Difference between Vendor and Customer

Supply chain management, or the coordination of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, is a crucial aspect of every business. The ultimate beneficiary of these goods and services is the consumer. This is because it entails a constant flow of capital, information, and products among a large number of people. Those involved in the process include the manufacturer, the supplier, the wholesaler, the retailer, and the end user. All of these parts must work together in harmony to keep the supply chain running smoothly.

Who is a Vendor?

This person is a part of the distribution team that works to get products to end users. The relationship between a buyer and the retailer or manufacturer who ultimately fulfills their purchase is known as "business to consumer" (B2C). A seller's goal should be to make a profit through the provision of goods.

A supply chain relies heavily on vendors because they provide vital information about customer needs and product feedback to manufacturers and distributors. Therefore, suppliers are in constant communication with both end users and producers.

Who is a Customer?

Consumers or businesses that purchase goods with the goal of putting them to their intended use are the last links in the supply chain. Anyone, from a person to a large corporation, can be a customer. This is an example of a customer who may be −

  • One definition of "direct customers" is buyers who want to use the thing they just bought immediately.

  • When someone buys a product with the intention of making modifications and then reselling it, they are dubbed an indirect consumer.

The customer is the final link in the chain, and their needs, views, and beliefs have a major influence on the choices made by manufacturers.

Differences − Vendor and Customer

Both Vendors and Customers serve crucial functions in the supply chain. The following table highlights how a Vendor is different from a Customer −

Characteristics Vendor Customer


In the business world, a vendor is a person who helps distribute products to consumers.

When an individual or business buys a product or service with the purpose of using it, we call them a customer. The last link in every successful supply chain is the customer.

Supply chain link

A vendor is a person who comes second-to-last in a supply chain.

The customer is the final link in the supply chain.

Aim of purchase

One who purchases goods for the purpose of reselling them is known as a vendor.

The term "consumer" refers to an individual who buys goods for personal consumption.

Relationship to the producers

There is an open dialogue between a manufacturer and a retailer.

An intermediary exists between a customer and the people making the product.


A supplier who deals directly with consumers is called a vendor. In many supply chains, vendors are the final connection. However, the last link in the supply chain is the customer, who is defined as the individual or group that buys the product with the aim of using it. Customers might be either people or businesses. Both remain crucial components in the supply chain.

Updated on: 16-Dec-2022

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