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MarketWatch: Report sharing engagement trend changes for Phase I ESA – ASTM

For years, Quire has analyzed tens of thousands of Reports from dozens of market lines generated all around the world. As Quire works to provide productivity-enhancing solutions for Clients, we gain access to unique time-tracking and process data from the firms that use our platform. We’ve created MarketWatch as a way to share this data with report-writing professionals both in and outside the Quire solution.

In this MarketWatch, we’re analyzing changes to trends in Report Sharing Engagement for Phase I ESA – ASTM Reports. Quire has been enabling Report sharing since 2014, and we’re showcasing monthly trends for firms using Quire over the last six years. See what we’ve discovered:

Based on historical data collected in Quire since 2016, we’ve seen significant increases in the percentage of Reports shared with independent contractors in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 to complete Reports like Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESAs). External pressures, such as COVID-19 in 2020 and rising interest rates in 2022, impacted Report sharing and Phase I ESA Report volumes overall.

Year2016201720182019202020212022 (YTD)
Avg % Shared- Phase 1 ESAs19.43%26.69%30.08%32.13%28.52%39.04%31.15%
Avg % Shared- All Reports*32.78%28.55%24.96%23.94%23.57%25.84%20.94%

*Avg % Shared – All Reports includes all Report types currently and historically supported by Quire, excluding Phase I ESA – ASTM.

Why does it matter?

After the drop due to COVID-19 in 2020, the percentage of Reports Shared for Phase I ESAs rebounded later in the year, well into 2021. Companies wanting to serve a substantial portion of the country and scale report writing faced a number of challenges:

  • Hiring in a tight labor market
  • Controlling labor costs for a service with thin profit margins
  • Sourcing by location for a competitive service with an unpredictable workload
  • Travel restrictions and testing policies like we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic

For many firms, the answer was to build a robust contractor workforce.

Now, we see report-sharing trends declining in 2022 for Phase I ESAs, emphasizing the correlation between economic trends and contractor use. Contractors allow companies to scale (both up and down) in relation to output needs, and data from QuireSight indicates that companies are fully taking advantage of this elasticity. 

From COVID-19 drops and unexpected market downturns, the unpredictability makes it difficult to staff long-term. Varying trends in report-sharing across Reports, and specifically Phase I ESAs, reinforce the need for a scalable workforce as businesses strive to remain agile and profitable.

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