In an effort to learn more about issues important to construction contractors, AEM staff traveled around the state of Wisconsin this past year to meet with several local companies in the industry.
Contractors in Nashotah, Janesville, Muskego, Oconomowoc and Greenville opened their doors to share business insights, shed light on industry challenges, and provide AEM with valuable information regarding how they utilize trade shows to enhance their operations.
“AEM and its CONEXPO-CON/AGG staff are committed to learning as much as we can about issues facing construction contractors today,” said AEM Vice President of Marketing and Communications Nicole Hallada. “In doing so, we can ensure we attract, retain and serve the most qualified trade show attendees, as well as maximize the value we provide our member companies.”
Key takeaways from the tour include:
Top 4 Business Insights
- The large majority of contractors said they prefer to own their equipment, or at minimum, the equipment they use on a regular basis.
- Contractors will rent for larger projects that require more equipment, and for jobs that are farther away from their home base.
- Within individual companies, multiple people have buying power on their teams and they expect all positions to have feedback on the equipment being used or purchased.
- Companies have strong relationships with manufacturers and dealers, and they will turn to whichever contact will solve their problem faster.
Top 4 Industry Challenges
- Contractors expressed the concern of working in a volatile market, which makes forecasting a difficult challenge.
- The job-hopping industry keeps them up at night when there is a limited pool of good workers, and it is expensive to hire new staff.
- Due to the market and workforce challenges, contractors spend a lot of time ensuring their workers have enough hours, and that they’re not overworked at the same time.
- Contractors stated equipment maintenance is challenging and expensive, which impacts their bottom line.
Top 4 Reasons They Utilize Trade Shows
- Leaders bring their staff for team building and to provide both the next generation of employees and industry veterans with growth opportunities.
- Companies attend to see everything in one place to determine future equipment they need to rent or buy in the future.
- Contractors look to find small to mid-sized manufacturers at trade shows to uncover attachments or smaller equipment that they aren’t aware of at the time.
- Companies attend to visit with current manufacturers in order to maintain relationships, find out what’s new and discuss challenges they’re currently experiencing with equipment.
“AEM and its staff thanks all of the Wisconsin contractors for sharing their stories and insights,” said AEM Marketing Manager Sarah Rewasiewicz. “The Wisconsin Contractor Tour not only revealed the current construction industry pulse, but it also displayed the ongoing work those in the industry perform every single day. From the construction jobs on the road to the busy offices AEM visited, the efforts of construction contractors and the equipment manufacturers who serve their industry remain vital in making life easier for the public.”