April 30, 2012
Deltek Report Shows Upward Trends in the A/E Industry
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

Deltek Report Shows Upward Trends in the A/E Industry

By Susan Smith

In a recent interview with Bob Stalilonis, Senior Solutions Architect and Michael Klaus, Product Director, they outlined the Deltek Annual Comprehensive Clarity Report for the architecture and engineering (A/E) industry.

The report found better numbers in some areas. From 2010 numbers for the smaller firms for 1 – 50 people went from 3.1 to 2.8. The mid-size firms had an equivalent drop and the most significant shortfall was with the large of a   .7 drop in multiplier, to 2.6 in 2011 from 3.3 in 2010.

“When we look at a specific type of firm the architects held steady with a 3.0 multiplier, engineering firms saw the biggest shortfall with 3.2 to 2.7, which was very substantial in terms of profit margins and overall performance,” said Klaus. 

More than 40% of respondents think that the private sector will grow. More than 70% of firms expect to invest in information management systems, which Stalilonis says is due the emergence of mobile tools and a move away from planned investments in design and documentation solutions.

38% of larger, high performing firms think that an international strategy is very important

High performing firms reported a lower overhead rate of 160% compared to 163% for all other organizations. Within those overhead costs, the biggest disparity was in marketing, where average firms spend 4.5% of total revenues on marketing, 32% more than the top firms.

These are overall financial performance trends. Also surveyed were participants’ projections into the future. In the overall survey of North America of mostly U.S. and Canadian firms that things are getting better than they were in late 2008.

“Architects typically are the prime on contracts so their development costs and promotional costs are higher,” said Klaus.  “They’re not quite as chargeable to work so they’re spending more.  Their labor ratios are higher and their overhead is higher. They start with higher revenue multiples.”

Firms of all types in A/E are running out of ways to cut costs, while still looking for ways to be market focused and articulate better value propositions. As the economy improves, they’re going to be adding more costs, adding more prospects, and adding more employees, wanting to do that in an effective way.

The green building initiative has grown. A year ago, 1 in 5 A/E firms said they were a source of income and now that has changed to 1 in 4.

According to companies such as Bentley and Autodesk the energy footprint is being integrated into all of design.

The international marketplace is not as strongly perceived as in prior years, but still significant for larger companies.

It is an element within globalization and the U.S. market will become more competitive.

In the area of investment and technology, 60-70% of firms expect to invest in information management systems that are considered a part of international and globalization.  “Companies want to be more effective and sharing across the globe,” said Stalilonis. There is also a move toward production systems that are well interfaced or integrated so the end user is seeing single instance of all information in one place.

Top News of the Week

Autodesk, Inc. has unveiled a new Consulting System Integrator (CSI) Partner Program to help grow Autodesk’s global business network and meet increasing customer demand for an integrated technology and process offering. The program is intended to help professionals realize the benefits of connected workflows in Autodesk design and creation suites for building, entertainment, engineering, construction, infrastructure, product, plant and factory design.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated, announced the release of Bentley Descartes V8i (SELECTseries 3) – 3D modeling that combines point clouds, raster imagery, and geometry. The resulting models expand the utility of point clouds by supporting hybrid design workflows that deliver “as-operated” 3D models to serve the operations and maintenance needs of owner-operators. By uniquely enabling hypermodeling – the intuitive navigation of as-operated models in 3D context that includes engineering information in any form – Bentley is committed to enhancing infrastructure safety and resilience while increasing owner-operators’ returns on their
engineering investments.


Nemetschek Allplan mapolis.com, network and navigator for architecture, construction and real estate, have formed a strategic alliance. The aim of the partnership is to provide Allplan users with the rapid and direct possibility of presenting their projects and references on the Internet and exchanging details with potential clients, planning partners, or other colleagues. As part of a wide-ranging package of resources and services, the concept of “Designed by Allplan” can be created, for example, an interactive reference database with Allplan projects from all over the world. And with “Working with Allplan” planning agencies working with the BIM
software can also be provided with an introduction.


Research and Markets announced the addition of John Wiley and Sons Ltd's new book "BIM for Building Owners and Developers: Making a Business Case for Using BIM on Projects" to their offering.

How to Use BIM to Develop Strategies, Expedite Projects, Improve Outcomes, and Save Money:

BIM is far more than an "upgrade" to the latest CAD software. It is a process improve-ment tool that leverages data to analyze and predict outcomes throughout the different phases of the building life cycle. The time for a building owner to get involved with the BIM process is not at the end of the building project but from the very beginning.

Building on the global success of
Build London Live 2008 and 2009, organizers Asite and AEC3 will once again bring together BIM practitioners across the globe in a showcase of their collaborative design and engineering talent and collaborative BIM capabilities.

Kicking off at noon, May 21st; the online event will continue through to noon, May 23rd, concluding ahead of the BuildingSmart International executive briefing in London where the winners will be announced via a live webinar feed.

Bringing Design Professionals Together 

Design professionals and experts in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) will join together online in a team competition to create the most elegant solutions based on a time-constrained design brief.  Each team will be allocated a unique plot in a common design context with 48 hours to contribute to an ambitious master plan for a site in the heart of the 2012 Olympic city. 

Build London Live 2012 will again redefine the standards expected from design competitions by creating the world's most collaborative Building Information Model (BIM) with combined talent from all over the world. Previous winners include BIM Vikings (Norway), BIM Japan, Super Team Singapore, Ryder Architecture (UK), 3D Blueprint (India), Southern Axis (Chile), University of Nebraska – Lincoln (USA), Teams BIM Education (USA) and Food for Thot (USA).

Register for free as a participant or observer

Autodesk, Inc. is enhancing the
Autodesk Partner Advantage Program to better enable the company’s already prominent global partner network to sell a more complete range of Autodesk Design Suites, Autodesk 360 services and Autodesk Subscription.

New Products

To further increase project, program and user productivity,
Oracle announced the availability of Oracle User Productivity Kit for Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) and Oracle User Productivity Kit for Oracle's Primavera Contract Management, Business Intelligence Publisher Edition.

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