Majority of Construction Businesses Want to Improve Estimating Practices: Survey

Improving estimating procedures in 2015 snagged top spot on the list of what construction companies want to do better this year.
Nearly 30% of respondents said having better estimating procedures in place was at the top of their priority list for improving business practices according to an online survey done by ProEst Software.

Coming in a close second to that was better management of projects with 25% of respondents choosing that option. Improving resource management came in third with 14%.


Most construction businesses seem to have a positive outlook going into 2015, with 54% saying they believe general economic growth will be the single biggest driver of economic growth for them, an overwhelming majority. That was followed by urban renewal and expansion, garnering 23% of the votes.

Profit and Projects

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they believed their profit margins would be increasing in 2015 and 32% said they expected them to stay the same. Only about 10% said they expected their profit margins to decrease in 2015.

People were also expecting projects to increase in the new year, with 63% saying they expected their work backlogs to grow while just over a quarter said they expected their backlog to stay the same and just over 11% said their work backlogs would decrease.

Housing came in on top of industries where people expected to see the most growth, with over 20% of people indicating housing was likely to see the most growth. Healthcare came in second with 16.5% of respondents believing that sector would lead in growth while office/retail construction came in third with almost 13% of votes.

Individual Business Growth

When asked what they believed would be the key factor to growth for their respective companies in 2015, efficient risk management took top spot with about 32%, marketing and advertising came in second with just over 14% and tailored IT systems that will make work more efficient rounded out the top three with just under 13%.

Expansion looks to be on the horizon for many companies this year, with 47% saying they expected to expand by a small margin, and 23% saying they were planning significant expansion. Another 24% said they were expecting no expansion, 4.5% said they were planning on downsizing by a small margin and less than 1% said they’d be downsizing significantly.

Barriers to Growth

As for the biggest barriers to growth that they foresee in 2015, just under 40% of respondents said lack of skilled workers to fill positions would hamper growth while 21% said lack of availability of private sector funding would hamper growth and 18% said budget deficits in public funding could potentially dampen growth.

The construction industry appears to be full of optimism heading into 2015, with expansion, continued economic growth and expansion on the minds of most. However, lack of skilled workers is still an obvious trend that needs to be addressed in the new year. See what ProEst has to offer, like our electrical estimating software.