Stock keeping unit

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In the field of inventory management, a stock keeping unit (SKU) (/ˌɛsˌkˈjuː/, /ˈsk/ or /ˈskjuː/) is a distinct type of item for sale,[1] such as a product or service, and all attributes associated with the item type that distinguish it from other item types. For a product, these attributes could include, but are not limited to, manufacturer, description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms. When a business takes an inventory, it counts the quantity it has of each SKU.

SKU can also refer to a unique identifier or code that refers to the particular stock keeping unit. These codes are not regulated or standardized. When a company receives items from a vendor, it has a choice of maintaining the vendor's SKU or creating its own. Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) are standard, global, tracking units. Universal Product Code (UPC), International Article Number (EAN), , and Australian Product Number (APN), are special cases of GTINs.

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  1. ^ William J. Sawaya, William C. Giauque, Production and operations management, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986, ISBN 0155719688, p.122 "A stock-keeping unit, or sku is an individually identifiable item stored in a specific location and tracked by an inventory system."

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