In order to implement an inventory management system (IMS), there are two types of master data that you need to put together: the Product SKU Master Data and the Warehouse Location Master Data.
In this post, I'll discuss what a Product SKU Master Data and walk you through a sample Product SKU template that we use in our own IMS implementations. You'll learn about the important data fields that you must include in your data sets.
BONUS: Before we get started, you can download our Product SKU Master Data Template here.
Product SKU Master Data
Our product SKU master data template starts with SKU number. You can check out this article to learn how to create unique SKU codes for your products if you do not have yet. The article allows you to download our very own SKU generator.
With the rise of online sales, multi-channel inventory management became a crucial issue for online retailers. Not only multi-channel but also multi-store inventory management is trending nowadays. Your product SKU master data template should have a sales channel field which shows all the selling channels of the product.
Often times, Online merchants use different seller SKU in different channels. Some of the marketplaces and shopping carts have different rules than others. Our product SKU master data template allows you to define different SKUs for different sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Magento, and Walmart.
Barcodes are used to achieve more productive order fulfillment operations. By scanning barcodes, guarantee the accuracy and traceability of our inventory. SKU and/or UPC can be used as product barcode.
We usually use a separate field to track UPC of the product.
Product description or explanation is used for the listings.
Dropshipping is becoming a crucial facilitator for online retailers. If your product has the dropshipping option, you should define this in your product SKU master data.
Product dimensions such as weight, height, length and width are very useful to calculate storage usage, carrier rate and the packing box for the order. The dimensions are also used by the directed putaway algorithm to suggest a suitable warehouse location for our receipts.
Inventory attributes such as lot batch number, serial number and expiration date are also useful for some industries. For instance, if you are selling food products, you need to track loot number and expiration date. If you are selling electronics product, you may activate serial number tracking.
Kitting and Bundling
If the product is a kit, product SKU master data should include this information as well. You should enter the components of the kit and the required quantities. Your inventory management system uses this information to track kit product inventory and component product inventory.
Written by Erhan Musaoglu
Erhan Musaoglu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Logiwa.