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Survey finds engineering, architecture firms optimistic about growth

Survey finds engineering, architecture firms optimistic about growth

HERNDON, VA. — A recent survey of architecture and engineering (A&E) firms in Canada and the U.S. found companies are slightly more positive this year than last, with expectations for revenue growth and project awards up from the previous year.

Firms project nearly 11 per cent net revenue growth in 2023, up from 10.2 per cent last year. The number of proposals submitted and awarded also grew year-over-year, giving firms an optimistic outlook for the year ahead, although they are still facing challenges, the report stated.

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More than 650 A&E firms were surveyed with the goals of determining key performance indicators, identifying major challenges impacting the industry and forecasting future trends.

Firms cited finding time to nurture client relationships, increased competition and identifying new prospects as their main business development challenges. Deltek said the latest report shows firms effectively navigated economic uncertainties and rising costs to achieve healthy, although essentially flat, operating profit margins year-over-year.

Use of AI-powered tools is gradually increasing across firms of all sizes, but there is an urgent need for targeted educational opportunities and support for employees to see benefits from the technology, the survey found. Sixty-two per cent of firms expect artificial intelligence to improve their operational efficiency and firms are already leveraging generative AI for marketing and proposal creation (24 per cent), data summarization (17 per cent), 3D modelling and rendering (15 per cent) and data analysis (14 per cent).

Deltek is a consultancy active in the project-based software sector.

With an emphasis on training project managers and providing better tools to improve project delivery, firms report 69 per cent of A&E projects are on or under budget. However, staffing shortages are presenting challenges and competing priorities continue to present challenges, especially for project delivery with 40 per cent of projects behind schedule.

“Firms continue to have an optimistic outlook,” said Megan Miller of Deltek in a statement. “For the year ahead, firms should continue to focus on engaging employees, and invest resources into education and expertise to identify which emerging tech tools to take advantage of and how best to deploy them.”

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