Tag Archives: Environmental consulting firms

Multidiscipline Architecture and Engineering Firms Cope Better in Shifting Markets

Press Release: April 1, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (April 1, 2011) – An expected resurgence in private spending in 2011 means that diversified architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms will be better poised to benefit from the economic recovery, say economists in the March 28 issue of The Zweig Letter, ZweigWhite’s weekly management publication.

While many design firms tried to change gears quickly in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, firms that were able to keep their links to the private market intact during the recession are now better positioned, Kermit Baker, chief economist with the American Institute of Architects, told TZL, and those are likely multidisciplinary, one-stop-shop type firms able to operate in several market types and geographic areas.

“You need to diversify; you need to keep your feet in several markets,” Baker said.

Six months of positive Architecture Billings Index scores show that the private market for design and construction activity is starting to pick up—namely the commercial and industrial sectors. The federal market, however, is heading in the opposite direction—92% of the federal stimulus package has now been allocated.

“Federal spending is at a plateau from which it may drop pretty steeply in the next year,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America.

David Sherrill, president of Sherrill Associates, an Edwardsville, Ill.-based land surveying, engineering and planning firm, echoed Simonson’s forecast. “We have state department of transportation work, which will be drying up at the end of this year,” he said. “I would expect all design firms will take a hit in this sector— at least two to three years.” 

Sherrill pointed to activity in the private market as a potential bright spot. “We expect moderate growth in the private sector as long as the financial district stays strong and dollars remain available to stable investors,” he said, while cautioning that he hasn’t seen any evidence of strong growth yet. “I don’t see a boom in the private sector while the public sector realignment takes place. Hang on to your pants. I’m afraid we’re still in for a rough ride for a couple more years while the entire country realigns itself to the country’s debt reality.”

For more on The Zweig Letter and to see subscription details, please visit www.zweigwhite.com.

ABOUT ZWEIGWHITE

Twice named to the Inc. 500 list of best firms, ZweigWhite is the nation’s leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms. The ZweigWhite team consists of experts in business planning, mergers and acquisitions, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources management, finance, marketing, market research, project management and project delivery methods who collectively produce a comprehensive suite of products and services, including investment banking, consulting, newsletters, controlled-circulation magazines, industry reports, executive training, business conferences and more covering virtually every aspect of firm management. The firm has offices in Chicago, Ill., Durham, N.C., Fayetteville, Ark., and Natick, Mass. ZweigWhite is owned by investors Eli Global, BIA Digital Partners and MZ Ventures, with management including Mark Zweig and Ed Friedrichs. For more information, visit www.zweigwhite.com or call (479) 582-5700.

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ZweigWhite And Engineering Org ACEC Enter Partnership

Press Release: March 7, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (March 7, 2011) — ZweigWhite has partnered with American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) to produce and publish a co-branded version of the 2011 Financial Performance Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms.

As part of this collaboration, ZweigWhite and ACEC have worked together to update the annual survey, adding new questions on firm demographics, financial performance data, and industry trends. In addition, they have worked together to determine the various pools of potential respondents who will receive the questionnaires.

“This is a landmark deal for us and for ACEC,” says Mark Zweig, ZweigWhite Founder and CEO. “We will share databases and use the considerable resources of the ACEC membership and staff to improve both the quality of our survey data and the number of participants. This marks the first of what we hope will be more extensive cooperation and teaming with ACEC on wide variety of fronts beyond research and publishing that will enhance their membership benefits and increase the quality of ZW’s output.”

In this partnership, ACEC will promote and distribute survey questionnaires for the joint publication to its members in order to help the project achieve an adequate response rate. ZweigWhite will be responsible for collecting the questionnaire data, analyzing the results and producing the publication. Moreover, ACEC will sell the surveys through the ACEC Bookstore and its www.booksforengineers.com website at a discounted price for its members.

“ACEC looks forward to producing quality, nationwide survey information— broken down by each state— in conjunction with ZweigWhite,” says Jeffrey Beard, vice president for ACEC’s Institute for Business Management. “This new collaboration will include both the Financial Performance Survey and the Industry Outlook, two of the most informational areas for engineering business management. These new collaborative and co-branded publications will replace ACEC’s annual Industry Trends Survey with a larger survey pool, more exacting data and an incisive final report.” 

Margot Suydam, Survey Manager, ZweigWhite Management Surveys, says, “Collaborating with the ACEC on the 2011 Financial Performance Survey enables ZweigWhite to expand the reach and scope of this important annual survey. With the participation of ACEC, we will gather a comprehensive sample of financial data and industry trend information, which A/E/P and environmental consulting firms can all use to benchmark their financial performance with that of their peers.”

The 2011 Financial Performance Survey, to be published in both printed and electronic formats by ZweigWhite on May 8, contains more than 30 different major financial performance statistics enabling firms to determine where they stand among industry peers. This report provides statistics on revenue and profit, chargeability, revenue factor, overhead rates, average collection period, backlog and staff turnover. Data on operating expenses, personnel costs, finance and accounting staff, growth and profit projections and more are also included.

ABOUT ZWEIGWHITE

 Twice named to the Inc. 500 list of best firms, ZweigWhite is the nation’s leader in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms. The ZweigWhite team consists of experts in strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources management, finance, marketing, market research, project management and project delivery methods who collectively produce a comprehensive suite of products and services, including advisory, consulting, newsletters, controlled-circulation magazines, industry reports, executive training, business conferences and more covering virtually every aspect of firm management. The firm is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with additional offices in, Chicago, IL, Durham, NC, and Natick, MA. ZweigWhite is owned by investors Eli Global, BIA Digital Partners and MZ Ventures, with management including Mark Zweig and Ed Friedrichs. For more information, visit www.zweigwhite.com or call (479) 582-5700.

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