At the beginning of the last year, predictions for the heavy machinery industry were positive. Growing market and fresh trends such as artificial intelligence, cloud technology, smart cities, and more developments were leading the way in 2020. However, things have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The peak of heavy equipment market growth was between 2018 and 2019. 2020 as well started positively with stable growth, yet in the second quarter, the industry faced a downturn. Global heavy machinery sales downturn went from planned -5% to -15%. The good news is that the sector is gaining its momentum again, and according to experts, it is predicted to stabilize and expand.
The heavy machinery sector is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 6.69% between 2020 and 2025. It amounts to 1,304.347 billion USD in 2025 compared to 884.404 million USD in 2019. Stable growth would be impossible without recent developments in the industry. This time, we want to introduce you to five trends that will guide the sector in the upcoming year and beyond.
Heavy machinery and equipment trends to look for in 2021
- Recovery from COVID-19
The pandemic put a strain on many industries, making heavy machinery no exception. Now, it’s expected for the sector to pick up and recuperate. A lack of buyer’s confidence in the current economic climate will be the most painful for small equipment (<10 tonnes) producers due to an expected decline in house building. The mid-size and large equipment sector should recover faster as it’s used for infrastructure building, which is expected to grow in the upcoming years.
The economic revival will be scattered around the world and depend a lot on how severe was a country or region hit by the pandemic and how fast it manages to recover. Changes in auction sales are also on the way, as it’s forecasted that demand for used and rented equipment should increase compared to the new machinery.
However, in some regions such as the Baltics, agriculture equipment sellers call 2020 one of the best years so far. With increased equipment sales and more demand for regional produce, the agriculture sector maintains stable growth and is planned to increase even more in the following years.
2. Sustainability and safety
In the upcoming years, sustainability, security, and employee safety will be cornerstones of business development. Besides limiting the negative impact on the environment, companies that seek to stand out and receive financing and investments will have to transform their business to be more eco-friendly and sustainable. In the European Union, the Green Deal and sustainable business development goals will likely create new market rules. That means that investing or dealing with unsustainable businesses might raise more risks, making investors and banks turn to sustainable projects.
Sustainability also means employee wellbeing, therefore more companies will aim to ensure better working conditions, adapt to the current market situation, making remote work more accessible, and trying to equip employees to be more resilient and independent.
3. Advanced technology and agriculture digitalization
Agriculture companies around the world take matters into their own hands. The pandemic brought businesses closer together, and one example of that is common data sharing. Initiatives such as DataConnect, a joint project of John Deere, CLAAS, CNH Industrial, and 365FarmNet are set to collect and gather information about machinery. This data can be added, shared, and transferred to other systems to help agriculture companies understand the equipment and machinery better.
Robotics is also rapidly becoming an integral part of the construction and heavy equipment sector. Robotic devices and machines can perform in adverse conditions, making them a desirable choice. Robotic devices increase workplace safety and efficiency. What used to take days, if not months to produce, now can be done within minutes. Robotized equipment can perform during night hours and weekends, speeding up manufacturing processes and saving production costs.
Other technological developments also help reduce the effects of the pandemic by making education more accessible. With students unable to study in-person and losing valuable practical learning, some education institutions introduced VR learning to help students get hands-on experience.
4. Autonomous workforce and remote solutions
Current challenges call for creative solutions. Heavy machinery and equipment companies demand contactless and remote services. However, most of the field service businesses that work with heavy machinery companies still rely on in-person contact, whether it’s with clients or a back office.
What we are seeing and what Tasker is striving for is an autonomous technician. A resilient workforce that has enough knowledge and functionality to tackle issues without going back and forth to a client and back office. Tasker takes on this challenge and, in 2021, seeks to introduce as much functionality to make technicians independent, prepared, and resilient to challenges.
5. Supply chain adaptation
With countries closing their borders and industrial efforts, the global supply chain of heavy machinery and other industries have been hindered. Global supply chains have many weaknesses, one of the examples is what happened at the beginning of the pandemic when China closed borders and obstructed the medical supply chain. In the upcoming years, heavy machinery and other supply chains are likely to be more adaptable and resilient. Global supply chains are predicted to go more regional to be less dependent on global production.
Following new trends is important to be agile and adapt your business. Tasker gets you a few steps closer as our field service management software solution is built to facilitate business digitalization and help you be among the leading companies in your field. We invite you to book a free demo to try Tasker FSM functionality.