Last month, our President & CEO, Erin Inman, attended the Texas and Southern States Merger & Acquisition, Strategy, and Innovation Symposium. The three-day conference was held in Houston, Texas and hosted by Morrissey Goodale LLC. The Symposium invited architectural engineering (AE) and environmental industry executives and investors to collaborate, network and learn from one another through an array of panel discussions and presentations.
Erin had the privilege of joining other AE firm owners and executives on a panel discussion titled “The CEO Strategy Panel: A View from the Top.” Erin and the other panel members shared their personal business management experiences, opinions on the current state of the AE industry, and their predictions for where it is headed in the future. “It’s always an honor to share my ideas with other AEC industry members,” says Inman. “And to be sitting alongside some of the industry’s greatest leaders! I’m constantly learning from my peers and am always captivated by the knowledge they share.”
See below for Erin’s top 5 key takeaways, challenges and trends from the panel discussion below:
|1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – It’s evident that AI is the future. Though it’s still in the early stages of development, firms need to establish policies and structures now. This way, AE firms like Primera can be on the forefront of integrating AI into our work before it is widely adopted. Leveraging AI successfully can eliminate or automate mundane tasks, allowing engineers and architects to focus on advanced, complex, and innovative portions of projects instead.|
|2. Cyber Security – Today more than ever, cyber security is a real and prevalent concern. Managing who has access to what data, where that data is stored, and how long it’s being stored are important factors that must be considered in protecting our personal information and intellectual property. Being able to recognize a breach in cyber security and act on it quickly can save not only our data, but our clients’ data too. The cost of a momentary lack of attention can be devastating.|
|3. Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy – Recent studies show that the Electric Grid may need to almost double in size to support the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and renewable resources. Currently, we don’t have enough transmission lines to move renewable power from where it’s generated to where the power will be used. It took nearly 100 years to build out the current electric grid so we will need creative and innovative solutions to meet the need.|
|4. Engineer Shortage – The majority of retiring engineers are in the Baby Boomer generation. Because younger generations Z and Alpha are significantly smaller in size than the Baby Boomers, we will need to find creative ways to replace the talent as those engineers retire. That may take the form of AI programs or paraprofessionals to tackle basic design work to maximize the human design talent.|
|5. Relationships – After the Pandemic, there has been an obvious increase in remote working. While this shift brings many benefits, it also makes building and maintaining relationships, both inside and outside the firm, more challenging. We’re spending less time bumping into one another in the office, so we need to be really intentional about developing close personal relationships.|
Primera would like to thank Morrissey Goodale for inviting us to participate in their Symposium and for organizing such a high-energy, interactive event.
Morrissey Goodale LLC provides consulting, research, and executive search services exclusively to the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industry. With Morrissey Goodale’s help, clients can become high-performance organizations through strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, leadership development, valuation and ownership transition services and more. Learn more about Morrissey Goodale LLC’s services and story here.