Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Construction Industry's 2014 Challenge: To Reignite Growth

After Five Bleak Years, Prospects for the Global Engineering, Construction, and Services Industry Are Brightening; Focusing on Margins, Efficiency, Cost Control, and Synergies Will Be Critical, Says a New Report From BCG

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/21/14 -- Six years after financial crisis rocked the global economy, the engineering, construction, and services (ECS) industry is operating in a world of tightening margins, intensifying competition, and continuing pressure from the capital markets to create value. The next five years, however, look brighter, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, Value Creation in ECS 2013: Growing and Thriving in Challenging Times, is being released today.

According to BCG's analysis of value creation by 60 global ECS companies, the industry can expect to see growth in the coming years, especially in mature markets that have encountered strong headwinds since 2008. The companies that benefit the most from reaccelerating growth -- and those most rewarded by shareholders -- will be those that can maintain healthy profit margins, especially in the developing world. To succeed, companies will require careful management of costs and capital, superior processes, and balanced portfolios that enable them to apply the right management focus, investments, and discipline to the businesses in which they can truly win.

"In the coming years, companies will have to focus on execution excellence and bottom-line margins," said Jeff Hill, a BCG partner and a coauthor of the report. "The ECS leaders will be strategic about procurement, highly effective in their operations, and extremely productive, streamlining and right-sizing their organizations to achieve maximum effectiveness with minimal waste."

The Six Imperatives of Top Performance

The new report identifies six imperatives ECS companies must follow if they aspire to deliver outstanding returns to shareholders.


  • Focus on execution excellence and bottom-line margins. Healthy profits aren't simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. For leading ECS companies, excellence in bidding and pricing is a high priority. These companies are highly productive, streamlining and right-sizing their organizations to achieve maximum effectiveness with minimal waste.

  • Build resilience to withstand increasing global competition. Facing rising competition from the developing world, established companies in mature markets need to develop the requisite capabilities and cost structures. They need to focus on accentuating their more extensive and polished skill sets, talent rosters, intellectual property, and superior processes. Similarly, companies from developing markets will have to develop cost structures and delivery models that will enable them to hold their own in competitive markets.

  • Achieve scale -- but not at any price. In mature markets, at least, size still matters. Big projects continue to get bigger, and only large-scale companies are credible bidders for such ambitious undertakings. Companies shouldn't sacrifice margins for scale, however.

  • Focus on high-growth regions and sectors. After a prolonged stretch of negative growth, growth rates in mature markets will likely accelerate to the low single digits during the next five years. ECS companies that in the past five years prioritized investment in developing markets should regard this shift as a spur to refocus on mature markets.

  • Be prepared to win through M&A. M&A enables ECS companies to gain scale, which, in turn, helps them compete for the largest contracts. M&A is also an important lever for acquiring talent -- especially in high-growth regions such as North America -- and controlling costs.

  • Maintain a disciplined approach to dividends and the balance sheet. Fortunes in the ECS industry can reverse virtually overnight. The best protection against unforeseen market shocks is a solid balance sheet with modest debt levels and a strong credit rating. High debt ratios and weak balance sheets are the mark of the lowest-performing and most vulnerable ECS companies.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Boston Consulting Group
Eric Gregoire
Global Media Relations Manager
Tel +1 617 850 3783
Fax +1 617 850 3701
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will d...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mistakes high" is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Le...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
CI/CD is conceptually straightforward, yet often technically intricate to implement since it requires time and opportunities to develop intimate understanding on not only DevOps processes and operations, but likely product integrations with multiple platforms. This session intends to bridge the gap by offering an intense learning experience while witnessing the processes and operations to build from zero to a simple, yet functional CI/CD pipeline integrated with Jenkins, Github, Docker and Azure...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Dhiraj Sehgal works in Delphix's product and solution organization. His focus has been DevOps, DataOps, private cloud and datacenters customers, technologies and products. He has wealth of experience in cloud focused and virtualized technologies ranging from compute, networking to storage. He has spoken at Cloud Expo for last 3 years now in New York and Santa Clara.
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.