After months of recession, it’s survival of the fittest among manufacturing and telecommunications contractors as they fight this summer over a few hot spots of demand in the consumer markets on which they rely. “We’ve been in the doldrums, but owners expect that we’ve used the recession to sharpen our pencils,” says Bart Eberwein, vice president at Portland, Ore.-based Hoffman Construction Co. Looking for value in an acute buyers’ market, owners are demanding contractors be sharper, faster and more flexible. While there are fresh rounds of investment in sustainable energy products, auto plants and data centers, only the top dogs
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.