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An equipment planner is an employee who orders, inventories, and otherwise manages all types of equipment used in a business. The equipment planner may have a broad focus, or he or she may work for a specific industry; medical equipment planners, for example, will work exclusively in medical settings such as hospitals or medical centers. The planner must have a thorough knowledge of the types of equipment commonly used in a particular industry, and he or she will need to develop contacts with distributors and manufacturers to find the best prices, service, and delivery options.
Managing inventory is a major duty of the equipment planner. He or she must track invoices for equipment, maintain files for any costs incurred for repairs or replacement of parts, and manage maintenance schedules for all machines. It is likely that the equipment planner will need to operate within a set budget that is approved by management of the company as well. This means he or she must prioritize equipment purchases to ensure the most relevant and necessary pieces are purchased first.
The equipment planner will also need to research various options for equipment purchases to ensure the best equipment for the money is bought. This can be a difficult process, especially if the planner is not familiar with the machinery or equipment used in a particular industry; employers tend to hire planners with some familiarity of the industry for exactly this reason. The planner will set up an account with a vendor or manufacturer, and he or she is responsible for maintaining a good relationship with these vendors for future purchases or warranty issues. Should a problem with a particular piece of equipment arise, the planner will be responsible for arranging maintenance or repair of the machine, or for dealing with warranty issues directly from the manufacturer.
Sometimes it is necessary for the equipment planner to coordinate the placement of machinery or the movement of equipment throughout the building. In a hospital, for example, a piece of equipment may be needed by more than one medical professional at once, in two different locations. The equipment planner will therefore need to coordinate the placement of the equipment to accommodate as many medical professionals as possible. A schedule is often drawn up to manage this task. Sometimes the planner will be responsible for physically moving pieces of equipment from one location to another, so a reasonable degree of physical fitness may be required.