• Are there any differences between a supplier and a contractor, or are they essentially the same?

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  • Answers (7)

  • Tim Pelletier

    21/11/2016 10:42AM

    Dharmendra, I look at supplier as a person or company providing goods under contract, a contractor provides a service under contract.

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    Dharmendra Singh Thanks Tim

    21/11/2016 09:23PM

  • Matt Cockfield

    29/11/2016 02:37AM


    Expanding on Tim's excellent answer above, suppliers are issued purchase orders (indeed a type of contract) to provide a specification while contractors are issued contracts to provide a scope of work. Generally speaking, suppliers ship the specified good to the customer while contractors perform the work on customer's premises. And, also in general, suppliers might be subject to product liability while contractors may contend with property damage, bodily injury, and other liabilities. There are of course those instances where the two blend together to a degree or even become one (e.g. an offsite fabricator), but these situations are relatively speaking, if not uncommon, more exceptional.

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    Tim Pelletier Hi Matt,
    Thanks for expanding on my answer and it was a great explanation/deeper basis. Appreciate the assist!

    29/11/2016 02:19PM

    Dharmendra Singh Took the words out of my mouth mouth Tim - thanks Matt!

    29/11/2016 10:43PM

  • Slavica Joković

    21/11/2016 07:20PM

    Essentially, both are economic operators; for all that, supplier offers the supply of products and contractor offers the execution of works.

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    Dharmendra Singh Thanks Slavica

    21/11/2016 09:23PM

  • Bashir Garba Ibrahim

    10/12/2016 11:59AM

    They same in principal but different in contractual approach

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  • bjorn heinrich neumann

    05/12/2016 09:18PM


    All responses are correct.
    However the definition we have developed is:

    Both are a legal contract between two parties - one provides services/goods for which he receives compensation and the other receives services/good for which he is paying.

    When one use the term Supplier one uses the format Purchase Order (PO) and that is for goods/services where the product liability rests with the Supplier; The design - Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) belong to Supplier.
    (Supplier has designed the goods - the specifications/drawings belong to him and he is also responsible for the functionality and that the goods meet technical requirements, national rules and regulations where the goods are put into service)

    When one places a Contract with a Contractor for the provision of goods/services the design - IPR belong to Buyer and the product liability rests with Buyer as well.
    (Buyer has designed the goods - drawings and specifications belong to him. He is also responsible for that the goods meet technical requirements, national rules and regulations where the goods are put into service.
    Contractor is NOT responsible for the functionality)

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    Dharmendra Singh Thanks for the detail Bjorn

    09/12/2016 11:20AM

  • Sayed Khanzada

    28/11/2016 05:53AM

    supplier is an individual or a company that provides goods or materials, the contractor is a company that provides works on contractual bases

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    Dharmendra Singh Nice simple definition - thanks Sayed

    28/11/2016 06:34AM

    Dharmendra Singh Nice simple definition - thanks Sayed

    28/11/2016 06:35AM

    Dharmendra Singh Nice simple definition - thanks Sayed

    28/11/2016 06:35AM

    Sayed Khanzada Most welcome

    28/11/2016 06:39AM

  • Mike Robertson

    14/11/2016 11:12AM

    Dharmendra: A supplier is typically an individual or an organisation that is delivering your company a capability or service. A contractor might be either a supplier delivering to your organisation OR they might be a contractor being employed by your organisation. Here is a short article that might assist you https://goo.gl/59iZZU

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    Dharmendra Singh Hi Mike, many thanks. Unfortunately, the link isn't working for me - is there another way I can access the article?

    15/11/2016 10:36AM

    Mike Robertson Failing that, just go to our website www.podprocurement.org/blogs ... hope this helps

    18/11/2016 09:05AM

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