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Stock keeping unit

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In inventory management, a stock keeping unit (abbreviated as SKU, pronounced es-kay-YOO or SKEW[1]) is the unit of measure in which the stocks of a material are managed. It is a distinct type of item for sale,[2] purchase, or tracking in inventory,[3] 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 can include manufacturer, description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms). When a business records the inventory of its stock, it counts the quantity it has of each unit, or SKU.

SKU can also refer to a unique identifier or code, sometimes represented via a barcode for scanning and tracking, which refers to the particular stock keeping unit. These identifiers 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 an SKU on its own.[4] This makes them distinct from Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which are standard, global tracking units. The Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), and Australian Product Number (APN) are special cases of GTINs.

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  1. ^ "SKU | Pronunciation in English". Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved 2024-04-28.
  2. ^ Sawaya, William J. (1986). Production and operations management. William C. Giauque. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-571968-8. OCLC 14114818.
  3. ^ The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "SKU". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 14 Dec 2021.
  4. ^ Roussos, George (2008). Networked RFID: Systems, Software and Services. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1-84800-153-4.

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