Industry News

Construction contractors remain cautiously optimistic a year after the industry’s post-pandemic comeback started in earnest, according to the 2022 Marcum National Construction Survey.  Contractors reported being buoyed by the federal infrastructure bill, growing backlogs, and other tailwinds. The annual survey is conducted by Marcum LLP, one of the leading construction accounting firms in the country. The survey covers Read more

Construction contractors remain cautiously optimistic a year after the industry’s post-pandemic comeback started in earnest, according to the 2022 Marcum National Construction Survey.  Contractors reported being buoyed by the federal infrastructure bill, growing backlogs, and other tailwinds.

The annual survey is conducted by Marcum LLP, one of the leading construction accounting firms in the country. The survey covers a range of topics, from top priorities to problems, strategies, possible solutions, and the lingering effects of the pandemic. 2022 is the third iteration of the national industry study.

Among this year’s key findings, close to 60% of respondents said they expect more opportunity in the future, up from 54% in 2021.  More than half (69%) expect the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to have a positive financial impact for their businesses.

The industry’s upbeat outlook is also supported by a significant increase in backlogs, with 48% of respondents (up from 29% in 2021) reporting higher backlogs than the previous year.

“Broadly speaking, the construction industry is finally returning to pre-pandemic levels of activity but is still being hampered by three familiar challenges – labor shortages, material costs and availability, and supply chain issues,” said Marcum Partner Roger Gingerich, who leads the Firm’s Midwest construction practice. “Most respondents are positioning for growth and looking for ways to thrive in a very dynamic space. This includes an uptick in joint ventures, something we think makes sense given the difficulties in securing skilled labor and materials in a sector where there is both high demand and deep competition.”

Selected Highlights

Some other key finds of the 2022 report include the following:

  • Construction companies report that their finances remained solid, with just 13% of respondents saying it had become more difficult to obtain financing and the majority saying their access to capital was the same or improved.
  • Material price volatility remained the #1 top issue for construction company executives, followed by healthcare and insurance costs. Workers’ compensation issues jumped to No. 3, edging out income taxes.
  • 95% of respondents increased worker pay to combat labor shortages. Of those, 67% offered raises of 4% or more, and 13% increased compensation by more than 8%.
  • 27% percent of respondents are filling skills gaps by forming or considering joint ventures.
  • The number of respondents considering an ESOP more than doubled from the prior survey, and the number of ESOP companies increased by 5%.
  • Companies restructuring for growth climbed from 28% in 2021 to 40% this year. 23% of respondents said they are seeking M&A opportunities, up from 13% a year ago.
  • 49% of respondents said they were working on larger projects in 2021 and just 11% reported that the average job size had decreased.
  • 89% said jobs were delayed by material shortages, labor shortages, or both at some point during the year.

“Mergers & and acquisitions (M&A) deal value in the global construction sector nearly doubled last year, and that mirrors what we’re seeing among our clients. We’re also seeing better structure around those deals, indicating increased sophistication in these transactions,” said Joseph Natarelli, national leader of Marcum’s Construction Services practice and office managing partner in New Haven, CT. “Ongoing high backlogs are increasing the attractiveness of the construction sector for private equity. Supply chain issues and material cost increases are making it more advantageous for bigger players to pool purchasing power, while shortages of skilled labor and increasing specialization are both driving consolidation within the trades. Finally, many construction companies are emerging from the pandemic without a succession plan, and M&A is an option for them.”

For the complete survey, visit www.marcumllp.com/construction 

About Marcum’s Construction Services Group

Ranked among the top construction accounting firms in the U.S., Marcum LLP’s Construction Services group provides audit, consulting, and taxation services to clients ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar enterprises. The group’s professionals are frequent industry authors and speakers and serve as technical reviewers for the AICPA’s construction audit and taxation guides. Marcum’s construction group also publishes several definitive industry resources – including the annual Marcum National Construction Survey, the quarterly Marcum Commercial Construction Index, the Marcum PAS Contractor Compensation Quarterly, and the annual Marcum JOLTS Analysis of construction employment trends – and presents an ongoing series of industry summits and technical webinars focused on the unique needs of construction contractors.

The premier training provider for the service industry equips HVACR instructors and apprentices across the U.S. with the top tech-enablement platform XOi Technologies, a leading provider of technician-focused technology solutions, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada (UA) announce a partnership that delivers XOi’s Read more

The premier training provider for the service industry equips HVACR instructors and apprentices across the U.S. with the top tech-enablement platform

XOi Technologies, a leading provider of technician-focused technology solutions, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada (UA) announce a partnership that delivers XOi’s innovative AI-based tech-enablement solution to HVACR instructors and registered service apprentices across the United States.

The UA and XOi announce a partnership that equips HVACR instructors and apprentices across the U.S. with the top tech-enablement platform.

“XOi combines many critical functions for UA instructors and apprentices and other field professionals in a single platform,” said UA training specialist Robert Vilches. “In addition to its streamlined workflows and best-in-class data indexing and analytics, XOi keeps UA apprentices and instructors connected in the field and provides instructors with unrivaled insight into how students perform on the job. And XOi’s first-to-market virtual mentor support extends training from the classroom to the jobsite, so apprentices can continue to learn while they’re in the field.”

XOi’s deep data cataloging capabilities, advanced AI-driven analytics, and intuitive remote support options enhance the value of UA’s training programs, giving the organization resources to help contractors close the skilled labor gap.

“This partnership is an opportunity to maximize the UA’s proven training programs and to strategically extend XOi’s position as a top innovator in the industry,” said Aaron Salow, founder and CEO of XOi. “By equipping their apprentices and instructors with our powerful solutions, the UA is empowering the next generation of skilled labor talent with in-depth, hands-on education that will help contractors face the continuing labor shortage in the service industry.”

XOi’s advanced cloud-based solution allows field service technicians to utilize, aggregate and analyze critical job data and maximize customer value through industry-leading efficiency, accuracy and accountability. With a full suite of standardized workflows, job documentation capabilities, and technician training and enablement solutions, teams can build deep and easily accessible institutional knowledge bases that support real-time decision-making and data-based continuity. Service teams can apply these extensive data-science capabilities to analyze those foundational elements and strategically respond to evolving data trends and forecasts.

The UA represents 355,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters, service technicians and welders across North America. The UA offers the premier training programs available in the industry today, including five-year apprenticeship programs, extensive journeyman training, a comprehensive five-year instructor training program, and numerous certification programs. The UA helps signatory contractors grow their market share by identifying new opportunities, providing support, and connecting them to the safest, skilled, and most highly trained workforce in the industry.

For more information about XOi, visit https://xoi.io.

For more information about UA, visit https://ua.org.

ServiceBot™ combines operational data and artificial intelligence to interact with prospects, creating new home services customers during the first online interaction WorkWave®, a leading provider of SaaS software solutions that support every stage of a service business’s life cycle, has announced the launch of ServiceBot, a highly successful sales automation tool which makes e-commerce easy via Read more

ServiceBot™ combines operational data and artificial intelligence to interact with prospects, creating new home services customers during the first online interaction

WorkWave®, a leading provider of SaaS software solutions that support every stage of a service business’s life cycle, has announced the launch of ServiceBot, a highly successful sales automation tool which makes e-commerce easy via an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled chatbot that lives on a company’s website. Formerly known as Lawnbot, ServiceBot will now be available for all service industries, from lawn care to pest control to cleaning, and more.

“At WorkWave, we have made a promise to propel the industries we lead forward, and this means continuing to deliver innovation that helps our customers win and outpace their competition — ServiceBot clearly does that,” says WorkWave CEO David F. Giannetto. “ServiceBot is the first use of AI technology within WorkWave platforms and solutions, and opens the door across the entire portfolio to incorporate this type of technology into other areas that drive operational efficiency or improve the customer experience. Hundreds of our customers are already using ServiceBot to generate new customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

ServiceBot shows the power of WorkWave’s business model, and its recent expansion to lead multiple industries, by bringing its greater resources to bear, helping Lawnbot to evolve into ServiceBot which can now support any home service business. ServiceBot automates the sales process and allows consumers to purchase, schedule and pay for service visits right on their website, through AI-driven, human-like interactions. ServiceBot is seamlessly integrated into WorkWave’s industry-leading platforms including Real Green SA5 and is currently being integrated into PestPac, with ServMan and WinTeam soon to come.

With ServiceBot, customers can offer service to potential customers at any moment. As a mobile device-friendly, 24-hour, one-stop-shop sales automation tool, ServiceBot is able to sell to customers wherever they are, at any time.

Notable ServiceBot features include:

  • Complete branding aligned with individual businesses
  • Real-time pricing tables to ensure the most accurate quotes
  • Optimization for mobile users
  • Safe, secure payment acceptance
  • A detailed dashboard to see all sales and lead data in real time
  • Ability to generate great reviews with ReviewBot
  • Sales enablement across 25 different service categories

To learn more about ServiceBot, visit goservicebot.com.

The No. 1 price generating software company helps business owners simplify sales process and increase cashflow The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, has announced a partnership with OPTIMUS Financing by EGIA, the all-in-one financing and leasing platform for the home service industry, that will empower contractors with the ability Read more

The No. 1 price generating software company helps business owners simplify sales process and increase cashflow

The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, has announced a partnership with OPTIMUS Financing by EGIA, the all-in-one financing and leasing platform for the home service industry, that will empower contractors with the ability to offer multiple financing options to their customers.

As part of the dealer-financing program, the program will enable participating dealers to select from multiple financing options that best align with their organizational structure and sales process.

“Funding projects can be burdensome for both the contractor and the customers, and it shouldn’t be” said Danielle Putnam, president of The New Flat Rate. “For the contractors helping their customers, it can be time consuming. For the customers, finding the money to complete the project can be stressful. With this partnership with OPTIMUS Financing, we are helping contractors by offering them a tool that will give them the ability to finance their customers right on the spot.”

The New Flat Rate’s software provides a variety of menus that instantly give prices for repairs and supplies the customer with multiple options to choose from. These menus help decrease the stress of selling services while also increasing profits for the contractor.

OPTIMUS Financing is the comfort industry’s most comprehensive dealer-driven financing program, facilitating financing of over $750 million per year. Dedicated to matching the right finance program for a diverse customer base, OPTIMUS uses soft pull technology to quickly help a customer find the right lending or leasing options.

“OPTIMUS Financing provides pathways that cover a wide range of credit profiles through a single platform,” said Matthew Bratsis, vice president of contractor services for EGIA and creator of the OPTIMUS Financing Program. “Through this partnership, EGIA is gaining access to a plethora of contractors who can utilize our program to help their customers with funding for future projects. We share a common goal with The New Flat Rate, and together we can make the lives of the contractors easier by providing their customers with an easier path toward financial options that best suit them.”

For more information about The New Flat Rate, please visit https://thenewflatrate.com/.

For more information about the OPTIMUS Financing program, please visit https://optimusfinancing.com/.

For the second year, National Backflow Prevention Day on August 16, 2022, recognizes the role of backflow prevention and cross-connection control and those who install, maintain, and test backflow preventers. It marks the day in 1933 when a backflow incident occurred at a Chicago hotel resulting in 98 deaths and 2,000 illnesses. The incident led Read more

For the second year, National Backflow Prevention Day on August 16, 2022, recognizes the role of backflow prevention and cross-connection control and those who install, maintain, and test backflow preventers.

It marks the day in 1933 when a backflow incident occurred at a Chicago hotel resulting in 98 deaths and 2,000 illnesses. The incident led to the founding of the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research and to new safe plumbing regulations for backflow assemblies.

Watts will mark the day by hosting a live-stream event on its YouTube channel focused on sustainability in backflow prevention.

To learn more about National Backflow Prevention Day and how to observe it, go to National Day Archives – National Backflow Prevention Day. Also, those interested in marking the day can use the official logo and apply the hashtag #BackflowDay on social media.