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Boiling Frogs and the AEC Industry

Michael J. Statz, PE | with 0 Comments

Boiling Frogs and the AEC Industry

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has been changing over the past two decades. Some of these changes include globalization, new technology, increasing workforce diversity and increasing competition, according to a construction publication.
The “boiling frog theory” can be applied to every industry, including the AEC industry. The theory states that a boiling frog that is placed in a pot of hot water will jump out; however, if you place the frog in cold water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will be cooked. 
In regard to the AEC industry, the frog represents the business, and the boiling water is symbolic of the changing environment. When changes are subtle, businesses often do not notice them and pretty soon they can render businesses uncompetitive or irrelevant.
Thus, it is important for companies in the AEC sector to stay proactive and revisit their business and marketing plans to make sure they are staying up to date with new technology and AEC industry trends.  This can be difficult for firms who are used to focusing on the tactical issues rather than the strategy.  Businesses need to look at the big picture perspective to plan for the future.
Some of the changes in the environment are obvious, such as the need to update business technology in the form of BIM or 3D printing; however, some of the other changes may not be as obvious. For example, how many of us anticipated the commercialization of drones, which can help with surveying? Or the rising popularity of roundabouts? Here are some other construction trends.
So what can you do? Encourage employees to share ideas. Attend conferences. Read trade journals. Talk to people outside your industry. Challenge the status quo. Monitor trends on social media. At the end of the day, make sure your organization is open, not closed.
Michael J. Statz, PE serves as MSA’s Chairman of the Board and manages MSA’s transportation discipline. He has 24 years of experience in the AEC industry.

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