SKU numbers are numeric or alphanumeric codes that assist businesses in tracking inventory. The majority of companies have their own SKU number system. There are about 8 to 12 SKU characteristics, each of which represents a distinct feature of the product such as the item type, brand, design, or department to which it belongs.
Difference between UPC Numbers and SKU Numbers
There might be confusions between SKU and UPC numbers since they are both located on the same product price tag. It is essential your staff be able to distinguish the two terms in order to avoid costly mistakes with inventory management
The UPC is a 12-digit code that is printed along the bottom of the barcode and read by barcode readers. Besides, UPC is not unique within stores. Two identical items will have different SKUs but they obtain the same UPC numbers, which are created by its manufacturer. With UPC numbers, people can obtain details like the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP). Besides, UPCs may also be used for conducting online product testing.
Unlike UPC numbers, SKUs numbers are determined by retailers for every single item. In other words, the SKU is unique to the item and totally different from others.
If UPC numbers are commonly made up of a random collection of numbers, every character in an SKU number is carefully selected.
Important of SKU numbers
The following sections are some of the highlight advantages of having a well-organized SKU number system
Enhancing the Shopping Experience
By tracking SKU numbers accurately, you can properly organize your store in order that your employees can locate their expected items quickly. Besides, customers can also easily find the products that they are looking for which allows retailers to enhance their customer service quality.
You can more easily forecast sales business needs if you can accurately track stock with SKU numbers. As a result, you can consider keeping some of your best-selling items on hand while phasing out slow-moving products.
How to develop a SKU number system
As you can see, using an SKU number system for your inventory can significantly simplify the inventory managing process. Some merchants still use manual methods for SKU related tasks. Having said that, due to the constantly changing retail industry we strongly advise modern retailers to optimize the inventory management by adopting POS systems.
To illustrate, ConnectPOS – a solution provided by ConnectRetail – is one of the most powerful POS systems in the recent market. With this solution, retailers can synchronize their inventory data in real-time and automatically generate meaningful reports that enable them to make timely decisions.
Select SKU number identifiers
Depending on your business requirements, here are some standard SKU number identifiers to consider:
- Product department
- Store location
- Product feature
Create a unique top-level identifier
As mentioned above, an SKU number always includes from 8 to 12 characters. It is recommended that you should define the first two or three characters to be the top-level identifier. This informs you about the highest level of category that items can be placed.
Identify more product characteristics
The following two to eight characters in your SKU number can be used to define more distinct product characteristics like size, color, brand, or design. Some companies prefer to use letters rather than numbers to prevent confusion.
Create a numerical sequence.
Your SKU number’s last two to three characters should be a sequential number. These numbers are basically used for assuring that the SKU is unique.
To sum up,
The SKU numbers play an important role in an efficient inventory management system since they greatly save retailers time and efforts to keep track of inventory as well as make timely decisions.
Besides, retailers can also consider adopting a robust POS system like ConnectPOS in order to enhance inventory managing proficiency.
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