Why Do Integrators Seem Busier When the Economy is Weaker?

NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson delves into this puzzling economic issue in this NSCA Video Question of the Week.

CI Staff

Is it an optical illusion, or does an integrator in fact have more work when the larger U.S. economy is down, and less when it is prospering?

This question is even more important now that, by at least a few accounts, the U.S. economy appears to be on the rise.

Chuck Wilson, executive direction of NSCA, tackled this concept for his Video Question of the Week. According to Wilson, there is a distinct difference between the work and world of an integrator and what’s happening in the country as a whole.

“We have ‘the economy’ and we have ‘our economy,’” says Wilson, and the two do not always act in sync. The integration economy, he says, is “predicated upon how builds are started and how construction is going.”

“We lag the construction industry,” says Wilson, meaning that integrators’ jobs start maybe eight months or so after construction starts. And construction won’t begin until the economy is at a good place. So while it appears that integrators see the reverse of what the larger economy sees, what we’re actually seeing is a lag.

Don’t get confused by the stock market or economists’ purchase and buying reports, Chuck warns. These things do not necessarily effect the systems integrator business. Instead, think about what is being built. Are there new hospitals and schools being constructed in your area? That’s the biggest variable affecting integrators.

And Wilson has hope. According to industry forecasts and FMI reports, he says, “everything is moving in a positive direction.”

To learn more, watch Wilson’s complete answer in the video below.

NEXT: Forecasts Mixed for Industry’s Economic Future