Retailers need to maintain a proper inventory to keep an account of the items that need to be re-stocked once sold. For this, you can use the Stock Keeping Unit or SKU. The SKU is like a serial number that is unique to your stock and company. Say, for instance, two companies are selling the same product. The product code for both the products will be the same, but the SKUs will be different. This means that once you feed the SKU into the database of products you have in stock, you will have a clear idea of your inventory. When a product moves out of the inventory, the SKU will get deleted from the system. Hence, you will know that your inventory needs to be replenished with a particular item. Thus, maintaining SKUs is essential to have an idea of your inventory. Some of the essential features of SKU numbers that you must know as a retailer are as follows:
Defining the SKU
When you create a Product SKU, you must follow a particular pattern in developing the number. An SKU number usually consists of eight digits. When you decide on a particular sequence, ensure that you follow the same sequence for all SKUs. If the first two digits of the SKUs correspond to the category to which the product belongs, the next two digits will refer to the subcategory. The following two digits of the SKU should refer to the product’s color, and finally, the last two digits will be the unique numbers identifying the product. You must maintain the same sequence for your entire product range. This will maintain uniformity in the SKUs so that there is consistency in the database as well.
Combination of letters and numbers
To make the SKUs unique, you can try using a combination of letters and numbers. This will let you create a series of unique SKUs. Moreover, you can avoid using similar numbers. The same is applicable when you use letters. If you use letters, try to avoid using lower case. Say, for instance, you want to create SKUs for toys, you could use the letters ‘T’ and ‘Y’ as the first two digits of the SKU. This will indicate the category, and then subsequently, you can add numbers to create a unique code for the particular item. This will help you identify the item with ease and make it possible to create a comprehensive database with the letters and numbers.
Integrating the SKUs and database
Once you have created the SKUs, you must feed the details into the Point of Sale or POS. A POS integration is essential as it will give you an idea of the items that have moved out of the inventory. Once the items move out of the inventory, you can re-stock the same. Successful integration with the POS will simplify the entire process of maintaining the inventory. You no longer need to physically check the stock room to identify the products that need to be replenished. You can quickly identify the items by checking the SKUs against the sales made.
Thus, SKUs can simplify the entire process of maintaining stock and inventory. For a retailer who has quick moving stock items such as retailers of grocery items, SKUs can prove to be quite helpful as it gives them a clear idea of the stockroom condition. They no longer have to physically visit the stockroom to get an idea of the inventory. They can easily do so by checking the SKU numbers of items that have been sold and then re-stock the same items.