What's in store for Closet Makers 2022? It is hard to say. There are so many predictions that it is easy to get lost. Looking at recent history, what happened in previous decades might be a good prediction of what is coming next. But these predictions don't always turn out the way they are predicted.
There may be no more need for 3D printing or robots because machines will all be done, and all human work will cease. On the other hand, maybe people will have time for hobbies like woodworking.
Automation is here and isn't going away. It will soon be possible to have a designer fabricate your storage rather than do it from scratch or plans. You can select the wood type and colors, but it will all be precast to your dimensions. The distributor, local or online, might offer design services too. Eventually, you will be able to order storage space with a selection of different types of shelving, some with drawers and some with hanging rods for clothes and accessories. You can even order wireless lighting that changes color based on what you have.
The list can go on and on. Closet design is likely to become more like the furniture business, where the customer gets personalized and professional designs based on their preferences. The customer will not design it themselves and would need to go back to a designer who could do it for them. The customer will become more like a custom furniture designer than a custom maker.
Use of Robots
Robots are not going away and will still be used in shipping, assembly lines, robotic cells, and other areas where they are necessary. They may even be used to make cabinets as IKEA does now. But this is not just about technology, but also about the economy. It is hard to make money on furniture in today's economy when you have to pay wages for craftspeople making it. It is harder still if you import the wood and labor from overseas where wages are cheaper.
Makers who want to be profitable in 2022 will have to work on their service business and ensure that their customers get what they want and come back if they need anything else. They must also find ways to meet the needs of people who wish to personalized cabinets so that it is not a project the customer does on her own, but one that is done for her.
This may mean giving your customer a selection of styles from which they can choose one that matches their current décor, or it could mean providing a catalog of custom storage with all of the choices made by the designer. This could include shelves pre-drilled and fitted with hangers and accessories like wireless lighting. The customer would need to install and use it, paying for the design as a service rather than an item.
Makers will have to work on their pricing. They may get their prices up because of the improved service, but they may also have to find a way to make money on what used to be cheap. Doing so would make them more affordable than mass-produced units to attract people who want a personalized storage room rather than just something that looks good and works well.
The best way for makers to make money is by introducing fully automated cabinets made by the customer themselves or by having a small team of designers work on them and then having the finished product assembled and delivered. If they can do this, they will increase their profit margins substantially.
Of course, designers always try to cut corners by doing shoddy work or using inferior materials. You may have to screen your designers carefully and ensure that they are qualified before you contract with them. This means that you will have to be more involved in the design process, especially selecting the materials and ensuring that it is shipped correctly.
Whether or not we need professional closets in the future will depend on how we evolve as a society. What jobs are lost, and what new jobs are created? Will there be a point where no one has to work for money anymore? These things will all impact how we use our closets and what storage solutions are available.