What your AEC firm can learn from Unanet's 2024 AEC Inspire Report

Dive into the 2024 AEC Inspire Report for vital insights and trends in the AEC industries, helping firms prepare for today and tomorrow’s challenges.

Every year, Unanet talks to many of the top minds from the worlds of architecture, engineering, or construction (AEC) about the state of their industries and how to better prepare for the challenges of the future.

We then compile this research into the AEC Inspire Report. It’s an easy-to-read guide full of valuable insights, actionable statistics, and detailed charts and graphs highlighting research findings that can help businesses better understand how to thrive in a competitive landscape.

I’m excited to share that the 2024 AEC Inspire Report is here. This year’s title is "Operating for Today, Preparing for Tomorrow." It’s packed with insights your AEC firm can take action on right now.

You’ll get maximum value by reading the entire report, but before you do, let’s take a look at some of the key highlights and themes from this year’s AEC Inspire Report.

What is the AEC Inspire Report?

The AEC Inspire Report is an in-depth exploration of industry insights, best practices, and benchmarks gathered from Unanet's comprehensive survey of hundreds of AEC industry leaders. It highlights key areas of opportunity as well as common challenges within the AEC industries – particularly related to forecasting, resourcing, and data maturity.

The report examines how the perspectives of key AEC firm decision-makers have evolved. It uncovers what key priorities are critical for top performers as well as which factors contribute the most to organizational progress. Additionally, it doesn’t call for a one-size-fits-all approach to running a project-based firm – it discusses how your experience may differ depending on segment sector and size.

Who provided input for the 2024 AEC Inspire Report?

This year's survey respondents comprised 337 senior-level professionals from AEC organizations, with:

  • 40% of the respondents came from the construction industry, 38% hailed from construction, and 20% were from architecture
  • An even spread across small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises
  • Nearly half holding senior leadership roles such as owner, principal, or partner
  • Over 75% being directors or higher

This level of cross-industry representation means that no matter what your firm’s size or scope, you can stand to benefit from reviewing and apply this research to your firm.

Key insights from the 2024 AEC Inspire Report

The entire AEC Inspire Report is filled with useful information you can use to help guide your business, but at a high level, here’s a quick look at some of the overarching themes we identified:

Embracing technology and data

The AEC industries are experiencing a pivotal shift towards embracing technological progress and data-centered strategies. Firms using advanced technology show greater resilience and are well-prepared for future obstacles to success.

AI maturity and data proficiency

Artificial Intelligence (AI) maturity and data proficiency serve as key measures of progress within AEC firms. A growing number of firms are adopting AI, emphasizing predictive, generative, and computational capabilities to help support their people and the way they do business.

Forecasting is imperative

The ability to look ahead is a key driver for firms that want to separate themselves from their competitors. Accurate forecasting related to cash flow, labor resources, and project cost is highlighted as a must.

Key metrics and challenges

Being able to measure your success has never been more critical. The study stresses key metrics related to project management, finance, and accounting, and discusses associated challenges like billing, collections, and profitability.

Finding and retaining talent

It isn’t getting any easier to find and hire talented performers. Recruitment, retention, and resourcing all represent primes issues contributing to escalating talent considerations across all AEC industries.

Tech maturity levels

The more mature an AEC firm is from a technological standpoint, the better off it will be to navigate the challenges of the future. Tech maturity levels can significantly influence forecasting practices, technology adoption rates, and innovation strategies.

Sector-specific analysis

The report dives into a detailed analysis of multiple AEC sectors, and the unique challenges facing each. For example:

  • Architecture firms remain reliant on personal connections for business growth
  • Engineering firms face challenges in recruitment and resource forecasting but show promise in the area of AI implementation
  • Construction firms continue to demonstrate optimism and financial stability

The findings above represent only surface-level insights. By reading the report in its entirety, you’ll gain access to so much more valuable information from AEC industry leaders – many of whom occupy a position as an industry leader that your firm may want to be in.

Why you need to read the AEC Inspire Report today

Discover what some of the top minds from the AEC industries think about positioning themselves for a more successful future.

You’ll learn what opportunities they foresee as well as challenges they view as the most important to overcome.

And you’ll read about what the best firms of all sizes are doing to build successful but sustainable project-based businesses.

There’s no reason to wait – the 2024 AEC Inspire Report is available now, and it’s free to read. Download your copy of the 2024 AEC Inspire Report: "Operating for Today, Preparing for Tomorrow” today.