How to Create SKU Numbers

5 min
Sku Numbers

What are SKUs?

SKU or Stock Keeping Unit is an internal code a business uses to identify its products, and it is not to be confused with UPC or EAN.

You must set up SKUs if you are running a product selling business to make it easy to track your stock. Use a cloud inventory management software to help you track all your SKUs in one place.

Why SKUs matter for your business

Setting up your products with SKUs makes it easy for you to reference products easily, track stock quickly, and gain deeper insights into your business. Find out more about the benefits of SKUs.

Each variation of the product should have it’s own SKU number. It acts like the shortened acronym of your product.

How to Create SKU numbers

When it comes to creating SKU numbers, there are no universal guidelines. This guide will give you some examples which will allow you to create a system that would work for your business.

Identity attributes you want to use

The first thing you need to do is create a standard format for all your SKUs to follow. List down all the attributes and identifiers you want to include so that you can distinguish them from other products.

Some identifiers you want to use:

  • Manufacturer / Brand
  • Part Number
  • Category
  • Product Name/Color/Size and other variations

Create a code system

You will want to create a list of codes for manufacturers, brand colors, sizes, and other attributes.

You can do them on excel spreadsheets and assign a code to each of them.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

For manufacturer's / brands:

For sizes:

For color:

The benefit of creating a standard code system will help you and your employees memorize them, eventually leading them to read the SKU numbers and understanding the variant and its details.

Putting it together

Now that you have identified the attributes you will want to use and the code for all the attributes, it is a matter of putting it together.

Let’s look at a few examples

SKUs Do’s and Don’t for best practices

There are no universal rules when it comes to naming SKUs, but here are a few do’s and don’t that you want to consider to make identifying SKUs easier for you and your employees:


  • Keep it as short as possible. If it is not necessary to add the brand or manufacturers, no need to add that as part of your code.
  • First few digits should represent the highest category of importance.
  • Always write your SKU numbers in the same order.
  • Use dashes as separators. They work best.
  • Use a sequence of numbers and letters.
  • Begin SKU with letters, it provides a easy visual cue.


  • Making them too long like spelling the whole name out or overloading with meaning.
  • Including special characteristics. Software solutions might not recognize them, and they are hard to interpret.
  • Beginning with the number 0.
  • Using manufacturer numbers within your SKUs.


SKU numbers are a powerful tool that all businesses have at their disposal. By turning your products into smart codes, you can track your inventory and make smarter business decisions. You can also make life easier for your employees. SKUs are a win-win. Once you have SKU numbers set up correctly, you should find it much easier to manage orders and stock. Brahmin Solutions order management system keeps to these best practices, and we make sure that each variant has a unique SKU.

Brahmin Solutions Inventory, Order and Warehouse Management Software

All your products, warehouses, sales channels in one place. Easy to get started, takes hours to set up, and full support from our amazing staff. Book a demo to learn more.

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