Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008 - (Page 12)

Globa GoinG By Samuel Greengard Firms finding profitable prospects outside I n an increasingly global world, Keith J. Hawksworth knows the distance between two riverbanks often is greater than the space between two nations. Over the past decade, technology has shattered barriers to international business and helped companies build bridges to projects that would have been unimaginable only a few short years ago. “Today, the opportunities in the global arena are enormous,” says Hawksworth, CEO of New York–based PB, formerly known as Parsons Brinckerhoff. “A major company cannot afford to be on the sidelines.” These days, PB, with more than 70 offices and 10,000 employees throughout the world, is building plenty of bridges—as well as tunnels, airports, power facilities, roadways and subway systems. PB’s portfolio of global projects includes the Chao Phraya River Bridge in Bangkok, the Sydney (Australia) Transit System, the Delhi airport, the East London Underground extension and the new Taiwan High Speed Rail project. In fact, half the firm’s business now is derived from international projects. PB is not alone. Many U.S. engineering firms now see the prospects of international business as a golden opportunity. Such deals, executives say, can cushion downturns in the domestic economy; boost revenues; tap into valuable human skills, knowledge and brainpower; and support a more efficient working environment, including the ability to follow the sun and conduct business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “The forces contributing to globalization are accelerating. There is growing pressure on firms to compete internationally,” says Jeff Oltmann, principal consultant at Synergy Professional Services, a Portland, Ore.–based consulting firm. But success is no guarantee. A global presence requires wellconceived business processes; first-rate information technology (IT) tools; knowledgeable employees who understand how to work NASA

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008
2009 EEA Call for Entries
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Congressman Kendrick Meek
Going Global
2008 Professional Liability Insurance Survey
Institute for Business Management 2008 Fall Course Catalog
Bridging the Gap
2008 Convention Wrap Up
2008-2009 Executive Committee
2008 Fall Conference Primer
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008