Best Practices for Structuring SKU Naming Conventions: A Comprehensive Guide

Creating an effective and clear set of rules for SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) naming is essential for inventory management, simplifying stock tracking, enhancing operational efficiency, and supporting data analytics. Here are some best practices and rules to consider when naming SKUs:

1. Keep It Simple and Consistent

  • Format: Decide on a consistent format that includes a combination of letters and numbers. Avoid using special characters that might not be scanner-friendly or could create confusion.
  • Length: Typically, keep SKUs between 6 to 12 characters long to balance detail with memorability.

2. Start with a Prefix

  • Category-Based Prefix: Use a two or three-letter prefix that indicates the category of the product. This helps in quick sorting and recognition (e.g., 'CL' for clothing).
  • Vendor Codes: Incorporating vendor initials can facilitate easier identification of the product source.

3. Include Important Attributes

  • Size and Color: For apparel, include size and color in the SKU. This can be an abbreviation like 'BL' for blue or 'L' for large.
  • Material or Type: Include a brief indicator of material or type if your product range varies by these attributes (e.g., 'ST' for steel, 'PL' for plastic).

4. Use Logical Numbering

  • Sequential Numbers: Assign sequential numbers for products that do not fall into clear categories or when introducing new items.

5. Avoid Ambiguous Characters

  • Clarity: Exclude letters and numbers that look similar, such as '0' (zero) and 'O' (the letter O), or '1' (one), 'I' (the letter I), and 'L' (the letter L) to prevent misreading.

6. Leave Room for Expansion

  • Scalability: Consider future ranges or categories. Design the SKU system to accommodate new products without major overhauls.

7. End with a Unique Identifier

  • Serial Numbers: Use a unique serial number at the end of the SKU to differentiate similar items and to keep track of stock accurately.

8. Document Your SKU System

  • Guidelines: Maintain a documented standard operating procedure for SKU creation that your team can follow.
  • Updates: Review and update the documentation regularly to include new product lines or changes in inventory strategy.

9. Integration with Systems

  • Compatibility: Ensure the SKU format is compatible with other systems that you use (not just Koi).
  • Barcodes: Make sure SKUs are easily translatable into barcode formats if necessary.

10. Regular Review and Cleanup

  • Audit: Periodically review SKUs to retire unused numbers, correct inconsistencies, and streamline the inventory.

By adhering to these rules, your SKU system can enhance the efficiency of inventory management, reduce errors in handling stock, and support robust data analysis and reporting.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us