AEC Industry News and Trends


Below is a roundup of December 2021’s latest news on the state of the AEC industry.

“What Most Consulting Engineering Companies Look Like Today”

Anthony Fasano, PE, F.ASCE on LinkedIn, December 15, 2021

  • Engineering professionals are leaving their firms at an alarming rate and will continue to for some time
  • Firms are struggling to attract people because they are competing with so many other firms
  • Some are leaving because their firms are growing, but can’t attract enough people to do the work
  • In a recent survey, 51% of engineering professionals rated growth opportunities as the most important thing to them above high salary, bonus, great benefits, and work from home flexibility
  • To retain engineers, firms need to offer training programs that help them advance their careers and mentoring programs

“Marketing and Business Development for Civil Engineers”

Engineering Management Institute podcast, December 15, 2021

  • Most civil engineering professionals will have to bring in new business and their ability to do it will affect their progression at their firms
  • Although professional business developers can uncover leads for them, engineers must bring those deals across the finish line
  • Once a door is opened, it is better for the engineer to develop the relationship before closing the deal because they will be the ones doing the work
  • The part of “sales” engineers are good at and should be doing for BD is market research, identifying client problems and finding ways to solve them
  • Good client relationships are also critical because of the importance of referrals; satisfied clients will serve up warm, even hot, leads

“Best Time to Be in AEC”

Zweig Group blog post, December 12, 2021

  • With industry performance metrics breaking records AEC continues to defy expectations
  • Approval of the new infrastructure bill is fueling optimism for 2022 and beyond
  • Staff growth took a nosedive during the pandemic and the industry’s struggling to maintain workforce
  • AEC backlog is stronger than ever, but finding people to do the work is a challenge

“The Future of AEC: Scaling for Growth in 2022”

ENR on-demand webinar, December 1, 2021

  • While 78% of AEC firms say they are well positioned for growth in 2022, 42% still say winning new business is a challenge
  • 74% of AEC firms plan on implementing new technology to overcome key challenges and 83% agree or strongly agree that emerging technologies would improve their teams’ ability to work more efficiently
  • Main blockers for adopting new technologies are cost, the challenge of learning a new system and the time it takes to implement
  • 54% of SEC firms are considering adding CRM solutions to their tech stack in 2022

“Trends in Professional Services”

Salesforce white paper, December 2021

  • Professional services firms face new challenges in maintaining client relationships and driving growth
  • 81% of business developers in professional services have had to adapt quickly to new ways of selling
  • Firms that have maintained their existing client relationships during the pandemic have done so thanks to a combination of empathy and a focus on supporting clients who drive the most revenue
  • Firms need tools that make it as easy as possible for business development teams to manage conversations, since firms often maintain dozens of active conversations with a prospect until a deal is closed
  • When asked to rank the strategies most important in driving their firms’ growth over the next 12 months, 79% ranked expanding insides key accounts as critically or very important
  • Business development teams have significant investments on deck, with particularly aggressive plans for AI

“Data Is the Engine that Will Drive Business Strategy and Business Development in Professional Services Firms in 2022”

Legal Futures, December 15, 2021

  • To enable the firm to have ready access to real-time, flexible, and customized reporting and analytics, firms will create and apply a data taxonomy that specifically meets the requirements of BD in its broadest scope
  • Firms will need to ensure that data flows seamlessly across the organization regardless of its point of entry into the business (i.e., CRM, practice management system, etc.)
  • Providing timely intelligence will enable lawyers and other service professionals to foresee client-related business issues and proactively offer solutions

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