Business wishing to accurately track its inventory often use a sku generator to assign individual identification codes to its products. Skus, or stock keeping units, are unique internal product identifiers that can be scanned to relay information to inventory software about the product name, description, quantities, components, costs, etc. UPC codes, on the other hand, are universal product codes assigned to manufacturers’ products by GS1 US. Their numbers remain constant even when product is transferred to the wholesalers and retailers who sell their products. Sku numbers will vary from one business to another, even for the same product, because they are business specific.
When sku numbers are affixed to stock, they can comprise letters and numbers or appear as varying thick and thin parallel lines typical of barcodes. When scanned, they transmit the tracking number set up by the sku generator. The sku number may contain references to manufacturer, description, model, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms.
How Sku Generation Empowers Inventory Management
Accurate tracking relies upon the set-up of skus. Inventory software can follow stock throughout its journey through the business, whether that begins with delivery of materials or finished goods and concludes with delivery to the customer or servicing a warrantee after purchase.
How to Create a Sku
The best technique for developing industry skus entails using numbers unique to your business, avoiding the manufacturer’s or wholesaler’s tracking numbers. The sku is comprised of letters and numbers – the shorter the string the easier to manage. Meaningful skus can be helpful and common abbreviations for colors and sizes are often used. Dashes can separate different elements of the sku. Avoid using punctuation characters which may not be recognized when scanned.
To create sku numbers at scale, it’s more efficient to use a sku generator than to work with an excel spreadsheet. If you are working with an ecommerce platform, normally the platform will autogenerate skus based on preferences set by the user.
The sku used in SOS Inventory will sync to skus in your QuickBooks Online account, Big Commerce or Shopify to update the information across the platforms thereby speeding up operations and making inventory management easier for your entire staff.
SOS Inventory can scan your skus and import all information you would like to track. Sku tracking allows your business to record inventory at any location, identify waste, create transparent reports, determine reorder points, and distinguish the profitable products from dead stock.
Using skus is standard across most industries; no business can be fully operational without tracking sku numbers. They are used across all ecommerce platforms as the main identifier for the product. While UPC numbers are only numbers, skus serve as abbreviations that are quickly understood at a glance by employees.
SOS Inventory makes easy work of tracking and managing all product sku numbers across your business no matter the size or complexities of your industry.