It isn’t hard to remember the pandemic unravel back in 2020. Then came supply chain issues (toilet paper, anyone?), stock market volatility and general economic woes. All of this led to doubt, fear and uncertainty.
Unfortunately, no one was immune to the challenges. Covid-19 had a staggering impact on the global forklift market, and it changed the way most of us do business. But G&W has met these challenges head on and kept our customers’ needs at the forefront of all we do.
Let’s look at the effects of the pandemic on our industry and how G&W responded.
According to FortuneBusinessInsights.com, “The global forklift market exhibited a huge decline of 12.5 percent in 2020.” Manufacturing challenges, including steel and automotive, and logistics challenges put a halt on how the U.S. did business.
With major disruptions in the supply chain, the lift truck and material handling world wondered: What’s next?
After initial months of adjustment, businesses were forced to rethink strategies, procedures and go-to-market plans. Fortunately for the forklift market, those new strategies focused on when, how and why they were using forklifts and material handling resources. The answers to these questions can lead to making the right choices in buying, renting or leasing lift trucks, for example. And forklift dealers had new opportunities to provide solutions for customers, which can lead to even greater gains in productivity.
Here are some trends that have emerged in our industry.
As the pandemic made businesses realize they needed to work faster and be more productive, the interest in electric forklifts increased. Forklift availability was an issue. With 50 percent less lead time than gas trucks, electric forklifts saw a boost.
The pandemic created a surge of interest in automation. Automation creates enhanced efficiency and optimized processes. It allows for relocation of employee workload, so it can be deployed more effectively in other areas.
While rental equipment shortages were not a good thing, it forced companies to think broadly and take a longer-term approach to acquiring lift trucks. This led to better decision making.
Unfortunately, the industry experiences longer lead times and price increases in both forklifts and material handling products.
While G&W has felt the impact along with everyone else, we have worked hard to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of the businesses we serve.
The pandemic has changed the way we work, and that might mean new solutions or different ways of doing business. But at G&W, what hasn’t changed is that we continue to get to know our customers, so we can provide the right solution for specific needs.
We think attention to detail, experienced sales teams and personal service are still important. We can handle timely forklift delivery, so you can move your business forward.