If you have the chance to create item numbers from scratch - don't screw it up.
Item identification numbers (item numbers) are used to uniquely identify items that you carry in inventory. Some companies will call them “part numbers”, “model numbers”, “product codes”, SKUs, etc... But whatever you call them, item numbers are important for you, and the systems you use. If you or your system can’t uniquely identify an item, you can’t effectively account for it’s activity and whereabouts within your inventory. Item numbers also serve as a shorthand for longer item descriptions. Instead of entering an entire name or description for an item, you can use a much shorter item number. This speeds up the process of data entry and inventory management.
Retail products, and big companies often use long and complicated numbers for their item numbers. These are fine if you're operating a complex warehouse or retail operation. And if this makes sense for your operation, then you probably already have a numbering scheme and don't need to read much further. But if you want to create a system that's easier to work with and uses your own item numbers, here are some of our recommendations.