Implementing SKUs: What You Need to Know?

  • July 27, 2017
  • Blog

When it comes to keeping a track of the inventory, one of the most common methods that are implemented is SKU. SKU actually stands for Stock Keeping Unit. This is an individual item like a product or a service. It is offered for sale which entails all the attributes that are related to the item and distinguishes it from the other items. These characteristics can be the size, color, brand, warranty, or manufacturer. Thus, a code is developed which holds the information about the item. This gives a unique stature to the inventory. This barcode is known to be human readable.

The SKU is unique for each product and the primary benefit of this is that the companies will take accurate inventories. With the help of this, tracking and also recalling becomes pretty easy. Moreover, since the code has relevant information about an item, someone who is adept at reading the code will get to know everything about the product. Simply by tracking the product variants with the help of an SKU, you will have a report not just on the product line but also about the individual variation about the product.

Why Not Use Only the Barcode?

Several people use the barcodes as SKU codes for the fulfillment. However, an SKU is unique to an organization. If the resell products which are sourced from the manufacturer then they might alter the barcodes. In such case, the SKU is out of sync and has to be updated. SKU is required in,

  • E-commerce
  • Catalogs
  • Trade customers
  • Marketplaces
  • Fulfillment houses.

As a matter fact, a manufacturer also uses an SKU that is separate from the barcode. The primary benefit of using this SKU is that it is human readable and you will be able to discern the relationship between the products like the different sizes of dresses. Moreover, if you sell a lot of products then taking a look at the barcode might not prove to be useful for identifying the product without taking the help of a scanner or checking the barcode in the database. This affects the order fulfillment.

Will a Serial Number Help?

In case you are the manufacturer of a product, you might want a new range in the future. If the existing product SKU is a string of sequential number, the relationship of the new product to the brand existing range will not be apparent.

What are the Details to be Included?

The SKU should have the following details,

  • Product description
  • Manufacturer
  • Size
  • Material
  • Color
  • Packaging
  • Warranty

It is always good to keep the barcode extendable.
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The SKU used by the retail logistics company, it will help in a smoother workflow. This is because it will become easier to keep a track of the products. The logistics company will be able to check what products are being delivered. It will also help in discerning if the right product is being given out to the right customer. Thus, it will increase the efficiency of overseas cargo shipping companies.