Decoding the Differences: SKU vs UPC Codes in Inventory Management

Decoding the Differences: SKU vs UPC Codes in Inventory Management

Decoding the Differences: SKU vs UPC Codes in Inventory Management

Decoding the Differences: SKU vs UPC Codes in Inventory Management

Hesh MES software dashboard showing real-time production data and analytics
CORPORATE OFFICER AND ADVISOR, STRIPE

Claire Hughes Johnson

PRESIDENT, PRODUCT AND BUSINESS, STRIPE

Will Gaybrick

HEAD OF GLOBAL SALES, STRIPE

Eileen O'Mara

REVENUE AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, STRIPE

Vivek Sharma

HEAD OF PRODUCT MARKETING, STRIPE

Tanya Khakbaz

FOUNDER, PULLEY

Yin Wu

View on desktop.

Manufactruring

Hesh MES software dashboard showing real-time production data and analytics
CORPORATE OFFICER AND ADVISOR, STRIPE

Claire Hughes Johnson

PRESIDENT, PRODUCT AND BUSINESS, STRIPE

Will Gaybrick

HEAD OF GLOBAL SALES, STRIPE

Eileen O'Mara

REVENUE AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, STRIPE

Vivek Sharma

HEAD OF PRODUCT MARKETING, STRIPE

Tanya Khakbaz

FOUNDER, PULLEY

Yin Wu

View on desktop.

Manufactruring

Hesh MES software dashboard showing real-time production data and analytics
CORPORATE OFFICER AND ADVISOR, STRIPE

Claire Hughes Johnson

PRESIDENT, PRODUCT AND BUSINESS, STRIPE

Will Gaybrick

HEAD OF GLOBAL SALES, STRIPE

Eileen O'Mara

REVENUE AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, STRIPE

Vivek Sharma

HEAD OF PRODUCT MARKETING, STRIPE

Tanya Khakbaz

FOUNDER, PULLEY

Yin Wu

View on desktop.

Manufactruring

When it comes to tracking and managing inventory, two important codes come into play: SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and UPCs (Universal Product Codes). While both are used for product identification, they serve distinct purposes and have key differences. In this article, we'll dive into the world of SKUs and UPCs, exploring their definitions, uses, and the ways in which they differ.

What is an SKU? An SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is an internal code used by retailers and manufacturers to identify and track their products. It's a unique alphanumeric code assigned to each product variant, typically including details such as:

  • Brand

  • Color

  • Size

  • Style

  • Manufacturer

For example, a clothing store might assign the SKU "NKE-TS-BLK-L" to represent a Nike black t-shirt in size large. SKUs are customizable and vary from business to business, allowing companies to create codes that work best for their internal inventory management.

What is a UPC? A UPC, or Universal Product Code, is a standardized, 12-digit numeric code used for external product identification. It consists of a machine-readable barcode and a human-readable number, uniquely identifying a product across different retailers and manufacturers.

UPCs are issued by the Global Standards Organization (GS1) and remain constant throughout a product's life. They are primarily used for scanning and tracking products at the point of sale, making them essential for retail transactions and supply chain management.

Key Differences between SKUs and UPCs While both SKUs and UPCs are used for product identification, they have distinct characteristics and purposes:

  1. Scope of Use

  • SKUs are used internally by individual retailers and manufacturers for inventory management and tracking.

  • UPCs are used externally across different businesses for universal product identification.

  1. Format and Length

  • SKUs are alphanumeric and can vary in length, typically ranging from 8 to 12 characters.

  • UPCs are always 12-digit numeric codes accompanied by a barcode.

  1. Assigning Authority

  • SKUs are created and assigned internally by each business based on their own criteria and needs.

  • UPCs are issued by GS1 and are globally standardized.

  1. Uniqueness

  • SKUs are unique within a single company but can be different for the same product across different businesses.

  • UPCs are universally unique, identifying a product consistently across all retailers and manufacturers.

The Benefits of Using SKUs Implementing SKUs offers several advantages for businesses:

  1. Improved Inventory Management SKUs enable accurate tracking of inventory levels, helping businesses avoid stockouts and overstock situations.

  2. Enhanced Product Organization By including relevant product details in SKUs, businesses can better organize and categorize their inventory.

  3. Simplified Internal Communication SKUs provide a common language for different departments within a company, streamlining communication about specific products.

The Benefits of Using UPCs Using UPCs brings its own set of benefits:

  1. Universal Product Identification UPCs enable products to be easily identified and tracked across different retailers and supply chain partners.

  2. Faster Checkout Process Scanning UPCs at the point of sale significantly speeds up the checkout process, improving efficiency.

  3. Compatibility with E-commerce Platforms Many online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms require UPCs for listing products, making them essential for businesses selling online.

Integrating SKUs and UPCs with Inventory Management Software To effectively manage SKUs and UPCs, businesses often turn to inventory management software. By integrating these codes into a centralized system, companies can:

  1. Streamline Inventory Tracking Easily track inventory levels, movements, and locations using SKUs and UPCs.

  2. Automate Data Entry Reduce manual data entry and minimize errors by scanning UPCs and automatically updating inventory records.

  3. Generate Insightful Reports Utilize SKUs and UPCs to create detailed reports on inventory performance, sales trends, and more.

Conclusion Understanding the differences between SKUs and UPCs is crucial for effective inventory management. While SKUs are used internally for organizing and tracking products, UPCs are universal codes essential for external identification and retail transactions. By leveraging both SKUs and UPCs, businesses can optimize their inventory processes, improve efficiency, and gain valuable insights.

When combined with powerful production management software like HESH , SKUs and UPCs become even more potent tools for maintaining accurate stock levels, streamlining operations, and driving business growth. HESH seamlessly integrates with SKU and UPC systems, providing a centralized platform for efficient inventory tracking, automated data entry, and comprehensive reporting. By embracing the power of these codes and utilizing advanced software solutions, businesses can take their inventory management to new heights and stay ahead in today's competitive market.

Sources:

  1. "What is a SKU? How is it Different from a UPC?" by TradeGecko

  2. "The Difference Between UPC and SKU Codes" by Wasp Barcode Technologies

  3. "SKU vs UPC: What's the Difference?" by Finale Inventory

  4. "UPC Barcodes: The Ultimate Guide" by Camcode

Let's try HESH

Підпишіться на нас:

© 2024 Hesh Inc.

Let's try HESH

Підпишіться на нас:

© 2024 Hesh Inc.

Let's try HESH

Підпишіться на нас:

© 2024 Hesh Inc.

Let's try HESH

Підпишіться на нас:

© 2024 Hesh Inc.