Winners and Losers! Who is creating positive disruption for construction, infrastructure, and engineering?
Jack Welch once said, “There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow … It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”
With digital transformation impacting every aspect of a company’s operations there is no question it’s all about the people, process, and the technology. That means every engineering and construction company needs to be deliberate about their digital strategy and should think long and hard about who and what investments initiatives should be made. Every investment needs to align with the long-term vision and sometimes that long-term means striking a deal with the right partners who also have an enduring vision to create positive disruption. Is that partner truly creating positive disruption?
The Constructech 50 is a listing of technology companies, with a strong company culture, that serve their customers well by equipping their employees with the tools to innovate, inspire, and lead with excellence to drive positive disruption. While each company has a unique product offering that is designed to serve the construction market well, the Constructech 50 is about more than just the technology—it is about the strong performance each company is demonstrating and how well it serves the industry now and what it sees for a connected construction.
This is critical today. Our need for more workers continues to surge, while the labor shortage persists. According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, www.uschamber.com, Washington, D.C., a whopping 94% of contractors report at least moderate levels of difficulty in finding workers. At the same time, the need for construction laborers is growing and projects are becoming more complex. We are seeing the integration of new technologies in homes, buildings, and even infrastructure. This is requiring construction professionals to build projects that are technically more complex than ever, while doing it in shorter timeframes, with fewer staff, and on tighter margins.
This is where technology comes into play. It can help alleviate some of the burden the construction industry faces today; but choosing the right partner can be challenging and, in some cases, cumbersome. We know that navigating the sea of technology means adopting the right solutions that match your employees and the processes you have today. After more than 20 years of watching the space, Constructech magazine has the insight and expertise to help readers navigate the technology—and perhaps more importantly, the company—in the market. What the industry needs today is the right partners and the ability to succeed. In some cases that means starting small and moving fast. But scaling and reskilling the right employees. In other cases, it means making more robust investments that are focused on being responsive to customers and the industry as a whole.
It needs companies that are going to be around for the long term, partners with its customers, and makes the industry better through more tech advances. What the 2019 Constructech 50 represents are the leading companies today within construction technology.
What Makes the Constructech 50
The Constructech 50 is a listing of the most influential technology firms in the construction industry. It takes into consideration both public and private companies, revenue, customers, and intangibles, which includes how responsive the companies are to customers and the industry as a whole, how accessible they are, and how they market themselves and serve the industry behind the scenes.
In order to identify this, Constructech magazine has a call-to entry. Tech companies have the opportunity to make their case to the judges by entering. The editors, and its team of judges, then conduct research into each of the companies that submitted to identify if they achieve the criteria. The editors also take part in additional research that involves engaging with industry advisors, including professors and construction CIOs, who share their thoughts about key companies in the space.
In the past few years, the Constructech 50 has experienced a big evolution. Here’s a quick glimpse into how it has evolved. It began as Constructech’s Hottest Companies, which previously acknowledged the best companies based on market success and growth for the preceding year. Now, the Constructech 50 is a collection of the strongest construction technology providers, with a market presence that will stand the test of time.
As technology has evolved, so too has the list. Companies often fall off the list, due to mergers and acquisitions. Although if a company has been acquired, but still operates independently, it still qualifies to appear on the list. Another way the list has evolved is the technology companies themselves have changed. In the past, software companies were software companies and hardware companies were hardware companies. Now, tool providers and equipment manufacturers are also often in the business of technology. This required a reconnaissance of the list, of sorts, adding companies that traditionally wouldn’t have been considered.
This also required the expansion of the list in 2018. Now, with this expanded criteria, the list is slightly longer. In fact our list has grown a tad to consider a broader spectrum of companies this year. But make no mistake, the goal is not to keep adding more companies for the sake of adding. Just like the Big 10 has more than 10 universities to make way for a changing sports world; we too see the need to adjust for all these new organizations that are now considered technology providers. But as our broader focus and the world M&A continues in the connected space, anything can happen.
We anticipate the list will once again retract; but what will the actual size turn out to be is truly anyone’s guess.
It is true this year the list did retract a bit, although not all the way back down to 50 companies yet. In the past year, we have seen a number of additional acquisition and some companies that turned their focus away from the construction industry to focus on other ventures. Some companies simply haven’t served the market well, as we have heard from a number of construction professionals that they just aren’t good to do business with. Thus, they didn’t make this year’s list.
There are also a few companies that almost made their way onto the list, but still have a little bit more work to do. We separated these into companies to “Keep an Eye On” because they are doing great things in the market, but need to take a few more steps to prove their ongoing commitment, and “Up and Comers,” which are newcomers in the space that still have a bit of work to do to make their way onto the list. Perhaps some of the existing companies will fall off in the next year, and these new companies will make the push needed to be added to the list.
The Future of the List
Going forward, we do anticipate possible further expansion of the list. This year, we took a very close look at the top tool providers, equipment manufacturers, rental businesses, drone companies, software providers, and hardware vendors to select the truly best companies in the market. The 2019 Constructech 50 is what transpired.
However, there is a new category of companies that the editors began to identify might soon make a push to join the list: home and building automation companies. Long watched by Constructech magazine, the editors now see a shift happening in the market, one where the IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (artificial intelligence) are not only changing how construction builds, but also the very structures themselves.
As this trend continues, automation companies will be key to partner with. While this year, it was too soon to pick a few to join the list, the Constructech editors did do the research on the best automation companies currently in the market and compiled this list in a sidebar, for reference. Hopefully, this will help identify those automation leaders in the space, and perhaps a few of them will join the list in the years ahead.
One the pages that follow read the top 10 leading Constructech 50 companies highlighting why they were chosen and what makes them a great company. Each company on the list did the hard work to be a leader in the space and are the best technology companies serving construction.