What does it mean to say that I am a manufacturer or that I own a manufacturing company? There are many definitions of the term, but what is important to understand is that you are a manufacturer when you do any one of the following: - Produce a product. This could be from your own manufacturing plant or from another supplier. In either case, you are a manufacturer because the product or service has been produced, completed and delivered to the customer. - Invest in inventory. When you sell products, and there will be sales and purchases of products, you are a manufacturer because the product has been manufactured, delivered and is being sold. - Fulfill a contract with another company for the production of products, such as a major manufacturer that does its own facilities, management and design. In this instance, you are a manufacturer even though you may have done the initial part of the manufacturing yourself. - Sell products. You are a manufacturer or retailer because you have done this for someone else. - Manage an e-commerce store. If you own an online store, you are a manufacturer. - Do everything. These days, it is not enough to make and sell products; you must also manage your inventory, do technical development, do customer service, and so on. Your definition of the term may vary from company to company's growth, so your definition may include the above or be in conflict with others who would consider these actions to be manufacturing. The point is that if you have done any of these things, you are considered a manufacturer. So, if you choose to work with another company or person, your definition of the term is no longer what it was before. The question "what is a manufacturer?" can be confusing if you do not know the answers to the above questions. A manufacturer is a supplier - either one that you own or do not own. There are companies that are "sole-proprietors" that own a manufacturing facility but are not a supplier. For example, a sole proprietor might manufacture clothing in his own factory. A manufacturer is a supplier when they sell a product that is made in their facility. A manufacturer may be an importer who sells products to consumers, but not directly to the manufacturers themselves. As you can see, a manufacturer is a person or company who makes and sells products. They are either the manufacturer or an importer. Understanding the difference helps you understand the difference between manufacturers and suppliers.