Understanding Stockpile: how best to use SKUs to help with inventory management

Managing inventory in your small business can be a time consuming and frustrating process.  However, all that has changed with the release of Stockpile; your free online business system.

SKU or stock-keeping unit is defined by Wikipedia as:

"...a unique identifier for each distinct product and service that can be purchased. The usage of SKU is rooted in data management, enabling the company to systematically track its inventory or product availability, such as in warehouses and retail outlets. They are often assigned and serialized at the merchant level. Each SKU is attached to an item, variant, product line, bundle, service, fee, or attachment. SKUs are often used to refer to different versions of the same product. For example, a retail store carrying the game Guitar Hero 3 might have six SKUs, two for each of the three platforms—one with and one without a guitar controller."

In Stockpile, we allow you to assign your own SKUs to the products/inventory you carry.  The SKU field allows for letters and numeric characters so you may use any number of combinations:

  • Sequential number: typically assigned as the item becomes part of your inventory (e.g., 12345678)
  • Number, letter combo: form of shorthand used used to quickly locate or recognize an item (e.g., IJSA12345 which could stand for isle J, shelf A, item 12345)
  • Shorthand lettering: used to locate items quick (e.g., the IJSA lettering used above)
  • As you can see, the SKU field can be used in any number (no pun intended) ways.  The goal is to uniquely identify your items; therefore, we only allow you to use a SKU per item.  What this means is you may enter the SKU for red Bic lighters once and then use that same item name/SKU to restock as you receive new inventory. The system will stop you if you try and enter the same SKU on more than one item. We try and  make it easy to remember that the SKU is unique.  Keep coming back for more articles on how to use Stockpile and your inventory management experience will thank you!   Signup now; what are you waiting for??

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