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In a supply chain, a vendor, or a seller, is an enterprise that contributes goods or services. Generally, a supply chain vendor manufactures inventory/stock items and sells them to the next link in the chain. Today, these terms refer to a supplier of any goods or service.


A vendor, or a supplier, is a supply chain management term that means anyone who provides goods or services of experience to another entity. Vendors may sell B2B (business-to-business; i.e., to other companies), B2C (business to consumers), or B2G (business to government). Some vendors manufacture inventoriable items and then sell those items to customers, while other vendors offer services or experiences.

Typically vendors are tracked in either a finance system or a warehouse management system.

Vendors are often managed with a vendor compliance checklist or vendor quality audits, and these activities can be effectively managed by software tools[1]

Purchase orders are usually used as a contractual agreement with vendors to buy goods or services.

Vendors may or may not function as distributors or manufacturers of goods. If vendors are also manufacturers, they may either build to stock or build to order.

"Vendor" is often a generic term, used for suppliers of industries from retail sales to manufacturers to city organizations. The term generally applies only to the immediate seller, or the organization that is paid for the goods, rather than to the original manufacturer or the organization performing the service if it is different from the immediate supplier.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Request For Quotation/Proposal/Information (RFQ/RFP/RFI)". Purchasing software for professional buyers. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  2. ^ Skjott-Larsen, Tage; Philip B. Schary; Juliana H. Mikkola; Herbert Kotzab (2007). Managing the Global Supply Chain. Copenhagen Business School Press DK. p. 20. ISBN 87-630-0171-3.