AEC Execs Thaw Out at PGA Event, But Say Private Sector to Remain in Deep Freeze

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After recently hosting AEC executives at a PGA event in Doral, Florida, Morrissey Goodale principal Mark Goodale shares insights on the industry's 2010 prospects based on conversations with attendees from representative firms.

Morrissey Goodale LLC, a leading management consulting and research firm serving the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, recently hosted 30 AEC and private equity firm executives at the 2010 CA Golf Championship in Doral, Florida.

"Throughout the tournament, we had the privilege of spending quality time with the presidents and CEOs of some of the top firms in, and directly connected to, our industry," says Mark Goodale, principal. "It was a great opportunity for them to soak in some sunshine and exhale after what has been a tumultuous couple of years. These folks are under a lot of pressure and have, what feels like to them, the weight of the world on their shoulders. It was a great venue for them to get away from it all for a few days."

While wandering the "Blue Monster" golf course and following some of the best golfers in the world, Goodale had numerous casual conversations with the executives from which he drew the following conclusions:

Private sector is on ice for three years. "Most of the executives we spoke with don't see the private sector coming back for about three years," says Goodale. "Lending will remain tight for private-sector projects for at least that long."

A/E firms are redefining the word "success". Goodale says, "Several principals see surviving the downturn and positioning for the upturn as the new definition for success. Doubling growth over a five-year period had been a common vision for A/E firms over the last several years. But now firms are focusing a lot more energy on planning for the next 12 to 24 months, and managing a more moderate rate of growth over the long term."

Flourishing firms are chasing relationships, not projects. "As rough as the road has been, the AEC industry still has its share of success stories," says Goodale. "Whether it's the Florida office of a Northeast-based A/E firm that's beginning to catch fire or a West Coast power engineering firm that has more work than it can handle, 2010 will prove to be a banner year for select firms that excel at building client relationships versus simply chasing projects."

About Morrissey Goodale LLC

Morrissey Goodale LLC is a leading management consulting firm serving the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. Headquarters are located at Riverside Center 275 Grove Street, Suite 2-400, Newton MA, 02466. The company can be reached at 508-650-0040 or on the web at

Marie Kelfer

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