Vendor Definition & Resources

Since the vendor is paid in shares, the borrower does not need to make cash repayments. A payable is created any time money is owed by a firm for services rendered or products provided that has not yet been paid for by the firm. This can be from a purchase from a vendor on credit, or a subscription or installment payment that is due after goods or services have been received. When we, as weighted average cost of capital consumers, understand how supply chain management works, we can better understand and contextualize product pricing and understand why certain types of products command a premium. The movement of a product in the process of development down a supply chain sometimes necessitates many vendors that provide the manufactured, and sometimes specialty, components to create a complex product.

  • After all, the more vendors compete, the lower the cost of production on our favorite items will be, and the more money we can save as consumers.
  • A payable is created any time money is owed by a firm for services rendered or products provided that has not yet been paid for by the firm.
  • Their customers might be other businesses, or they might sell directly to consumers.
  • Such an arrangement also gives sellers of high ticket items an advantage over their competitors.

A vendor invoice is a document listing the amounts owed to a supplier by the recipient. When a customer orders goods and services on credit, the supplier prepares an invoice and issues it to the customer. This vendor invoice contains not only a listing of the amounts owed, but also any sales taxes and freight charges, as well as the date by which payment should be made, and where to send payment. Upon receipt, the customer enters the invoice into its accounting software, and schedules it for payment. A purchase order is a commercial source document that is issued by a business’ purchasing department when placing an order with its vendors or suppliers.

vendor definition

Through examples, we can better contextualize the different ways vendors operate and their purpose within the supply chain. If you happen to get audited, you’ll thank your former self for creating purchase orders. Purchase orders remove a lot of stress from the auditing process by providing auditors with a conclusive audit trail and an easy way to cross-check invoices and packing slips.

A retailer often buys its products from a wholesale vendor, then marks up the product to sell it to its customer base. Examples of retail vendors include an online shop that sells specialty wares directly to consumers, or a food truck that vends its goods to the general public. Wholesale vendors source items and buy large quantities of products in bulk straight from the manufacturer. A wholesaler stores the products and marks up the price of the items to resell them to retailers. The vendor delivers the raw materials to the business in the agreed-on time frame, and presents an invoice to the company upon delivery of the ordered items.

  • The company then pays the bill, and the accountant enters a $500 credit to the cash account and a debit for $500 to accounts payable.
  • In strategic vendor management (SVM), organizations take control, define how they work with vendors, and focus on developing relationships.
  • Both of these categories fall under the broader accounts payable category, and many companies combine both under the term accounts payable.
  • Vendors are the individuals or businesses that provide these items and services.
  • Examples of retail vendors include an online shop that sells specialty wares directly to consumers, or a food truck that vends its goods to the general public.

A tier 2 vendor is a smaller and less well-known provider that is often also limited in its geographic coverage as well. As a consequence, a tier 2 vendor is generally regarded as a secondary source rather than the preferred source. Generally, vendors send an invoice for their services and set their own payment terms. In the course of operating a business, services and products may be needed that the business is not able to provide on its own.


For example, if management wants to increase cash reserves for a certain period, they can extend the time the business takes to pay all outstanding accounts in AP. After all, the more vendors compete, the lower the cost of production on our favorite items will be, and the more money we can save as consumers. In the defense industry, there are many vendors that sell different types of equipment through government contracts.

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To learn more about vendor management best practices in general, read our Best Practices in Strategic Vendor Management article. The vendor becomes an equity shareholder and participates in receiving dividends, as well as in making major decisions in the borrower’s company. Equity vendor financing is common with startup companies that have yet to build a credit history with traditional lenders. A vendor financing arrangement helps enhance the relationship between vendor and customer, as it results in mutual benefits. Also, by borrowing from sources other than a bank, the borrower preserves bank financing that may be used later for capital-intensive activity. Vendor financing helps business owners purchase essential goods or services without requiring those owners to secure traditional bank loans or pledge their personal assets as collateral.

Different Types of Vendors

The program protects your company when you buy goods or services from a third party. The program also guides everyone involved in your vendor relationships, including those both inside (employees) and outside (vendors) your company. Furthermore, by offering vendor financing programs, a vendor can win a competitive advantage over rival firms. This arm or unit of the vendor’s business is known as an investment center and is regularly reviewed to ensure it is profitable. Although some people use the phrases “accounts payable” and “trade payables” interchangeably, the phrases refer to similar but slightly different situations. Trade payables constitute the money a company owes its vendors for inventory-related goods, such as business supplies or materials that are part of the inventory.

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Vendors can be businesses of any size, from a one-person hotdog stand on the sidewalk to a large vendor that stocks warehouse retailers. We’ve got you covered on the Bench Blog, with over 500 in-depth small business finance articles. For the sake of efficiency and simplicity, companies will also often set a lower cost threshold for issuing a purchase order. For example, your company might decide that it is most efficient if all orders smaller than $500 don’t use a purchase order. If your vendor is used to receiving purchase orders, you’ll get your shipment faster if you send them one.

Vendors are found throughout the supply chain, which is the sum of all individuals, organizations, resources, activities, and technologies used to manufacture and sell a product or service. The supply chain starts with the production and delivery of raw source materials. Even if you already have a vendor management program in place, key aspects of that program must function at a high level. So, make sure the company supports your program as a strategic function from the top down. To manage and collaborate with vendors, companies use strategies and tactics known as the vendor management process. The process includes setting objectives, establishing vendor selection criteria, executing those objectives, and refining to support continuous improvement.

According to Jon M. Quigley, author and Principal at Value Transformation LLC, getting the lowest price isn’t a strategic position in vendor management — getting quality and reliability is. Vendor financing can also be used when individuals lack the capital needed to buy a business outright. A vendor may rely on the sales it makes to a particular business, to make its own financial targets. And by providing financing in the form of a loan, it can secure the business, while strengthening the relationship with the business owner, to make sure it thrives over the long haul. Some people mistakenly believe that accounts payable refer to the routine expenses of a company’s core operations, however, that is an incorrect interpretation of the term.

To record accounts payable, the accountant credits accounts payable when the bill or invoice is received. The debit offset for this entry generally goes to an expense account for the good or service that was purchased on credit. The debit could also be to an asset account if the item purchased was a capitalizable asset. When the bill is paid, the accountant debits accounts payable to decrease the liability balance. The offsetting credit is made to the cash account, which also decreases the cash balance. Vendors that are manufacturers will construct products using raw materials.

The document indicates the details on the items that are to be purchased, such as the types of goods, quantity, and price. In simple terms, it is the contract drafted by the buyer when purchasing goods from the seller. Effective vendor management seeks to create a win-win scenario for you and your product or service provider.


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