For the unincorporated community in Arkansas, see Vendor, Arkansas.

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, the terms refers to a supplier of any good or service.


A vendor, or a supplier, is a supply chain management term that means anyone who provides goods or services to a company or individuals. A vendor often manufactures inventoriable items, and sells those items to a customer.

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 of goods. They may or may not function as 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. 'Vendor' generally applies only to the immediate vendor, 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]


  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.
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