Business optimism down among GovCon officials
Industry pressures include COVID-19, stock volatility, social justice
Business optimism among government contractor (GovCon) officials has dropped 16% during the pandemic, according to the Gauge Report, an annual survey conducted by Dulles-based software company Unanet and New York City-based CohnReznick LLP.
“These concerns and sentiments are to be expected given the current economic climate,” Kim Koster, Unanet vice president of GovCon strategy and co-author of the Gauge Report, said in a statement. “However, what stands out is the relative comfort among businesses that have adequately prepared for variables through strong technology investments and operational efficiencies.” This includes tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, according to the report.
Based on feedback from nearly 1,500 respondents, 84% of GovCon officials surveyed were optimistic about their business in early March — but that fell to 68% after the start of the pandemic. Some of the largest pressures on the industry include COVID-19, social justice, virtual working and stock volatility, according to the report.
However, the report also showed that 59% of respondents said that more than 76% of their projects are on or under budget, while 55% reported that their resource management falls at a high level of maturity — an improvement from previous reports. The report also shows that cost has been down among GovCon operations during the pandemic while travel, supplies and on-site costs have been down.
“Bottom line, the federal government remains a stable industry,” according to the Gauge Report. “Government contractors have the chance to prove yet again how nimble and resilient they are.”
This is the fourth time Unanet and CohnReznick LLP have published the Gauge Report. Unanet provides project management software, timesheet software, expense reporting software and other human resources software to federal government contractors, architects and engineers, while CohnReznick provides advisory, assurance and tax services.