Readers of one of the leading construction and engineering journals are regularly offered the insights gained from Thomas Schleifer’s five decades of experience in the construction business.
Schleifer, a management consultant who is also a research professor in the ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction and works with the Alliance for Construction Excellence at ASU, has been analyzing the construction industry and forecasting trends in the market for more than 25 years.
He’s been sharing the knowledge gained from that work for years in commentary for the Engineering News Record.
In two recent columns, he focuses on challenges facing the industry in the wake of the recent years of economic recession.
Even though recovery from the recessionary period is taking hold, he cautions that businesses must be nimble and creative if they are to achieve and maintain financial stability.
In “A Formula For Survival” Schleifer advises contractors that they will need new business models to revitalize their companies – models that will help businesses attain the operational and financial flexibility necessary to become sustainable when coping with cyclical markets.
In “Pressure on Midsize Firms” he discusses how the recession pushed more businesses into consolidations, and how the trend could narrow the window of opportunity for midsized companies to increase their market share.
Schleifer said he selects topics for his columns that will give readers a sense of the ongoing evolution of the industry and to help spot trends “that construction professionals may be too busy to see coming.”
Much of the advice in his columns is expanded on in the recently published book Managing the Profitable Construction Business, which Schleifer co-authored with certified public accountant John M. Murdock and Kenneth Sullivan, an associate professor in the Del E. Webb School of Construction in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.