Estimated to be worth $130.7 billion by 2022, the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) systems market is predicted to grow at the impressive rate of 5.5% per year.
As the industry continues to flourish in the year ahead, technology is predicted to be the biggest influence in 2018, resulting in a new wave of opportunities in existing and emerging markets.
To help you prepare you for the changes to come, Resource Data Management (RDM) take a look at what we predict to be the major HVACR trends that will shape the future.
1. Energy Efficiency
New innovations entering the market in the year to come will all have one thing in common – energy efficiency. The growing focus on energy use will continue to produce vast developments in air quality monitoring, building automation and refrigerant control solutions for the HVACR industry.
End-users will come under increased pressure from their socially conscious consumers and governments to not only adhere to compliance legislation but to go above and beyond in the fight against global warming.
In sectors like retail where margins are tight, energy efficiency can provide a highly attractive boost to profitability. The Carbon Trust identifies energy saving as one of the simplest ways for retailers to increase profits and reported that a 20% cut in energy costs delivers the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales revenue.
2. Real-Time Data
Once upon a time, real-time data was a nice to have for the HVACR industry, however, in 2018 that want, will transform into a need. Many businesses will increasingly rely on quantifiable metrics to influence future decisions and BEMS strategies.
Developments in real-time data, open web-based building controls, remote monitoring and energy management solutions have already given companies the ability to use technology to generate better readings and measurements resulting in smarter business decisions.
However, in the year ahead the challenge will be having the systems and controls in place to extract, examine and analyse data into real-time useful intelligence. In doing so, business will have the ability to adapt their services instantly to increase profitability, ensure temperature due diligence and safety compliance while adjusting to environmental changes and customer needs.
3. Smart IoT Solutions
An ongoing trend for several years has involved increasing numbers of HVACR devices coming online. However, McKinsey & Company report that 99% of IoT opportunity is still unexploited which presents significant opportunities for businesses to unlock the value from the IoT chain in 2018.
IoT installations could cut energy usage by up to 20% - a global economic impact of between $70 billion and $150 billion per year by 2025, allowing organisations to get far more from their physical HVACR assets.
Added benefits such as improved conditions for office and mobile workers could also lead to enhanced employee productivity.
Additionally, Deloitte predicts that the smartphone will be central to major technology developments in 2018. Businesses will start to make more use of HVACR smartphone apps and programmable applications. Individuals will increasingly use their smartphones as a service tool to communicate with controls and regulate aspects of their building management, such as temperature, lighting and energy consumption.
A flexible approach to control and monitoring will allow individuals to instantly make positive changes to ensure safety compliance, asset protection and optimal operations their business.
4. Online Selling
In the last ten years, both B2B and B2C markets have witnessed phenomenal growth in online sales. Convenience is now high on the priority list for many consumers with shoppers increasingly substituting weekly trips to large out-of-town superstores with home delivery or click and collect options.
According to a report by Kantar WorldPanel, UK online grocery sales accounted for 7.3% of the market share in 2017, making British shoppers second only to South Koreans in the proportion of groceries they buy online. The biggest challenge that businesses face today is how to supply online shoppers with home deliveries and still make a profit.
Online selling is not a trend that is going to slow down anytime in the near future. In 2018 it will be more important than ever for HVACR businesses to have the strategies in place to permit online sales and allow for a flexible future-proof approach to energy management as the function retail floor space adapts to new requirements.
5. Evolving Workforce
As the HVACR industry continues to grow and evolve we will start to see a shift in the current workforce with the entrance of new talent and the requirement to up-skill existing personnel in 2018.
There may not be a current shortage of talent in the industry, however, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that a significant portion of HVACR personnel are nearing retirement age, which has the potential to result in huge job growth in the industry.
Additionally, HVACR technicians will witness increased importance placed on their people skills as they move through 2018 and look to develop their careers. It is now important for technicians to exhibit an equal mix of communication and mechanical skills.
Companies may not see changes affecting them right now, however, it is important that they do not become complacent. It’s time to act now and start thinking about future strategy.
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