Distributors are individuals who work directly with manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to move products through a supply chain.
Distributors are a crucial part of the supply chain, as they serve as a bridge between manufacturers and retailers that sell products directly to consumers.
They’re similar to wholesalers but with some key differences. Where wholesalers purchase bulk quantities of products and sell them to retailers, distributors play a more strategic role, typically by entering into a contract with a manufacturer, promoting products, educating resellers, and selling to retailers within a specific region or market.
In this strategic role, a distributor reduces the time, energy, and money that a manufacturer would spend building relationships with a retailer and that a retailer would spend managing inventory across manufacturing sites.
Because a distributor is tapped into a specific region or market, they can also help their partners expand, promote their products to a broader network, and handle region-specific laws and regulations.