The mobility equipment industry is one very helpful industry in the healthcare sector. It is a large industry being projected to be worth more than 15 billion dollars by the year 2026. For those who don’t know, it is this industry that manufactures mobility aid devices that help elderly adults to walk, children who are recovering from injury, and the physically handicapped. However, just like any other industry, the mobility equipment industry is facing several challenges that slow it growth. Here are some of the challenges that the industry is facing in 2021.
1. COVID 19 Pandemic
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, most of the activities were affected. Economies and markets suffered hugely. The pandemic also had its impacts on the mobility equipment industry. This is because the free movement of people and materials was hindered. 80% of the businesses claim to have been financially affected by the pandemic and its disruptions. The healthcare industry, on which the mobility equipment industry is based on, was seriously hit. Movement in these and other public places was restricted, meaning that there was low demand of the equipment.
The manufacturers were not spared too. In order to abide by the given restrictions and guidelines, manufacturers had to devise new and efficient ways to keep up with the demand. Some were even forced to down size while others shut down completely. Most of the jobs here cannot be carried out remotely, another challenge.
2. High Cost of Production
It costs both time and capital for a mobility device to be developed from an idea to its actual realization. Materials have to be purchased, transported to the factory, prepared, and used. Some of the mobility devices also have high quality technology fitted, which can be quite expensive. All these costs and additional ones such as rent dictate the final price of the equipment. Since the firms have to cover all the costs and make profit, the prices are sometimes a little bit too high.
Manufacturers also need to fund ongoing processes from their sales. That is how they are able to come up with and develop innovative equipment that are more efficient. The more the quality of the equipment, the higher the price.
3. Difficulty in Forecasting the Demand
Trying to forecast the future demand of mobility equipment is not an easy task. Imagine trying to figure out how many people might need wheelchairs in 2021? The main problem that causes this is the lack of an effective tool that can allow the manufacturers to know the number of items that they may need to produce in the coming months. For this reason, the mobility equipment industry might find that they have produces way too many equipment compared to the sales.
However, with the help of advanced systems, manufacturers can carefully analyze the market and look out for the products that recorded the highest sales.
4. The Challenge to Improve Efficiency in the Industry
Not just this industry; up to now, most industries have been struggling with problem of increasing the efficiency of their production. Manufacturers and suppliers have been looking for effective was that they can implement into their systems and improve their rate of productivity or reduce costs. Some find themselves trying too hard to cut on production costs to the extent that they compromise the quality of equipment produced. This will only reduce the sales and profitability.
5. Shortage of Skilled Labor
Yes, the mobility equipment industry brims with automated production equipment. However, these machines and robotics still need people to monitor and control them. Even though the healthcare sector has done its job in training, the technology aspect of it all is somehow neglected. There is not enough manpower to work with the machines. This also means that those who are already in such positions can demand for higher pay, all affecting the workmanship expenses.
Moreover, human capabilities are also needed for analyzing and solving problems. Output has to be managed too. The looming labor shortage is a threat to the industry. Firms should make themselves lucrative and appealing enough to attract the qualified workforce.
The number of mobility equipment sales this year is expected to rise by 15%. This is a good gesture that despite the challenges, there is still hope that the industry will keep on growing