Over the past ten years, I have gained much insight into the construction consulting industry. I’ve learned that big, blue chip clients have become increasingly dissatisfied with the level of service being provided by large advisory firms. The major causes of that dissatisfaction relate to the following factors:
1. Clients often perceive that the highly paid consulting firms have lost touch with the market place and supply chain in the real estate and construction industry. While the consultants prepare “pretty” reports, they risk being looked at more as academic research providers.
2. Clients want current construction costs, cost trends, equipment pricing, materials pricing trends and labor productivity data. The large firms are often unable to provide this information because they are far removed from the “ACTION” of the construction supply chain.
3. The consultants at the big advisory shops lose their effectiveness over time because in their advisory roles, they are not directly engaged in managing or overseeing projects. Their skill sets atrophy or become stale.
4. Often, advisers are many years removed from negotiating contracts, bidding projects and scrutinizing bids. This erodes their value to their clients. The strategic management of the bidding and procurement process requires that those spearheading the process stay current with:
– Real estate and construction economics.
– Bidding and procurement methodologies.
– Supply chain economic trends.
– Labor trends.
– Materials costs.
– Equipment manufacturers.
– Technology innovation in construction.
– New standards in energy efficiency.
– New standards sustainable design.
– The current health of LOCAL CMs, GCs and subcontractors.
– Construction lenders.
– Real estate private equity trends.
– Real estate mezzanine lenders.
– Shifts in the A/E consulting industry.
The larger consulting firms are constantly restructuring because they cannot achieve the above easily. They are not nimble and are often detached from the rapidly changing dynamics of the real estate and construction industry.