Monthly Archives: January 2014
Posted on January 27, 2014 by FMI CorporationFMI’s Fourth Quarter Construction Outlook, 2013 By Randy Giggard With our latest forecast and Outlook for 2014, we are seeing good reports from almost every corner of the economy. We expect construction put in place to be 7% higher than last year. Unemployment is less than 7%. Signs of inflation are few. Interest rates are still low, but showing signs of increasing. Private investment in capital goods is improving. Consumers are spending more, especially for automobiles. Oil and gas prices are relatively stable and imports are decreasing due to higher domestic production. And, believe it or not, a $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill was passed in the House and the Senate without much ado. If there is any bad news right now, we really do not want to hear it. However, that seemed to be the head-in-the-sand attitude prevalent before the recession. Therefore, we have to add some asterisks after most of the good news headlines. For instance, although the latest spending bill passed with an unusual air of compromise in Washington, there is still a looming debt ceiling problem just around the corner. The latest unemployment report is a bit suspect — payrolls rose by only 74,000 jobs — and will likely be revised, as more people have stopped looking for work, and there have been a number of weather events due to the dreaded polar vortex. However, as long as oil and gas companies keep drilling in rich shale deposits, it looks like energy prices will remain in check.
Posted on January 17, 2014 by FMI CorporationPeerless Executive Development By Kevin Kilgore It comes to us as no surprise that in any industry, peer groups offer a unique venue for executive development. A peer group consists of individuals who have a common interest (e.g., industry, market, etc.) and meets frequently to discuss current challenges and issues as well as ways to take advantage of opportunities and trends in the marketplace. Why do peer groups work? In short — good processes, people, chemistry and focus on results.
This post was posted in Consulting and was tagged with A/E/C blog, FMI Corporation, Construction industry peer groups, FMI peer groups, executive development, construction industry networking, FMI's construction forecast 2013 fourth quarter
Posted on January 9, 2014 by FMI CorporationSales is Not a Dirty Word By Steve Darnell Ask a packed room of industry professionals who wants to be a salesperson, and only a few hands sheepishly will go up. There is much confusion today about the role and need for sales. Many contractors, engineers and architects are moving into a seller-doer model. Some are working hard to strengthen their customer-focused culture. Regardless of what “sales” is called, industry firms are embracing the customer and focusing on how they win profitable work. The funny thing is, no one wants to be called a salesperson — not business development, project executives, preconstruction, estimating, superintendents or even the president. Yet everyone will be quick to espouse the importance of sales to the company’s long-term health. The top line on the financial statement says “Sales.” Somebody has to sell a project before anyone in the firm can get a bonus. Call them what you want, but every firm needs salespeople. It is not a bad thing to be a salesperson, it is just the industry is a bit embarrassed to be part of the process.