Congress is on track to serve up a $1.2 trillion dollar pie. And with massive slices of funding dedicated to all things infrastructure, there’s going to be a strong need for civil engineering and land surveying firms to provide the assessment and design services - everything from transportation to environmental planning - required for all of these projects. When the impending Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act becomes official, there will be plenty of projects and funds to go around. Is your company ready to grab a slice?
Now’s the time to get your current and future projects on track and shift your business strategies so you’re prepared. But maybe you’re already having a hard time keeping up with your current workflow and getting projects out on time. Or, maybe you’re wondering how your small firm will be able to compete with the number of other firms who are sure to be as interested as you are.
Here are five tips for maneuvering your firm into a competitive position to bid on and win new infrastructure projects:
1. Get informed and network
As you’ve probably seen, the proposed funding is broken down into several broad infrastructure categories, which will then be distributed to states through specific formulas. Are you aware of which locations and sectors within your company’s region and expertise stand to benefit the most?
Begin looking into how and where the funds will be spent as well as what bidding requirements you need to be mindful of. Read up on the bill and network with your local government, DOT, or other organizations who will be the first to know the “what, when, and where” of what’s on the horizon. This way, you won’t get caught scrambling to put together a last-minute proposal or be blindsided by specific federal guidelines.
2. Position your firm for success
Based on your research, you should be able to obtain a good idea of how and where funds will be directed. Armed with this knowledge, you can then begin shifting personnel and assets to different satellite offices or specific departments within your company (i.e. surveying, site development, water resources, environmental, transportation, etc.), so your firm can be in the best position possible and prepared to capitalize on upcoming projects.
3. Don’t be afraid to outsource
If you’re struggling to get projects out the door on time and a limited budget is holding you up from getting more work, consider outsourcing as a way to increase production without blowing the budget. In small firms, outsourcing overhead work, like accounting or IT, can free up valuable time for employees to provide billable core services. Additionally, outsourcing drafting or specific engineering services can allow you to tackle more projects without directly hiring more junior-level employees or high-cost specialists in-house.
Bringing in third parties can understandably be uncomfortable, but going in prepared can help you keep tabs on the quality of your final deliverables. Do your research, get recommendations, have a communication plan, and make sure the company you hire shares your same values and vision.
4. Highlight your thought leadership
There are bound to be a number of firms similar to yours also interested in bidding on these upcoming infrastructure projects - how will you make sure you stand out? Taking note of current trends and shifting your business or marketing strategies to capitalize on them can help set you apart.
Companies are interested in working with firms that think outside the narrow scope of their services and value ideals like sustainability, diversity, and technological advances. How are you making a difference in your industry or community? Does your company use electric vehicles in its fleet? Or maybe you’ve developed a strong diversity and inclusion program or have invested in a brand-new technology that not many other firms are using. Start highlighting your thought leadership and how you are making a difference beyond just your services.
5. Invest in technology
Begin researching and investing in new technologies and training that can make your firm more competitive. This can range from hardware your company uses to save time and money on projects, such as drones, to software and learning tools that allow your team to competently specify the latest in design and construction, such as new roadway technologies.
While upfront costs for technology purchases are always hard to swallow and justify, price tags may be easier to handle knowing there is a slew of potential infrastructure projects coming down the pipe. Investing in the right technology means your firm will be well-positioned to bid on and win projects, hopefully ensuring your ventures pay off.
AirWorks is here to help your firm be more competitive in the face of upcoming infrastructure projects and bids. Surveying and developing the initial topographic and site plans are crucial to getting every project started on the right foot in terms of time and budget. Contact AirWorks to learn how integrating autonomous CAD drafting software into your future projects can be a cost-effective way to boost the value and efficiency of your surveying and civil engineering services.
Learn more here: www.airworks.io