These NSCA Findings Remind Us that Slow, Steady Business Growth Is Like Good Barbecue

Published: August 11, 2017
Much like good barbecue, businesses benefit from slow and steady approaches.

There isn’t anything wildly exciting in NSCA’s 2017 Electronic Systems Outlook: Summer Edition report. The construction market-based analysis doesn’t uncover any scorching opportunities for its integration market firm members. However, it lays out a pattern of slow-and-steady business growth that should at least make integrators sort of optimistic.


NSCA has been following construction data as it relates to the integration market for over 20 years. “One thing we know for sure,” it indicates in the report, is that “new construction is the overall best indicator of the future business climate.” NSCA has used that data to predict slowdowns, recoveries and market changes with “great success.”

That being said, the forecast for 2017 construction put-in-place calls for a 6 percent increase in business growth.  Again, not wildly exciting and it reflects a drop from the accelerated recovery business growth of the past few years, but NSCA says it demonstrates that more normal growth is in store — and that’s a good thing.

There is nothing wrong with “normal growth” in the integration market. I remember NSCA executive Chuck Wilson talking about how conservative growth should actually be pretty exciting for company owners during an interview for a past CI State of the Industry Report.

“There’s nothing wrong with slow, steady business growth,” he said. “Running a company is like making good barbecue, it’s low and slow. That’s how you make the best decisions — slow and steady growth instead of these wild swings up and down.”

Here’s a Look at the Reports Slow, Steady Findings:

  • Corporate construction will grow 9 percent in 2017. That’s not slow, unless you compare it to the 25 percent growth it enjoyed in 2016. NSCA describes a potential shift from booming corporate construction in cities to a possible migration back to the ’burbs.
  • Education construction will grow 3 percent in 2017. Then another 4 percent is predicted for 2018. While not rapid growth, trends such as distance learning and the need for better security measures should keep the market strong.
  • Government construction will grow 2 percent in 2017. That’s after a 1 percent dip last year. In its report, NSCA explains how politics plays a role in how this market swings.
  • Health Care construction will grow 3 percent in 2017. Then it will continue to edge up 4 percent in 2018. While an emphasis on patients’ environments and general focus on renovation should drive the market, questions around the future of the government’s health care policy continue create ambiguity, writes NSCA.
  • Houses of Worship construction will grow 3 percent in 2017. Growth in this market is jeopardized by the changing landscape of religion in the U.S. and the fact that more people simply aren’t church-goers, according to NSCA.
  • Lodging construction will grow 6 percent in 2017. Talk about your wild swings up and down, 2017 will be the market’s slowest growth year since 2012 when it sprung back from minus 22 percent to grow 19 percent. NSCA adds it will be interesting to see how Airbnb affects this market.
  • Retail construction grown 9 percent in 2017. That follows 11 percent growth in 2016. Both figures are surprising considering mass closings by big retail brands like Sears, Staples and Radio Shack. However, NSCA says retail is growing in venues where food, garden supplies and building materials are sold.


Here’s How to Get the Entire Electronic Systems Outlook Summer 2017

According to NSCA:

The NSCA Electronic Systems Outlook is free for NSCA Gold and Platinum members, and available for purchase at $199 for Bronze and Silver members. It can be purchased by non-members for $399. Non-member integrators can become NSCA members for $595 and receive this report as part of their membership package, which offers access to discounted education and training opportunities, updates on regional and national government affairs issues, free monthly industry webinars, and other exclusive industry research.

Find it here.

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