Construction’s Best Software, Hardware, Tools, and Equipment Companies
Six. We started at 50. That’s the exact number of companies that have remained on the Constructech 50 since it’s inauguration in 2009. This illustrates how the construction-technology landscape continues to unfold. It also shows how companies are evolving and how the industry is consistently transforming itself. What’s more, this only proves that construction technology is stepping out of the shadows and is so dramatically different today than it was almost a decade ago. And here’s why: acquisitions, innovations, and stricter judging requirements.
No one doubts these constant changes in the construction technology market lead to immense competition and sometimes seems almost insurmountable hurdles for the construction industry. As technology companies acquire or as new innovation begins to emerge, it becomes difficult to keep pace with new technology solutions and to create a business model that is ripe for digital transformation.
This is the task of the CEO and CIO today: identify new opportunities for innovation, recognize and adapt to market changes, implement new technologies, and inspire and encourage workers to leverage innovation.
Being able to detect which companies will stand the test of time is challenging, with new, emerging solutions transforming and disrupting the status quo at every turn.
However, the good news is Constructech magazine has done the legwork for construction companies that are tech minded and have a real desire to keep pace with the ever-changing tide and scientific know-how. Months have been spent scrutinizing most of the technology companies in the space to identify the market leaders. Professors and industry advisors have been engaged and CIOs have been consulted and polled about their adoption usage. The end result has culminated in an impressive roster that will help construction professionals make the most informed buying decisions.
Evolving from Constructech’s Hottest Companies, which previously acknowledged the best, based on market success and growth for the preceding year, today’s Constructech 50 is a collection of the most prominent construction technology providers with a strong market presence as well as overall contributions to the industry as a whole.
The Constructech 50 is not a tally of the top technology products on the market or a list of largest revenue generators. Rather, it is ranking of the most demonstrative and influential technology firms with an eye on construction. They are not fixated on any one thing. They are well-rounded and more than one-trick ponies.
The Constructech 50 takes into consideration both public and private companies, evaluating technology transformation, company culture, future vision, and employee dynamics, just to name a few. Each year, Constructech magazine—with the guidance of some pretty smart people—assembles an annual club that each member brings something that is head and shoulders above all others. In most cases, these solution leaders are illustrating that they can not only stand the test of time, but they can reinvent it.
The Constructech 50 is not a tally of the top technology products on the market or a list of largest revenue generators. Rather, it is ranking of the most demonstrative and influential technology firms with an eye on construction.
As noted already, perhaps three of the biggest factors that have influenced the ranking are merger and acquisitions, disrupting rapid-fire innovation, and a greater adherence to quality and judging mandates. Mergers and acquisitions have had the most compelling impact changing the fundamental structure and altering the overall face of the list. Companies that have been acquired—but still operate independently—qualify to appear. Constructech has discovered that many of the acquired companies are operating independently long after the acquisition occurs. If a company continues to persevere independently, innovate, and drive change in the space, each individual operating company is still eligible to be named to the Constructech 50. As the Constructech 50 reveals, many M&As result in business organizations, or their operating units, to be transferred or combined as part of one company. In that case, the new company will appear on the list as a result of the transfer of ownership.
Consider the example of Trimble. Here are a few companies that previously appeared on the Constructech 50 independently, but now fall within the Trimble lexicon: Accubid Systems, e-Builder, Meridian Systems, Tekla, Vico Software, Viewpoint Construction Software, and WinEstimator. That is quite a handful companies that have been consolidated dating back to 2006—as a result of these acquisitions. See sidebar for a more comprehensive list of technology companies that have been replaced and now fall within other behemoths.
Perhaps as influential as acquisitions, another contributing factor to the dynamic nature of the Constructech 50 is new innovations in the market—and this takes many shapes and forms and perhaps is a driving force behind the transformation you might witness. In the past, the Constructech 50 represented the most innovative software players in the market. Today, it extends to hardware such as positioning systems and even drones, all the way to tool providers, equipment manufacturers, and rental companies. Technology is infiltrating every single component of a construction project—and this list truly reflects the shift in the connected jobsite.
Further, Silicon Valley is exploding with new tech startups aimed at creating connected innovations in this billion-dollar industry. Now, before Constructech magazine even entertains considering one of these new suppliers, they must meet all the criteria firmly outlined by the judges.
The final, and perhaps the most daunting, aspect having influenced the evaluation process this year is the stricter requirements mandated for the growing population of tech companies that are emerging every day. Today’s construction-technology providers need to pass three crucial hurdles before they were even considered: revenue, customers, and intangibles. All three of these areas were a requisite to making it to the next level.
Then, the editors underwent a rigorous judging process, which involved research, ongoing conversations with members of the Constructech editorial advisory board, and engaging in conversations with actual customers. Customers are truly the most telling—both on and off the record—about their experiences, service, support, and the overall likability of the company in question. The end result is the 2018 Constructech 50. Now to be clear, with this expansion and the new criteria, the list might be a tad longer. So while it is still the Constructech 50, the editors are taking their cue from the Big Ten, which in baseball, for instance, is really the Big 13 and basketball the Big 14. Thus, our list has grown slightly 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 a mighty M&A world 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.
On the pages that follow are expanded profiles that provide even more insight into some of these companies selected to the Constructech 50. Many hardware and software providers, equipment and tool manufacturers, and rental companies—or better yet, partners—are proving that they have what it takes to help take your construction company to the next level.
2018 Constructech 50
*Bold denotes the company has an expanded profile
Click on company to view expanded profile
Computer Guidance Corp.
Computer Presentation Systems
ECi Software Solutions
GCP Applied Technologies
Jonas Construction Software
Pantera Global Technology
RIB Software Ag
Stanley Black and Decker
Topcon Positioning Systems
Volvo Construction Equipment
Don’t See a Company on the List?
Chances are the company has been acquired and is now operating under a different name. Here is a list of some of the top companies that have been acquired and now operate under a company currently on the list.
Bentley Systems Acquired:
Underground Imaging Technologies
ECi Software Solutions Acquired:
Oglaend System Group
Great Plains Software
RIB Software Acquired:
Simpson Strong-Tie Acquired:
Stanley Black and Decker Acquired:
Topcon Positioning Systems Acquired:
Viasys VDC holdings
Trimble Navigation Acquired:
Viewpoint Construction Software