The MCA State of the Industry Report records observations, trends, and information for the construction industry. To read archived reports, please look at the table below.

To see the latest State of the Industry Reports, click here.

Industry at a glance2022 Q1 Quantum Computing will be potentially the next disruption for the contracting industry. Simply put, the industry is as strong as it gets despite the following: Persistent Supply Chain issues Which are caused by:Read
November 2021 State of the Industry2021 Q4Progressive Contactors In 2000, Dr. Perry published The Optimal Operational Model for Electrical Contractors, translating his knowledge and experience from outside construction into acumen that would help move the construction industry forward. After 20 years, we are trying to move past page 2. How will we know we are there? Check out our research and publications on Industrialization, giving lead indicators to industry-wide metrics that would indicate if your business or the industry as a whole is moving the needle. That being said, we have worked with thousands of companies in construction, and all started as “Traditional”, but through their vision and hard work, make it to Transitional and some even to Professional. The pathway to get there is laid out in the same research starting on page 19. We are proud to watch Progressive Contractors listed below to start or continue down the path. If you’d like to join or learn more, our semi-annual Symposiums are the best chance. Read more about the upcoming one later in this SOTI.Read
Progressive Contactors2021 Q2Aldridge is in constant pursuit of improvement throughout their organization. With Safety & Profitability through Agile Construction® they are leading the industry into a true industrialized construction contracting. Exemplary, leadership of Alex Aldridge the newly minted CEO of the company with the help of his executives such as Mark Carani are taking Aldridge to places that were not imaginable just few years ago.Read
Five Steps to Take Control of your Project2021 Q1As construction projects ramp up and get moving, things change fast and furious, issues accumulate, and things might not go as smooth as expected. As the General Contractor (GC) starts to shift the project schedule, areas you are scheduled to work in are not ready, trade interference is forcing your crew to either work on top of another trade or to come back to the same location multiple times, or other holdups that result in being moved around on-site and not being able to complete your work as scheduled. The common nature of these issues is that they will put you in the passenger seat only reacting to what is coming at you rather than being in control. However, there are five simple steps to take control of your project.

A Tale of Two Jobs – Case Studies of Agile Construction® Usage2020 Q3“Every construction project is different and you can’t compare one to another” – but are they? While every project is somehow unique in terms of contractual obligations and requirements, project characteristics, material requests, and sometimes equipment needs, they might not be as much when it comes to the management of the actual electrical work as it appears at first glance. How work is laid out and planned, and how a project is supported during and after the construction phase can make a huge difference for the success of a project. Read
Special Issue2020 Q2Disaster Plans and Preparation – What did the COVID-19 pandemic reveal for your business?
No doubt that it is an unprecedented and unique time for all of us. We have all been impacted by the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways, either personally, professionally, or even both. The uniqueness of the current situation is its global and world-wide impact. It’s not any different than any other significant events that would strike locally, regionally, company- or even project-specific. When such events hit, many businesses suffer not because of the symptom of the event but rather because the root cause has existed long before. The strengths and weaknesses of your business become scarily visible during such events. Perspective is critical during such times and it is important to resist the urge to victimize yourself.
COVID-19: Managing Challenges and Mitigating Risks2020 Q1Managing risk in construction means managing the three Ms (Manpower, Money, and Material). The current socio-economic situation begs for even tighter management of the 3Ms. The highly fluid and continuously changing conditions due to the COVID-19 have increased the uncertainties of managing projects and companies. As the COVID-19 disease is advancing and spreading across the U.S. at an ever-increasing rate, state-wide lockdowns and quarantines are likely to intensify. Read
Early Warning Signal, Lead Indicator and End-Of-Job Performance Predictor2019 Q3When do you find out whether a project is a “winner” or a “loser”? If you’re like most contractors, that answer varies widely, but through years of research, MCA has found that most construction companies cannot predict profitability reliably until close to 90% complete. This is when the scrambling begins. So what went wrong? More importantly, when did these problems occur? What if these issues were uncovered much earlier? What would that mean for every project moving forward?Read
Large Projects Disturb Construction Ecosystems... but Agile Construction® Brings Resilience2019 Q2When a large project comes to town, everyone gets excited. There are a lot of reasons that we need to pay careful attention to the large projects, even if we are small contractors, or didn’t have the winning bid for work on that project. Large projects impact everyone in the market, large projects impact market share, they impact everyone’s available labor, they impact material inventory levels locally, and for those contractors that are directly involved with the large project work they represent an extreme level of financial risk that must be mitigated from the start. Mega projects are what we call these large scale and transformational endeavors that have substantial impact on the construction community, environment and workforce in their surrounding area.Read
WEM®, the ONLY Recognized Method for Implementing the NEW FASB Revenue Recognition Practices2019 Q1For the first time in decades, companies across the globe are dealing with a new way of recognizing revenue. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have issued standard ASC 606 in an attempt to develop better control over revenue recognition, billing practices and income tax obligations. ASC 606 is expected to provide a universal accounting language for revenue recognition, but it relies heavily on each company’s judgement to come up with their own figures, which can differ from company to company. Despite many misnomers in the market, this new change can help contractors recognize activities, which historically they did not get paid for and had to be hidden as part of their cost codes.Read
A Proven Method to Avoid Killer Jobs2018 Q3Everyone has heard of a “Killer Job”, the one that can single-handedly wipe out an entire company’s profit in one fell swoop. They are born to companies who have large variation in job profitability, with no systematic understanding of what causes the ups and downs, and no visibility to where a job will finish until it is beyond 80% complete. These systems breed “Killer Jobs” because the system itself is unpredictable, and when an exciting large project is won, the invisible, unpredictable system wreaks havoc.Read
Another Perspective on the "Winds of Change"2018 Q1 There is an evolutionary cycle of innovation and disruption: technology advances, innovation occurs, processes adapt, perceptions shift. Innovation is not limited; it is truly boundless. A new tool or material can only improve the outcome or system performance to the extent that the system allows. Innovation creates a new path, leads to new processes and ultimately drives the Winds of Change. (NRC, 2009, Page 20)Read
The Process Failure Blues2017 Q4 How many times, have you heard the experienced guys in the company say, “we used to do it this or that way and all was just fine.” How many times have you heard the project managers claim to have built a PM process from scratch a few years ago? How many times have you heard the executives of the company complain about lack of accountability or responsibility for following up on processes? How often do you hear the owners say “we have all the processes but no one follows them?” Have you ever asked yourselves why this happens?Read
Cost of Complacency2017 Q3Every project manager, manager, and owner of a business has most like heard one or both of these statements: “I still think we can make it up” “I’m holding back just in case something goes wrong” Both have equally negative consequences for a business trying to plan its finances including cash flow and investment in resources. MCA’s processes, training, and tools have been used over the past two decades to avoid these consequences. However, we still find that despite a project showing worry-some signals early on, the project team still allows complacency to sit in and “wait it out.” This has led us to conduct a forensic analysis of what we are calling the “Cost of Complacency.”Read
Construction Market Size2017 Q12016 proved to be a robust year for construction with overall U.S. Construction coming in at $1,162.4 billion a solid 4.5% over 2015. The Construction Put In Place (CPIP) trend shows that not only did the market maintain peak spending levels not seen since before the financial crash, but the duration of this spending cycle is poised to outperform the historical market. Already February’s Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate is up 3% from what it was in 2016.Read
Simulation and Modeling2016 Q4 Knowledge comes from knowing where to collect the data, what to look for in the data, and what the best sources of available data are. Modeling to Learn focuses on capturing data that will help the empowered builder understand and learn more about a situation faster. This faster learning enables faster creation of a feedback loop, reducing risk, accelerating assembly and shortening installation times. To use Modeling to Learn users will need to consider the following questions: What do you want to learn from the model? What questions do you want the model to answer? What needs to be modeled? What type of model should be used?Read
The Winds of Change2016 Q2“The perfect storm” is hitting the construction industry, with three colliding forces: 1. Industrialization of Construction 2. Market shifts 3. Disruption Market shifts started over the past several decades, when the construction market shifted from industrial work to commercial/residential work, as we have publicized in prior SOTI Reports . This shift led to what seems like gradual change, but what now means construction consumers are more demanding than ever for time, cost, and quality of their investments. Industrialization has also been approaching in this past decade, following in the same pattern as other industries have seen, particularly textiles, manufacturing, and agriculture.Read
Disruption: The Second Front in the Battle for Market Share2016 Q1Industrialization of Construction® is upon us; already competition from abroad is here utilizing manufacturing processes, and completing construction projects at an amazing pace and profitability. As the gap widens between the number of skilled workers and the amount of construction needed to be performed, this further accelerates the opportunity and demand for foreign competition with a manufacturing mindset. If this wasn’t enough of a threat for contractors across the entire industry let alone just signatory contractors, the next battle begins with Disruption.Read
Construction 2015 - Train for Industrialization2015 Q4Construction continued to show signs of stable growth through the third quarter. Overall year to date construction for the US through the month of October came in at $888 billion, an increase of almost 11% from what it was a year ago. Construction spending in September and October were over the $100 billion mark, coming in at levels not seen since October 2007. Analysts continue to predict this upward trend through 2017.Read
Construction 2015 - The Need for Training the Work2015 Q3The next couple of years in the construction industry are going to be exciting and challenging to say the least. Educating the workforce to be more productive will be essential for your companies’ survival. The old school mentality of simply telling the crews to work harder or dangling the overtime carrot in front of them is not going to work in today’s environment.Read
Construction 2015 - The Need for Prefabrication2015 Q2The last few years in the construction industry have been proven to be challenging to say the least. Gone are construction’s glory days of win the job, pay the field guys and collect the money with amazing profits. Planning and prefabrication are just a couple of the buzz words gaining attention in the industry.Read
Construction Growth and Worker Shortages2014 Q4The outlook for the electrical construction industry is improving and looks to keep growing.Read
Construction on the Upswing2014 Q3As predicted by MCA Inc. a few years back, the construction industry is on a upswing mode in the USA and Canada and will be reaching the 2005-2008 level within the next two years.Read
Standards Issue2014 Q2The last few years in the construction industry have been exciting, to say the least. Amid the boom and bust cycle, leaders of surviving companies have sought out new ways to compete and new methods and processes by which to advance their businesses to an industrialized mode of operation.Read
Talent Shortage2014 Q1Despite unemployment levels still being relatively high, as the Construction industry recovers, it is becoming apparent at an accelerating pace that the available workforce does not possess the necessary skills to effectively staff the openings in the industry.Read