The global office furniture market is expected to reach unprecedented heights by 2027, fueled by increased demand for modular furniture in the corporate sector, according to a report released by MarketResearch.biz. Another report by IndustryResearch.biz predicts that the office furniture market will experience a 4.7% compound annual growth rate due again to corporate demand, with the industry exceeding $94 billion by 2025.
Smart furniture and smart offices are also popular trends that are expected to contribute greatly to the growth of the office furniture industry. Research Nestor, a global technology and analytics firm, defines smart furniture as anything that incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) - furniture that is connected to the internet allows end-users to control its functions from a smartphone or laptop. For instance, motorized desks can be adjusted simply by speaking into your phone or tapping/swiping the controls on the mobile app.
The reports also identify the key players in the office furniture, particularly manufacturers that will benefit greatly from the overall growth. Indiana-based Kimball International is mentioned extensively throughout the report. The company's subsidiary, National Office Furniture, manufacturers mid-priced furniture that is attractive to companies opening new office spaces. Some other top manufacturers in the reports include HNI Corporation, Okamura Corporation, Herman Miller, and Steelcase.
North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific regions are the areas that will drive the growth. India particularly is experiencing massive growth in its cities due to corporate expansion. The 2001 India Census reported that 28.5% of the country's population was living in urban areas in 2001. That number increased to 31.2% in 2011. The United Nations estimates that more than two-thirds of the world's population will live in urban areas by the year 2050.
The price of raw materials used to manufacture office furniture - particularly wood and various types of plastic and metal - has remained relatively steady over the past five years. Analysts predict this trend will continue in the short-term. But due to increases in transportation costs and employee wages, retailers are likely to increase prices. Improvements in energy, such as utilizing more solar, wind, and other renewable sources, could help mitigate some of the aforementioned cost increases.
Escalating trade wars have factored into supply chain management for office furniture as well recently. A 2018 survey by Paris-based technology firm Lectra found that one of the top priority for office furniture manufacturers is to increase efficiency as it relates to operations. That means supply chain managers must have a comprehensive understanding of every company in it supply chain to ensure stability in costs and shipping times.
Another factor that is becoming an issue for U.S.-based manufacturers is a shortage of skilled laborers. A 2018 ASQ Manufacturing survey found that 41% of U.S. manufacturers are having difficulty filling their manufacturing positions. Office furniture manufacturers are sending recruiters to both high schools and community colleges to find workers interested in the industry and directing them to the right coursework. Some companies are also developing on-site training programs for current and potential employees looking to expand their skillsets.
The IndustryResearch.biz report is a useful tool for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers of the office furniture industry. It provide extensive data on different product types, sub-markets within the industry, and important trends to help develop growth strategies.
The full report can be downloaded here.