Day & Zimmermann Survey: Power-Gen Executives Split on 2012 Outlook

Most Are in Growth Mode despite Looming Concerns about Tackling Profitability

PHILADELPHIA, PA—December 9, 2011—While business confidence is on the rise in the energy sector, power generation executives are divided on the state of the industry heading into 2012 according to a recent survey from Day & Zimmermann’s Engineering, Construction and Maintenance (ECM) unit. Slightly more than half of those polled (55 percent) see 2012 as less of a gamble than 2011 while nearly half of the respondents (45 percent) see it as more of a gamble. At the same time, nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of respondents said they are in growth mode but a large portion (40 percent) identified profitability as a key challenge they face next year.

“It’s encouraging that there are some positive vibes surrounding next year, but I think most executives realize that challenges still remain and there are factors out of their control that could affect how 2012 turns out.” said Mike McMahon, President of Day & Zimmermann ECM. “The plant owners who can drive efficiencies while maintaining flexibility in their operations will be best positioned for a successful year.”

While profitability was the top concern, power executives also identified sustainability (33 percent) and productivity (17 percent) as issues they expect to struggle with in the coming year.  On the subject of how they spend their typical work day, more than half of those surveyed (56 percent) said they spend most of their time on strategy. Still, a sizeable portion (41 percent) said they spend very little or none of their time on strategy.  These statistics point to the growing time and resource constraints facing executives as they try to balance day-to-day operations with long-term strategic planning responsibilities.

Respondents were also split on how they described the state of the power industry last year. As they reflected on 2011, nearly half of those polled (47 percent) called 2011 ‘The Year of Fear’ while slightly more than half (53 percent) called it ‘The Year of Control.’

The survey was completed by nearly 300 executives attending this year’s Power-Gen International conference.

Day & Zimmermann’s 24,000 employees provide industrial, defense and workforce solutions to a broad base of commercial and government customers. Operating from more than 150 worldwide locations with 2.4 Billion USD in revenues, the Day & Zimmermann family of companies is currently ranked as one of the largest private companies in America by Forbes and is a former winner of the U.S. National Family Business of the Year award. Founded in 1901 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Day & Zimmermann companies today provide engineering, construction and maintenance services, and staffing services to the commercial and government sector, and munitions products, security, logistics, equipment maintenance and facilities management services to the Department of Defense, other government groups and defense industry contractors. For more information, visit