The SKU acronym in inventory management stands for Stock-Keeping-Unit. It is a unique identifier or item code that accompanies products. Same products can have different SKUs depending on different attributes. Those refer to the brand, store location, material, size, color, and more.
An SKU usually consists of 8 to 32 alphanumeric characters. This product code is used to search and identify stock based on individual variants of every product. An efficient SKU system can increase productivity and effectiveness, as well as help to fulfill orders faster.
The SKU acronym is different from UPC, barcodes, batch numbers, and serial numbers. Places that require inventory management, thus also SKUs, are warehouses, retail stores, catalogs, online retailers, product fulfillment centers, and wholesale. If you want to find out more about the SKU acronym, check this post about what is SKU in inventory management and the ultimate SKU guide.
Example of SKU
A clothing business can have many products that can look alike. That happens especially when most attributes are the same, besides only one like the size. In this situation, you need an SKU system that will follow the same pattern every time and have the most important attributes. For example, if you want to differentiate two brown sweaters for women in sizes small and medium, then you can use SKUs like these:
This SKU number starts with the color, followed by the type of the item, gender, and size. If you have the same product for males, then the SKUs can change to: