Unanet releases first annual construction survey

Unanet’s first annual architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) report shows firms optimistic about COVID-19 recovery

Unanet, the leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM solutions for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries, today released the first annual AEC Inspire Report, which surveyed more than 175 leaders from AEC companies ranging from US$1mn to US$250mn in annual revenue. With more than 86 percent of data-driven firms expecting a revenue or profit increase in 2021, the results show an overwhelming sense of optimism driven by the COVID-19 rebound, as well as the potential for significant new infrastructure spending. 

Firms “struggle to use data” to streamline their businesses 

However, according to the report. AEC firms are also struggling to use data effectively to help streamline and manage their growth-oriented businesses. Akshay Mahajan, General Manager of AEC for Unanet, said: “As AEC firms prepare for growth and the next generation of leaders, our first AEC Inspire report shows that most AEC firms are still in the midst of their digital transformations and are pushing to have more collaborative, analytics-driven and cloud-based solutions.

"Progress towards more modern, data-driven solutions will be central to attracting and retaining new talent and realising strategic growth. The report demonstrates that firms that regularly use data to manage their businesses have better revenue and profit growth rates, underscoring the benefits of pursuing digital transformations,” he added. 

Cross-referencing revenue and profitability with AEC firms' data use shows that companies that use data on a regular, daily basis to operate their business significantly outperform those that do not. Among the other key findings of the AEC Inspire Report:

  • Profit and revenue are top of mind for business leaders but managing backlogs, chasing accounts receivable and labor utilisation are also identified among the most important financial and operational metrics.
  • 57% of respondents indicated that forecasting is their main project management challenge.
  • A significant percentage of firms report they are not tracking essential sales metrics such as client satisfaction, repeat business, bid-to-win ratios, and the number of submitted proposals, although they would like to have the tools to do so.

Lucas Hayden, Director of AEC Strategy for Unanet, said: “The recurring theme we see in this year's AEC Inspire report is that digital transformation is having a direct impact on better revenue and profits. As AEC firms become more data-driven, not only do they improve their ability to make strategic decisions more confidently, a shift occurs in the culture as they take pride in newfound efficiencies and their ability to leverage the insights they need to be successful."



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