If you plan on managing inventory (and you had better),
you’re going to want to get to know the abbreviation SKU. It
stands for Stock Keeping Unit, which is a
six to ten digit combination of numbers and letters assigned
to every unique product you work with.
All online and offline retailers, warehouses, and fulfillment
centers work with SKUs. And that’s because a SKU makes it easy
for a business to keep tabs on product as it ventures throughout
its supply chain and to the customer’s door.
Every business has its own unique SKUs for identifying its
products. While two businesses might be selling the same
product, their SKUs are likely different — SKUs are used
For instance, a sportswear e-retailer might sell some “Black
Basketball Shoes by Puma, Size 12” that plenty of competitors
sell, but they’ll know it internally by a SKU that they create
for it. Within those ten digits, every aspect of the unit, like
its color, size, and manufacturer, is saved.
And those unique SKUs are useful for organizing products. If
that sportswear e-retailer is fulfilling orders in-house, a SKU
offers an easy way of labeling and categorizing units. For
instance, those “Black Basketball Shoes by Puma, Size 12” might
have an internal SKU of BBSH-PU-BK-12 defining
each of its characteristics.
Here’s that example broken down:
BBSH = Type of Product, Basketball Shoe
- PU = Manufacturer, Puma
- BK = Color, Black
- 12 = Size
Following a similar template as you start to organize your own
products can help make that process less daunting and get you on
the fast track to efficient inventory management.