From the magazine

State of the Industry 2015

Sample size for December: 178


Staff reductions:
In Queensland over 50 per cent of organisations reported staff reductions, with 40 per cent reported no change and the remaining 10 per cent reported staff increases. In Western Australia, close to 70 per cent of organisations reported staff reductions.

No change:
In the North Island New Zealand, over 70 per cent of organisation reported no change, with remaining organisations reporting a staff increase. In Victoria, organisations reported varying results, with an almost even spread of no changes, employing more staff, and staff reductions. Throughout New South Wales organisations largely had no change or reduced their staff, with only a small amount of organisations reporting an increase in staff.

Staff increases:
The Australian Capital Territory was the only state where all councils and utilities reported staff increases within their organisations.

Increased technology use:
Organisations within ACT, North Island – NZ, and Western Australia all unanimously reported an increase in the use of Trenchless Technology within their organisation during the last quarter.

Variation across the state:
NSW, QLD and VIC saw some organisations reporting a decrease in use of technology, but across the three states the majority of organisations reported an increased use of trenchless technologies.

Decreased technology use:
South Australia was the only state where all organisations unanimously decreased trenchless use last quarter.

Over the course of the next 12 months, the majority of states are planning on investing in both installation and rehabilitation assets, while SA does not plan to invest in either.

The majority of contractor participants who responded to this survey worked in new asset installation (49 per cent), followed by asset rehabilitation (23 per cent), asset location (19 per cent) and asset inspection/assessment (9 per cent).

The majority of organisations within the four contracting fields all made budget. Companies working in new asset installation were most likely to either exceed or make budget (68 per cent), followed closely by asset inspection/assessment (67 per cent), asset rehabilitation (50 per cent), and asset location (46 per cent).

Taking a more in-depth look at which industries were most successful based on their location, all industries had the most success in NSW.

Asset inspection and assessment:
50 per cent of those who exceeded or made budget resided in NSW with 25 per cent each for VIC and TAS.

For asset location, 50 per cent of those who exceeded or made budget resided in NSW while the remaining 50 per cent were split between WA, QLD and North Island – NZ.

For asset rehabilitation, once again 50 per cent resided in NSW followed by VIC (25 per cent).

For new asset installation, 26 per cent of participants who exceeded or made budget were found to be residing in NSW with WA, QLD, VIC and North Island – NZ each receiving 17 per cent.

Businesses are more likely to be exceeding or making budget in North Island – NZ, NSW, NT, TAS, VIC and WA. Business are more likely to just miss budget or miss budget badly in QLD, South Island – NZ, SA and ACT.

Staff changes:
The majority of organisations based in NSW, TAS and North Island – NZ employed more staff. Whereas 40 per cent of organisations in QLD, 39 per cent of organisations WA and 45 per cent of organisations SA reported staff reductions. NT and South Island – NZ reported no staffing changes.

Of those who reduced staff, 38 per cent just missed budget followed by made budget (31 per cent), missed budget badly (25 per cent) and exceeded budget (6 per cent).

Looking at staff changes by business type, asset rehabilitation businesses were the only industry to employ more staff than reduce or not make any change at all. New asset installers were the only business type to reduce more staff than employ.

In terms of business size 48 per cent of participants were from small businesses, 35 per cent were from medium businesses while the remaining 17 per cent were made up of large businesses.

All sizes of business either exceeded or made budget more than they missed budget; however, small businesses were more likely to miss their budget badly compared to medium and large businesses.

The majority of survey respondents were involved in manufacturing or distributing equipment work with machinery or equipment associated with new installation projects (57 per cent), while the remaining 43 per cent were made up of businesses associated with the rehabilitation of assets, asset inspection and condition assessment equipment, and asset locating equipment.

Taking a look at how regions fared relating to budget, VIC and WA were the only states to make or exceed budget more so than missing budget. South Island – NZ and North Island – NZ on the other hand were the only regions which missed budget more so than making it. NSW and QLD were evenly split between making budget and missing budget.

Equipment associated with new installation projects was the only category to employ more staff than reduce staff or make no changes. The rest of the categories tended not to make any staffing changes during the period.

Comparing industry with financial performance last quarter, we found that equipment associated with locating assets tended to meet or exceed budget more than the three other industries surveyed.

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