What is sku: Understanding the Basics of Stock Keeping Units Huong Vu October 16, 2023

What is sku: Understanding the Basics of Stock Keeping Units

What is sku: Understanding the Basics of Stock Keeping Units

Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) plays a crucial role in inventory management and product identification. In this article, we will explore the concept of SKUs, delve deeper into their significance, and address some common questions related to SKUs.

What is SKU?

A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique alphanumeric code assigned to a specific product or item within a company’s inventory. SKUs are used to differentiate and track individual products, enabling businesses to efficiently manage inventory, streamline operations, and enhance customer service. Each SKU represents a distinct variant of a product, including variations such as size, color, style, or packaging.

Stock Keeping Units (SKUs): A more in-depth understanding

By knowing what is SKU, you learn that Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are an essential component of inventory management, providing businesses with a deeper understanding of their products and enabling more efficient operations. Let’s explore the concept of SKUs in greater detail to grasp their significance.

  • Product Differentiation: SKUs allow businesses to differentiate between various product variants. Each SKU represents a unique combination of attributes, such as size, color, style, or packaging.
  • Inventory Tracking and Control: By utilizing stock-keeping units (SKUs), businesses gain detailed insights into product quantity and location, enhancing inventory control and enabling effective demand forecasting. This optimizes supply chains, reduces costs, and improves operational efficiency.
  • Sales and Performance Analysis: By associating sales data with specific SKUs, businesses can gain insights into the popularity of different product variants. They can identify which SKUs are selling well, understand customer preferences, and make data-driven decisions regarding pricing, promotions, and restocking. With SKU-level sales analysis, businesses can optimize their product mix, focus on high-performing SKUs, and effectively manage their revenue streams.
  • Efficient Order Fulfillment: SKUs play a vital role in order fulfillment by ensuring accurate product identification and minimizing errors. This improves customer satisfaction, especially in e-commerce and omnichannel retail environments. According to Statista, in 2021, German startup Gorillas had 1,500 SKUs, and Turkish company Getir had 2,000 SKUs, achieving an impressive average delivery time of 10 minutes.
  • Integration with Technology: By utilizing barcode scanning technology, businesses can quickly retrieve product information, update inventory levels, and automate processes. Barcodes often contain SKU information, further streamlining inventory management, and facilitating efficient stock tracking and replenishment.
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SKU frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is a Barcode a SKU?

No, a barcode and an SKU are not the same thing. A barcode is a visual representation of a product’s identification number, such as the SKU or another code, encoded in a machine-readable format. While a barcode provides a quick and efficient way to scan and retrieve product information, the SKU is the unique code itself that represents a specific product variant.

How can I obtain an SKU code for my product?

You need to follow a systematic approach to create an SKU for your product. Start by analyzing the attributes that differentiate your product variants, such as size, color, or style. Once you have identified these distinguishing factors, you can devise a naming convention or numbering system to generate unique SKUs for each variant. Many businesses use a combination of letters, numbers, or codes to create their SKUs. Alternatively, you can use inventory management software that automates the SKU creation process.

What are the benefits of having an SKU code for a product?

Assigning an SKU code to your products offers several benefits. Firstly, SKUs facilitate efficient inventory management by enabling businesses to track stock levels accurately. They also provide insights into product performance, allowing companies to identify popular items, monitor sales trends, and make informed purchasing decisions. Additionally, SKUs aid in order fulfillment, as they ensure the correct product variant is selected for shipment, reducing errors and enhancing customer satisfaction.

According to Statista, by optimizing SKU proliferation and promoting reuse, companies have successfully reduced their direct costs by 8% to 25% and minimized inventory on hand. This approach involves streamlining product variants and encouraging the reuse of existing SKUs, leading to improved operational efficiency and cost savings.

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Conclusion

Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are vital tools for effective inventory management and product identification. By assigning unique SKUs to individual product variants, businesses can streamline their operations, enhance inventory control, and improve customer service. Understanding what is SKU, the basics of SKUs, and implementing them appropriately can contribute to the overall success of a business in today’s competitive marketplace. If you are concerned about this information, feel free to contact us.

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