A Dodge Data & Analytics survey conducted with support from Command Alkon, Birmingham, Ala., and three other technology partners finds that heavy civil contractors, despite Covid-19 staff and project impacts, are generally optimistic about business conditions through 2021. The sentiments of 99 heavy civil practitioners contrast with more cautious views commercial contractors expressed in companion Dodge research conducted in the second quarter.
|Dodge Data & Analytics is providing the publication to the industry free of charge, the premier edition posted at www.infotechinc.com/thecivilquarterly.|
Of the heavy civil contractors responding to the latest Dodge Data survey, 56 percent have a high level of confidence about the market’s ability to provide new business opportunities for the next 12 months, increasing to 63 percent for a two-year outlook. Contractors in nonbuilding segments appear to be satisfied with their present backlog level; calculated at 92, it reflects an average month reported to average ideal backlog ratio. Commercial contractors responding to a tandem Dodge market outlook survey had a ratio of average current to ideal backlog of 73.
The heavy civil market research reveals two areas of concern over the next six to 12 months: 38 percent of contractors expect profit margins to decrease versus 29 percent expecting increases; and, 60 percent of survey respondents cite a high level of difficulty finding skilled workers and 53 percent expect the cost of skilled workers to climb. The latter factor compels 43 percent of heavy civil contractors surveyed to see challenges meeting project budgets.
The survey anchors Dodge Data’s premier edition of The Civil Quarterly, with partners Command Alkon plus Digital Construction Works, a technology integrating venture of Bentley Systems and Topcon Positioning Systems; Info Tech Inc., a Gainesville, Fla. specialist in technology tools for infrastructure professionals and agencies; and, surveying giant Leica Geosystems, Norcross, Ga. Based on original research, the periodical provides a snapshot of the current business health of contractors and engineers operating in a dynamic environment. The inaugural TCQ explores how technology is transforming civil jobsites and the prevalence of key safety practices. Findings behind research show what authors see as an industry adjusting well to the impacts of the global pandemic, yet cautious about the bottom line.
DUMP FLEET IT INTEGRATION
Command Alkon has announced a partnership with Texas-based Ruckit Inc., a collaborative transportation management software provider for aggregate and asphalt dump truck fleets, with an eye to eliminating paper ticket handling, speeding invoice reconciliation, raising record-keeping precision, and enabling back-office personnel to focus on more productive tasks.
“This marks another step forward for the digitization of the heavy civil and construction materials industries,” says Ruckit CEO Tarun Nimmagadda. “Ruckit and Command Alkon’s partnership was forged on the jobsite and in service of companies that purchase heavy materials. Our combined industry and technical knowledge will foster new opportunities for construction companies to operate with real-time visibility and boost productivity and profitability to new levels.”
Users will be able to receive digitized materials ticket data in real-time from their suppliers by connecting Command Alkon’s Connex platform to Ruckit’s TicketPro solution, removing the time delays associated with manual entry and scanning paper tickets. “Each manual touchpoint of a paper ticket introduces new opportunities for inaccuracies, wasted time, and mistakes that almost inevitably arise when jobs are not effectively synchronized,” notes Command Alkon Business Development Representative Justin Mannina. “We are excited for the opportunity to help Ruckit’s customers through this integration by reducing time collecting information from the field and reducing errors and admin hours by eliminating the need to re-key information into office systems.”