An individual or firm authorized to act on behalf of another (called the principal), such as selling or servicing a product or service. The agent usually does not assume any financial risk in the transaction and receive a commission from successful sales.

Bar Code

Optical machine-readable representation of data, used for unique identification of an object. The code uses a sequence of vertical bars and spaces to represent numbers and other symbols. A barcode reader is used to read the code. The reader uses a laser beam that is sensitive to the reflections from the line and space thickness and variation. The reader translates the reflected light into digital data that is transferred to a computer for immediate action or storage. Bar codes and readers are most often seen in supermarkets, retail stores and inventory management

Bonded Warehouse

Warehouse where imported goods are stored prior to customs duties and taxes being paid. These facilities are often used to delay the payment of import fees until the products are actually sold/shipped (when they physically leave the bonded facility). This can be particularly useful when products are received well in advance of sale or when a portion of the product received may eventually be returned or scrapped (thus preventing paying import fees on items not sold). Bonded warehouses are licensed by the government.

C & F Agent

C & F Stands for carrying and forwarding - C & F Agent acts as a mediator between manufacturer & chain of distribution. Acting on behalf of manufacturer, C & F Agent ensures smooth supply of goods to dealers, distributors in his territory. He isentitled for commission only on the sold goods.

Cold Storage

Kind of warehouse, cold storage typically describes storage of perishable food products that require refrigeration. Cold storage can be either refrigerated storage (above freezing temps) or frozen storage (below freezing temps). See Also Warehouse


Dealer is an Individual or firm that buys goods from a producer or distributor for wholesale and/or retail reselling. While distributor gets the material directly from the source / factory, dealer depends on the distributor for the supplies. In other words, distributor is a person who distributes the product of a company to a large market area which includes dealers.

Distribution Channel

The chain of businesses or intermediaries through which a good or service passes until it reaches the end consumer. A distribution channel can include wholesalers, retailers, distributors and even the internet. Please read special articles in Resources section


A distributor is an intermediary entity between manufacturer / producer and another entity in the distribution channel or supply chain, such as retailer. Unlike agents, distributors buy the product directly from the company and distribute it in the market. Moreover, distributors also provide after sales services, which agents do not provide.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a supply chain management technique in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock, but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. In a drop-ship scenario, 3 parties interact to close a transaction. The buyer initiates a purchase from the seller, who then arranges with the supplier to ship the product directly to the buyer. The seller does not carry inventory of the product and the supplier does not have any direct communication with the buyer. The buyer pays the seller and the seller pays the supplier.


FMCG stands for Fast Moving Consumer Goods - household products consumed in our day to day life such as toothpaste, soap, hair oil, shampoo etc. Though the profit margin made on FMCG products is relatively small (more so for retailers than the producers/suppliers), they are generally sold in large quantities; thus, the cumulative profit on such products can be substantial. FMCG have a short shelf life and characterized by frequent purchase, low price and mostly strong brand equity

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