Canadian Consulting Engineer

Staying The Course On Engineering Procurement (May 01, 2009)

ACEC member firms in most provinces have reported significant downturns in some key business sectors, including mining and land development, and many people in our industry believe that the worst is y...

May 1, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

ACEC member firms in most provinces have reported significant downturns in some key business sectors, including mining and land development, and many people in our industry believe that the worst is yet to come. Just when we had become accustomed to managing our businesses in boom times, we now have to re-learn how to manage in recessionary times.

For many of the younger members of our industry this will be their first experience of hard times, and will come as a shock. But, as those who have lived through past recessions will know, economic crises can often create new opportunities.

Over the past few years consulting engineering firms have found it difficult to recruit sufficient qualified staff to meet client demands. Now, suddenly there are well-qualified candidates applying for vacancies, and many consultants will take the opportunity to recruit for those hard-to-fill positions, so that they are better prepared for the next business surge.

Governments around the world have introduced economic stimulus packages focusing on infrastructure and development. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has compiled a list of these, which can be accessed via a link on the ACEC website. Export Development Canada (EDC) has announced an expansion of its mandate and greater financial flexibility to support Canadian exporters. And at the same time, there is now open discussion about the possibility that the Canadian International Development Agency’s Industrial Co-operation Program (CIDA INC) may be relocated to DFAIT, where it would have the support of Canada’s international network of pro-business Trade Commissioners. Consulting firms with specialised skills to offer will no doubt use the recession as their opportunity to initiate or increase their international business activities.

CHRIS NEWCOMB, P. ENG., CHAIR, ASSOCIAtION Of CANAdIAN ENGINEERING COMPANIES (ACEC)


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