As 2023 comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back on the important advancements and trends that have defined the suspended access business over the last year. At Sky Climber, we’re continually tracking industry trends and advancements to ensure we deliver the greatest value to our dealers and partners. This retrospective provides a glimpse at some of the trends we’re tracking – new developments and shifts that are not only shaping the current landscape but also mapping the future trajectory of our industry.
Digitalization and Technological Innovation
The potential for integration of technology for suspended scaffolding systems took a significant leap in 2023. IoT Analytics projected 18% growth in IoT devices to 14.4 billion in 2023 and 27 billion by 2025. With the continued development of IoT-enabled devices and advanced data analytics, real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance of equipment is demanding attention from equipment manufacturers and dealers. Not only can digitization improve operating efficiency, but it can also considerably improve safety standards, which is crucial in an industry where hazards are inherent.
Emphasis on Environmentally Friendly Solutions
This year, sustainability has continued as a significant trend, with an increasing number of businesses shifting toward environmentally friendly solutions. Organizations targeting sustainability initiatives seek benefits that materials and procedures with limited environmental effect can offer. This ubiquitous trend is illustrated in a McKinsley report that highlights Climate-related venture capital investments reached $70 billion in 2022, almost double the 2021 amount. One may expect the scaffold industry to see growing progress toward sustainable practices, from more common energy-efficient products to the use of recyclable materials in scaffold manufacturing.
Advanced Protection Mechanisms
The constant pursuit of safer working conditions has resulted in the inclusion of more complex safety systems in suspended access applications. Improved fall arrest systems, improved guardrail designs, and the growing introduction of more advanced emergency descent systems have all set new safety benchmarks, indicating the industry’s dedication to worker safety.
Modular and Adaptable Solutions
In 2023, customization was a buzzword, with a clear trend toward modular and adjustable scaffold designs. These adaptable solutions appeal to a wide range of architectural structures and project needs, highlighting the industry’s progression toward flexibility and adaptation.
Advancements in Training and Certification
This year, there has been a strong emphasis on advanced training programs and certification processes. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for training has transformed the way businesses are approaching skills development and assessment. One can also see a growing number of online training platforms offering industry workers greater accessibility to quality training. These trends are a positive for ensuring that industry workers are better prepared for the complexity of modern suspended scaffolding operations.
Expansion of Global Market Reach
Another feature of 2023 has been the global expansion of the suspended access market. In a report by Allied Market Research, global scaffolding market was valued at $52.2 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $81 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2022 to 2031. Companies have expanded into new markets in response to rising demand for sophisticated access solutions. This expansion indicates not only the industry’s strength, but also its adaptability to a range of worldwide construction and development demands.
Last but not least, we’ve seen greater emphasis on the client experience from dealers and partners in our industry. Companies are investing in improving client engagement and happiness, from customer onboarding to after-sales assistance. This approach not only creates loyalty but also drives ongoing product and service development.
Looking ahead to 2024, it’s apparent that the trends and accomplishments of 2023 have laid the groundwork for future industry growth and innovation. The suspended access business is positioned to continue on its path of incorporating new technology, promoting sustainability, and improving safety, all while focused on customer needs and global expansion.
At Sky Climber, 2023 has been a year of self-assessment and laying the groundwork to capitalize on industry trends. Sky Climber is actively exploring advancements in product engineering and design through technology like 3D printing. We’re focused on product customization and new product development to improve safety and efficiency. We’re revamping our customer training programs to make them more practical, engaging, and accessible to dealer partners. We’re also investing in systems and processes to enhance customer sales and engineering support.
As we move into 2024, Sky Climber is poised to continue embracing and leading industry trends. We’re excited to be setting the stage for a dynamic and innovative future together with our customers.
Chad N. DiFranco
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Sky Climber, LLC
Connect with Chad N. DiFranco on LinkedIn for more insights and updates.
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