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Posted by Laura Gayle - 16 November, 2018

B2B Marketplaces are no longer just for buying, KWIPPED

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When you need to rent a generator, carpet cleaner, or other home-care equipment, you visit your local hardware store. But what happens when a business needs to rent specialized equipment? Robin Salter is answering that question with KWIPPED.

Robin - KWIIPPEDKWIPPED is an online B2B equipment marketplace that connects businesses with rentals or leases of specialized equipment. Their platform accounts for every aspect of the process, including an inventory database, competitive supplier quoting, renter-supplier direct messaging, and more. Users can search for virtually any make or model of equipment across 30-plus industries, submit a single request and receive custom quotes from multiple suppliers for side-by-side comparison. 

We caught up with Salter to learn what it takes to meet the needs of dozens of B2B companies from a variety of industries.

What burdens were B2B renters and suppliers having that inspired you to create this marketplace?

In the construction space, equipment rental is a well-established market with suppliers in every town. If you need to rent a standard piece of equipment, it’s not hard to find multiple companies near you who have it. But step into almost any other commercial market, and it’s a much different story. 

If you need to rent specialty equipment in other markets and fields, like laboratory equipment, engineering supplies, audio-visual gear, surveying tools, refrigeration, film production equipment, and more, where do you find it? Supply for these types of items come from small local distributors, which are very fragmented and geographically dispersed. Additionally, many suppliers in these markets are only interested in straight sales of their equipment.

Not surprisingly, many professionals that need specialty equipment start by searching online. But finding a reliable supplier that has the exact equipment required, available for rent or lease during the timeframe needed is often a cumbersome, time-consuming, and fruitless undertaking.

B2B eCommerce is a new frontier in many industries because people still see purchasing as needing a face-to-face interaction. Are you seeing this same thought process in the renting/leasing industry too?

We are supporting equipment rentals across 30-plus industry verticals. From our perspective, B2B eCommerce is a new frontier in a large percentage of those industries. We feel that if a professional has a face-to-face relationship with a supplier, then our tech adds no value. We aren't interested in replacing strong business relationships. But when there is no existing relationship, KWIPPED is an awesome sourcing technology. 

Today, even old-school businesses have started using some form of digital transformation by beginning their searches on the Internet. As the workforce continues to grow younger, online sourcing solutions like KWIPPED will become even more valuable. 

What have been some of the most significant obstacles in making this business?

So far, I’d say resources. Supporting equipment rentals and leases across 30-plus unique business industries is a bit like running 30-plus individual businesses. In each market, we have totally different target audiences and completely different competitors. 

With so many different industries covered by your marketplace, what tactics have you used to market to all of them adequately? Are there some industries that are quicker to adopt this strategy?

We are focusing more time and resources on proactively marketing to specific industries, professions and organizations than others. 

KWIPPED featured inEarly on, a major factor in determining where to focus was whether or not the equipment was shippable. In markets dealing with shippable equipment, we could recruit one or two good suppliers and begin creating demand with Google Adwords and organic SEO efforts. Within days or sometimes hours, we could see liquidity. When dealing in areas involving large, bulky equipment that can’t be reasonably or affordably shipped, we faced geographic constraints that required much more effort to produce liquidity. 

Certain fertile markets that we never really considered from the start are revealing themselves in the form of unexpected demand. For example, one of our first registered users was a university. Then another and another. It makes sense. Universities need all kinds of specialty equipment for research projects and grants, and they either can’t or don’t want to own the equipment. We started reaching out aggressively and today we have more than 125 colleges and universities registered as users, including schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Duke.

We’ve also come to understand that the number one reason businesses and professionals choose to rent equipment is that many of them are doing contract work for another business or organization. Contractors can rent the latest, greatest equipment for the job and pass the cost off to their client.

There are definitely markets that are adopting our marketplace model more quickly than others. What’s really exciting is that in certain spaces we’re actually introducing equipment rental and leasing as new and often preferred methods of accessing equipment. For example, in the laboratory space, we often hear scientists and lab managers say, “Wow, we didn’t even know we could rent this type of equipment. This is awesome!”

It makes sense that individual contractors would rent equipment, but are you seeing adoption from larger enterprises?

That’s something we were wondering about too when we first launched. But the reality is that we’ve seen incredible enterprise adoption. Our registered users include a huge variety of powerful and respected brands and organizations including Apple, SpaceX, Boeing, General Motors, the US Navy, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and more.

KWIPPED is taking on a massive niche in the B2B world that affects dozens of different industries, all without having to buy or sell a single product. They're proving that breaking into B2B doesn't always require physical capital-sometimes all it takes is a unique idea and an eye for spotting an unmet demand in need of filling.

Disrupting B2B Processes

KWIPPED


KWIPPED logoKWIPPED is an online B2B equipment rental and leasing marketplace that empowers businesses and professionals to rent or lease equipment from other qualified businesses and professionals that have equipment inventory available to rent. Our platform accounts for every aspect of the rental and leasing processes including: smart search of our massive inventory database, competitive supplier quoting engine, renter-supplier direct messaging, scheduling, shipping logistics, insurance, security deposits and payment management. Users can search for virtually any make or model of equipment acros 30+ industries, submit a single request and receive custom quotes from multiple suppliers for side-by-side comparison. A sourcing and decisioning process that once took days or weeks of research can now be accomplished in minutes with a few mouse clicks or smartphone taps.

Topics: Disrupting B2B, B2B eCommerce, Sales & Marketing