A growing business is an exciting prospect, as it scales it generates more revenue. But with growth can come inventory issues if you aren't tracking your products well internally. The more items you stock, the greater the risk of missed picks or lost inventory. This is why inventory management is vital and where product SKU codes come in handy.
What Is A SKU?
An SKU number is a Stock Keeping Unit. Some people would choose to use the term product code. It is not the same as a barcode. If you sell products, you can use inventory management software to set up and track your SKUs.
Any Difference between SKU and UPC?
A UPC is a numeric universal code established by the Global Standards Organization. An SKU is an internal code a business uses to track inventory levels and manage stock. SKUs contain a product's critical information. It isn't a case of SKU vs UPC, businesses use both.
How SKUs Can Be Useful
Properly coding your products will make it easier to find, reference, and search for products, whether it's on an invoice, order form, list, or otherwise. If you stock one product that comes in a variety of colours or sizes, each individual item should have its own unique identifier SKU. Think of the SKU as the product details but abbreviated for ease.
As an example, if you sell a t-shirt that comes in two different colours, your SKUs should reflect product variants.
T-Shirt, red = TS01-R
T-Shirt, blue = TS01-B
Any additional color would be assigned an SKU that reflects this pattern. If you are dealing with a more complicated set of products, then your SKU can include seasons, size, color, type, and name.
Winter 2022, Polar Tee, Small, Blue = W22T-Pol-SB
Winter 2022, Polar Tee, Medium, Blue = W22T-Pol-MB
and so on.
How To Use the SKU Generator
You can manually create SKUs for the various product types you stock. However, this is only suitable for small businesses with limited product lines. Creating SKUs can be tedious and there is a risk of human error. This is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
A SKU number generator is a more effective way to assign article numbers. Not only will it save you time, but it also reduces the risk of errors. More importantly, it will ensure you do not create duplicate SKUs in your system.
You can use our free SKU Generator for yourself if you need to generate SKUs. The SKU barcode generator is easy to use. Input the product name and up to three pieces of relevant information about your product. Please note that you shouldn't input unnecessary spaces or special characters in the boxes provided.
How QuickBooks can help
Good inventory management is the key to ensuring that your business knows what products are currently in stock and what products need to be reordered. With QuickBooks, you can track your inventory to get real-time stock value, low stock alerts and more. Visit our pricing page to find a plan that is right for your business or sign up to a free 30-day trial.
Visit our free tools and templates hub to find more free assets that can help you run and grow your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
SKUs help you identify your inventory to keep it organised, manage promotions and orders, and improve the customer's overall experience.
No, SKUs are unique identifiers. It isn't a Code 39 barcode or a QR code – it is a separate code businesses use to track stock, which means it's important that every variant has its own code.
No, you print a barcode to place on a product that barcode scanners read for sales or stocktaking, but SKUs aren't necessarily on the product.
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