Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
As you hopefully read in our Sain Strategic Planning blog post last week, a huge part of our planning involves interviewing about 50 clients and individuals in our network every year. We try our best to get a cross section of the industry and hear from people in all the markets we work in, such as the public, private and government sectors.
This information is key in helping us get an idea of what we can expect for the upcoming year. When we did our interviews in the fall, across the board it seemed like everybody expects that things will be about the same or a little better in 2013. No one thinks the economy will be booming.
Of course, our interviews were done before the presidential election. At that point, everyone was sitting on the sidelines waiting to see who would win. Even people who had money to invest in projects were just waiting. From what we heard, most people were more optimistic for next year if Romney won.
Since President Obama was re-elected, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Some felt it would be better no matter who won, which we hope is the case. But there may be a period now where some people continue waiting to do much since there is still uncertainty even though the election is over.
We asked clients what challenges they have faced this year that could carry into next year. One issue many mentioned was finding the money to fund projects they want to get completed. The challenge of doing more work with less staff was also brought up several times.
We also heard talk of the new Transportation Bill impact and opportunities concerning automobile manufacturing growth. The healthcare, retail and assisted living industries may be ones to watch in 2013. We were happy to hear that the Mobile area is expected to be strong due to Airbus.
While our interviews are invaluable, none of us know what next year will hold. After talking with so many clients and others in our network, we feel that we are as prepared as possible. Ultimately, in uncertain times like this, it all comes down to what we know we can do. We know we can stay on schedule, meet deadlines, develop relationships and continue diversifying our business.
Sain Associates, Inc., is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Cullman, Alabama, Pulaski, Tennessee and Mandeville, Louisiana. Sain is a site engineering, traffic/transportation engineering and planning and land surveying firm with experience in more than thirty states.