors to widen investment in cybersecurity is that they do not think the level of risk for their companies warrants further investment.
On the topic of reality capture, the findings reveal that there are a wide range of reality capture tools employed on civil jobsites. Use of drones, aerial mapping and digital cameras are widespread, but a range of other tools are also emerging in use, including project site webcams, laser scanners and GPS rovers, among others.
Civil contractors who use these reality capture tools are finding wide applications for the data they gather from them, with earthwork calculations, quality control verification and progress documentation being the most common. Not surprisingly, these numerous applications lead to some critical project benefits with over half of those who use these reality capture tools reporting improved ability to track work progress, improved ability to manage schedules and budget, and improved quality on their projects.
The Civil Quarterly provides a quarterly snapshot of the current business health of contractors operating in this dynamic environment and explores trends in the industry: The report is the result of a partnership with Founding partner Infotech®, Platinum partner Hexagon and Gold partners Command Alkon and Digital Construction Works, and is based on original research collected from civil contractors and engineers. It is available for free download to help all those who have a stake in the U.S. civil construction industry. Future editions will continue to address a wide range of related topics providing a comprehensive view of this complex and ever-changing segment of the construction economy. Click here to download a copy: https://www.infotechinc.com/thecivilquarterly/.
About Dodge Construction Network: Dodge Construction Network leverages an unmatched offering of data, analytics, and industry-spanning relationships to generate the most powerful source of information, knowledge, insights, and connections in the commercial construction industry. The company powers four longstanding and trusted industry solutions—Dodge Data & Analytics, The Blue Book Network, Sweets, and IMS—to connect the dots across the entire commercial construction ecosystem. Together, these solutions provide clear and actionable opportunities for both small teams and enterprise firms. Purpose-built to simplify the complex, Dodge Construction Network ensures that construction professionals have the information they need to build successful businesses and thriving communities. With over a century of industry experience, Dodge Construction Network is the catalyst for modern commercial construction.
About Infotech®: Info Tech, Inc., DBA Infotech (Infotech) is a leading SaaS solutions provider for the infrastructure construction industry. Informed by DOT relationships and decades of experience, Infotech develops software solutions that bridge the gaps between owners, consultants, contractors, and other project stakeholders. Whether it be tools for construction administration and inspection or secure online bidding, all of Infotech’s solutions are built to increase transparency, productivity and the availability of data. Infotech is the developer of Appia®, Bid Express®, and Doc Express®, as well as the official contractor for AASHTOWare Project™. For more information, visit infotechinc.com.
About Hexagon: Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping production and people related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.
About Command Alkon: As the provider of the leading Supplier Collaboration Platform for Heavy Work, Command Alkon solutions deliver supply chain digital collaboration across the heavy construction community. CONNEX, a technology platform built for the industry, enables business partners to automate and integrate business process, capture real-time visibility into heavy material orders and deliveries, and share knowledge to promote certainty of outcomes. Command Alkon is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama and has offices in locations around the globe. For more information, visit commandalkon.com.