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How to create SKU numbers for products

Updated February 21, 2017

Businesses commonly use SKUs (stock keeping units) to keep track of their inventory in their own database systems. An SKU is also sometimes known as a part, item or model number and is a string of numbers and/or letters used to identify individual items and products. Sometimes a business will choose to just use the UPC code found on an item as the SKU, but others prefer to use their own unique SKUs to identify each of their products.

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  1. Use the product's manufacturer part number as the SKU number for your inventory. This is an easy way to create SKU numbers without making them confusing.

  2. Create an SKU number for your products using the UPC number found on the product, if you have one available. Using these numbers is another way of simplifying inventory.

  3. Make up your own SKU number for your products. Take the first few letters from the letters in the supplier's name, then create three or four different letters to identify each individual product.

  4. Use numbers instead of letters to make up your own SKU numbers. A set of numbers that you choose can identify each supplier you order from and you can use other sets of numbers to identify each of the products that you keep in inventory.

  5. Create extra numbers or letters to add at the end of your SKUs, known as sub-SKUs, if you need to keep track of things such as different sizes or colours for certain products.

  6. Tip

    Adding some letters that describe an item at the front of a SKU can make them easier to find.

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