There’s No Excuse to Have No SKUs

April 11, 2014
Excuse me, but are you using SKUs to track the products in your inventory? If not, now is a good time to start. Fishbowl Inventory uses SKUs and similar tools to monitor inventory levels, track orders, and perform many other inventory-related tasks. The difference between a UPC and SKU, Fishbowl Inventory BlogFishbowl Inventory’s Product module offers in-depth information on each product you have in stock. Products can be identified using various means, but two of the most popular ones are UPCs and SKUs. UPC stands for Universal Product Code and SKU stands for Stock-Keeping Unit. UPCs and SKUs are not exactly the same, even though they serve pretty much the same function. A UPC is a barcode that can be scanned, and its code usually only includes numbers. On the other hand, an SKU is a written code that can include numbers and letters. It is not represented by a barcode and thus can’t be scanned the same way a UPC can. The same model of product can have multiple SKUs if it comes in different colors, sizes, etc. Each version has an SKU attached to it, which allows it to be counted as a distinct item. That way, you can tell not just how many products are being sold, but which styles, designs, flavors, and other factors lead to the highest and lowest sales. When you search for a product by its SKU you can instantly find a wealth of information on it, including its width, height, length, weight, and availability. All of this data comes in handy when you’re shipping products and you need to figure out what box sizes to use. And that’s just one example of SKUs’ usefulness. UPCs are great because other companies you sell products to can use the same UPCs, but SKUs are unique to each company. Since they’re not scanned, they are only used for a single company to identify and track its products. That doesn’t diminish from an SKU’s usefulness, but it just means it’s more specialized than a UPC. When you use SKUs, the results will be skewed in your favor. Learn more by scheduling an inventory software demo today. The image of a UPC and SKU is from the West Paw Design website.