For many small and medium-sized firms, 2010 might be remembered as a long reality show similar to TV’s “Survivor.” Faced with the possibility of elimination amid a fragile economy as construction unemployment hovered around 18%, many companies rethought market plans and business approaches. Almost everyone’s top line shrank, but that was fine if it meant staying in business and minimizing layoffs. Image: Slaved-fotolia.com Bigger companies found opportunities in the downturn to plot new strategies. Consolidation didn’t rest. AECOM Technology Corp. and URS Corp. led the industry in big acquisitions. In June, URS Corp. outlasted CH2M-Hill in a bidding war for
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.