Difference Between Supplier and Distributor

Main Difference

The main difference between Supplier and Distributor is that Supplier is a company, organization or individual that provides its services to the consumer by distributor whereas Distributor is intermediate between supplier and consumer with a distribution force in a particular area.

Supplier vs. Distributor

Supplier and distributor are two important points of a supply chain that plays a very important role in marketing. Both of them work hard to ensure that products or merchandise are easily available to consumers without letting the shortage of required products and keep the market flowing smoothly. They both are interconnected to each other. A supplier is the one who provides the products, commodity or service to the consumer, on the flip side, a distributor is the one that is intermediate between the supplier and the consumer with a large warehousing capacity and with sales and delivery force servicing stores in a specific area. A supplier does not resell the product, whereas a distributor can resell the product because it is their job. Supplier sell goods to the distributor, on the other hand, distributors sell the products or goods that they get from suppliers. Sometimes, a supplier may directly sell the products to the consumer. A supplier is the one that produces and imports products while distributors do not produce or manufacture the products but sell the products that have been imported from suppliers. A supplier can provide services as well as products. On the other side, a distributor can only provide products, not services because it cannot be separated from a service provider. So, neither the supplier nor the distributor can work separately. Both of them need to work together to achieve their goals and to make products available to the customers. Thus, suppliers and distributors are the parts of an interconnected supply chain.

Comparison Chart

SupplierDistributor
A company, organization, or individual that provides its services or goods to the consumer or customer by a distributor or directly is known as a supplier.An intermediary between supplier and retailers or consumers, with a large warehousing capacity and with sales and delivery force servicing stores in a specific area is known as a distributor.
Role
A Supplier is the one that sells goods to the distributor.A distributor sells the products or goods to the consumers that they get from suppliers.
Reselling of Products
. A supplier does not resell the product.A distributor can resell the product because it is their job.
Production
A supplier is the one that produces and imports products.Distributors do not produce or manufacture the products but sell the products that have been imported from suppliers.
Function
A supplier can provide services as well as products.A distributor can only provide products, not services because it cannot be separated from a service provider.

What is Supplier?

Suppliers can be defined as a party, organization, company, or individual who is the source of goods or services. A supplier is the one who provides a product, service, or commodity to consumers, usually through a distributor. Suppliers can also be producers, packagers, wholesalers, traders, processors, and merchants dealing with certain products and merchandise. Suppliers can interact directly with customers; this is what happens, especially in business cases, to business products & industrial supplies. For example, wind turbines are supplied directly by suppliers to customers. Intermediaries are not present in the business.

What is a Distributor?

Distributors are intermediaries who resell products obtained from suppliers. They are appointed for business to customer marketing where large volumes are transacted. A third of the price of the product can be attributed to the distributor because the distributor stores the product, advertises it among retailers, and gives an advance to the supplier. Because of this factor, suppliers provide substantial discounts to distributors. Suppliers and distributors sign a contract, and returns are not received by the supplier if the product expires. Thus, a distributor can be defined as an organization that buys a product from a supplier under a contract, stores it, and then sells it back to the retailer. Distributors do not directly approach end users because they promote products among retailers. Distributors are very influential parties in the supply chain because of their cash resources and special distribution skills. They may be a competitive advantage for suppliers on time. Distributors are widely used in fast-moving consumer goods due to the complexity of distribution channels and large volumes.

Key Differences

  1. A company, organization or individual that provides its services or goods to the consumer or customer by a distributor or directly is known as supplier whereas, an intermediary between supplier and retailers or consumers, with a large warehousing capacity and with sales and delivery force servicing stores in a specific area is known as a distributor.
  2. A Supplier is the one that sells goods to the distributor; on the other hand; A distributor sells the products or goods to the consumers that they get from suppliers.
  3. A supplier does not resell the product conversely a distributor can resell the product because it is their job.
  4. A supplier is the one that produces and imports products on the flip side; distributors do not produce or manufacture the products but sell the products that have been imported from suppliers.
  5. A supplier can provide services as well as products on the other side; a distributor can only provide products, not services because it cannot be separated from a service provider.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

Above discussion summarizes that both supplier and distributors are the part of a supply chain. A supplier is the one that manufactures the products and supplies them to the distributor. A distributor with a large warehousing capacity in a specific region, supply these products to the customer or consumer.