Canadian Consulting Engineer

Survey finds civil engineering firms share data widely

September 2, 2016

Results also show trends in companies' confidence, adoption of technologies, and key challenges

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

IMAGINIT Technologies has published the results of a survey of 275 individuals across the U.S. and Canada who work in the field of civil surveying.

The survey was carried out over two weeks in May. It covered a wide range of questions related to everything from the adoption of BIM, to how often companies share information on projects, and what they see as the main competitive challenges.

Among the key findings were:

Firms share project data widely
A full 86% of the respondents said that they share data with everyone who is involved in their projects. That number applies whether it is sharing the information with people inside the company or outside. In aggregate almost 75% said they share project data “nearly all the time” or “most of the time.” Over half the respondents tend to provide PDFs rather than drawings.

Expanded services
Compared to 2015 civil engineering and surveying companies are expanding their portfolio of services. For example, this year it found that 8.4% more participants in the survey were offering services to municipalities, and 15% more participants are offering surveying and land development services. This year 9.7% more were offering reality capture services, and 18.4% plan to add this service into their portolios.

Technologies being used
The survey showed that 97% of the firms are using CAD, while 62.1% are also using 3D modelling and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

For design, the survey showed that 67% are using Civil 3D, a 17.8% increase compared to last year. AutoCAD use had decreased by 15.4%. Other programs used included Infrastructure Design Suite (8%), Microstation (4.7%) , and Land Desktop (3%).

Companies seem confident
The survey showed that close to half (47%) of the firms plan to increase their staff over the next year.

Challenges to completing projects on time and budget
When asked to say what were the biggest obstacles on projects, respondents identified three big issues:
– communication and collaboration (22.9%)
– scope creep and client revisions (22.1%)
– software and hardware issues (17.1%)
Other factors named  as obstacles include:  a lack of staff training (15.7%), tight turnaround (15.7%), understaffing and too many projects (9.3%).

Project pricing and competition continue to be top challenges
The biggest challenges in terms of finding new business continue to be related to competition from other firms charging lower prices. The survey found 38.9% of the respondents provided this answer.

IMAGINIT is a Rand Worldwide Company that provides training and expertise in AutoCAD software programs to engineering companies who work in buildings, civil engineering , mapping and manufacturing.


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