Bennett Thrasher and Kennesaw State University’s College of Architecture and Construction Management are proud to share the fourth annual Georgia Construction Outlook Survey results. The survey captures insights and data from over 100 privately held construction companies in Georgia, including home builders, heavy contractors, general contractors and specialty contractors.
This survey provides meaningful information for construction companies on how to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive industry. To elaborate on the results, Bennett Thrasher hosted a panel of construction experts who provided diverse perspectives on the current and future landscape. Bennett Thrasher Partner Scott Hazy moderated the conversation, with input coming from Nancy Juneau, Chief Executive Officer of Juneau Construction; Zack Rippeon, Partner at Smith, Currie & Hancock; and Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Construction Management.
Key themes from the conversation and survey include:
- Recruitment and Retention Challenges and Strategies: 82% of respondents indicated that their top challenge is finding and keeping qualified individuals. This has been a top concern for the last three consecutive years of this survey. 51% of survey participants said that their biggest workplace frustration was personnel issues; this is slightly higher than last year and alludes to the pervasive challenge of hiring and retaining top-notch talent. To retain labor, 48% of respondents are relying on their benefits and compensation, while 16% are focusing on training and development. To recruit talent, 18% of survey participants focused on advertisements and job postings, while 16% relied on word of mouth. 70% of respondents indicated that they had a succession plan in place.
- Technology Threats and Increase in Resources: The average IT budget for all survey participants was 2.7% and 99% have security controls in place to protect their company’s electronic data, with nearly half (44%) of survey respondents experiencing a cyber-attack in the past two years. 36% of respondents are now using a Mobile Device Management System (MDM) to control data access, a 64% increase over last years’ survey results. Respondents are increasingly focusing and investing in IT; top future investments include cloud-based technology, field technology and estimating software.
- Business Strategy and Projections: 24% of respondents are looking to expand their geographic reach, while 14% are interested in expanding their business offerings. 13% of survey participants may implement lean construction principles, and 8% are looking at acquisitions. 76% of respondents are projecting an increase in revenue; this is lower than last years’ projection of revenue (84%). 55% of survey respondents reported a higher project backlog from the prior year. Responding companies are experiencing backlogs ranging from 3-18 months. The majority of companies surveyed have experienced an increase or no change in margins over the prior year.