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 good or service.
Typically vendors are tracked in either a finance system or a warehouse management system.
Vendors may or may not function as distributors of goods. They may or may not function as Manufacturing 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 Retailing 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.