Browse Definitions:
Definition

distributor

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A distributor is an intermediary entity between a the producer of a product and another entity in the distribution channel or supply chain, such as a retailer, a value-added reseller (VAR) or a system integrator (SI). The distributor performs some of the same functions that a wholesaler does but generally takes a more active role.

At a minimum, distributors handle payment and procurement but, unlike wholesalers, their roles can be much more complex. For example, vendors that lack the means to build out a channel program by themselves often outsource that work to distributors. Distributors also frequently take a more proactive approach in educating resellers about new products, through such activities as presales training, road shows, and demos on behalf of vendors. Distributors may provide services around the procurement process, such as contract negotiation, marketing for resellers and SIs, and warrantees. Increasingly, distributors also host network operations centers (NOCs).

Although the specific entities and order involved can vary, the supply chain or distribution channel involving a distributor is generally: vendor to distributor, distributor to reseller or SI, reseller or SI to end customer.

See also: IT distributor, channel strategy, channel partner, distributor agreement

This was last updated in March 2013

Continue Reading About distributor

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close