A shiver went through the contractor world in mid-May after the product manager for Autodesk’s Constructware, a heavily used, hosted construction-project management tool, was quoted in an interview saying new feature development was being halted in a cost-cutting move, although the product would be maintained and supported. The statement, at first confirmed by Timothy Douglas, the company’s construction solutions manager—then reversed by Jay Bhatt, senior vice president of Autodesk’s AEC Industry Group—set off alarms across the industry. Some contractors and owners for whom Constructware is mission-critical for running big, multiyear projects, interpreted the comments as an indication San Raphael-based Autodesk’s
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.