Equipment suppliers are companies which supply equipment to various industries, such as the restaurant industry, the automobile industry, and the airline industry. These companies specialize in acquiring or fabricating unique equipment to meet the needs of their clients. Some equipment suppliers have very limited specialties, such as refrigeration equipment or laboratory glass, while others cover a wide range of types of equipment so that their clients can rely on one supplier for their equipment, rather than having to work with multiple companies.
Some equipment suppliers only work with new equipment, while others carry used equipment or new and used. Refurbishment of used equipment can be highly profitable for equipment suppliers, as many companies are perfectly happy with used equipment which can be acquired at low cost. The equipment supplier may also provide service and support to its clients, in addition to product warranties which are designed to provide clients with peace of mind.
Equipment can be made available for sale or rental. Sometimes rental is an appealing option to a new company because it cannot afford to buy equipment outright. Leasing equipment provides them with the equipment they need to get started, and the equipment supplier may offer a lease-option which will allow the client the option to buy the equipment at the end of a term of use. Equipment rentals are also useful for special events, in which a company only needs equipment for a limited time.
These companies need to be able to network with a number of manufacturers, in addition to other suppliers, and they need connections in the industry. A surgical supplier, for example, works with companies which make surgical instruments, autoclaves, surgery robots, surgical tables, anesthesia machines, and a wide variety of other equipment used in surgery, and representatives of the company usually work hard to establish connections with hospitals so that they have a steady source of clients.
Some equipment suppliers advertise in trade journals and show up at trade shows to promote their products and services. Others rely on word of mouth, serving a smaller client base. In addition to selling and renting equipment to other companies, equipment suppliers can also provide equipment to private individuals. For instance, someone requiring in-home medical care could rent a hospital bed from an equipment supplier, or a private organization hosting a catered dinner could rent stoves, ovens, and other equipment for temporary use on the site of the dinner.