Though there are those who claim to be able to predict the frequency and magnitude of such things, expansion and consolidation in the construction industry follow the rules of chaos. Face it, right-sizing for conditions that are always changing falls into the realm of a black art.
Right now we are in a period of consolidation—how deep or prolonged remains to be seen—but regardless of the situation, it seems unlikely that we will experience an expansion in the future that matches what we witnessed during the early part of the decade … nor will our business structures look the same. Technology will see to that.
In fact, along with sound business practices in the areas of safety, regulatory compliance, and human resource management, technology has already begun to define the rules for consolidation for both consolidators and consolidatees.
For the most part, those who expanded profitably during the go-go years are destined to become the consolidators … but not always. As has become increasingly apparent, those who understand the basics of the digital and connected jobsite and where it is leading, hold the winning cards.
The point here is that whether you are doing the acquiring or on the market for acquisition, among your most valuable assets is your knowledge of and facility with the technologies that are reshaping the construction landscape. With this in mind, you might consider using this slack period to expand your expertise in these areas.