At a time when costs continue to rise, our engineering and construction (E&C) clients face an increasingly dynamic environment driven by globalization, greater project complexity, and a rising call from customers for faster and less costly performance. We help E&C companies navigate these challenges. Whether supporting an emerging market strategy, a reorganization, or a project-cost optimization, we deliver significant, sustainable impact for our clients.
What we do
In recent years, McKinsey’s Infrastructure Practice has supported more than 20 of the leading E&C firms around the world on over 200 projects. With a strong presence in numerous geographies, we have experience working on all major asset classes—from residential single-family homes to national power plants, from regional roads to transcontinental railways. Our growing team of Infrastructure consultants, supported by research analysts and experts, constantly test, refine, and expand our knowledge of the construction industry. We combine this knowledge with functional expertise in areas such as lean, organization and risk, and a deep understanding of E&C customer segments, including transport departments, real estate owners, and utilities, to help drive financial and performance improvement.
Examples of what we do
In recent years, we have supported engineering firms and construction companies on a variety of strategic, operational, and organization topics.
Strategy development and execution
We advise clients on portfolio management, growth, acquisitions, emerging market entry, and carbon-abatement opportunities along the construction value chain. Examples of our recent projects include:
- Helping a leading U.S. engineering firm develop a five-year growth strategy
- Advising a top E&C player in China on a strategy to encourage domestic and international growth
- Supporting a leading European E&C firm in exploring, identifying, assessing, and prioritizing new growth opportunities
Cost and productivity improvement
To help clients deliver complex projects on time and within budget, we apply value-driven end-to-end project management, design-to-value, best-practice procurement, and lean construction principles. Examples of our client work include:
- Helping a top U.S. contractor transform its purchasing practices
- Advising a client on how to remove costs and improve the timeline of a one-billion dollar flagship project in the Middle East
- Supporting a leading Canadian E&C company in designing and executing a company wide performance improvement program
- Assisting a major E&C player in the Middle East in analyzing the performance of a mega project and developing a program to rescue the stalled project
Organization, governance, and talent management
We help clients build governance models that balance cohesion with local entrepreneurship and at the same time, maximize synergies and account for portfolio risk. Recognizing the importance of project management, we help clients expand the skill set and accelerate the development of their project managers. We also support clients as they implement performance management and incentive systems that attract the best talent and drive continuous organizational improvement. Examples of recent projects include:
- Helping a large global E&C player create a program and supporting organizational structure to better manage portfolio risk
- Supporting a leading EPC client in India in developing a multi-year program to develop the skills of its project managers and key line leaders and improve performance
- Assisting a major E&C player in Australia with a project risk audit and a broader effort to better manage portfolio risk across the organization.
Tools and solutions
We have developed and tested a broad set of tools and solutions to better serve our clients, including:
- Two week performance and health diagnostic, a proven analytical approach that uses deep interviews and targeted analyses to gain insight into the current operations and organization of an E&C company.
- 360 – EPC diagnostic, a framework for analyzing and benchmarking the end-to-end performance of EPC companies.
- Lean construction diagnostic, a set of quantitative and qualitative tools for performing an onsite lean construction diagnostic.