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View Full Version : What does SKU mean?


zerohero121
06-04-2001, 12:32 AM
I work and retail and for the life of me can't figure out what SKU means. Ontop of that I work commision and there are special items with extra commision that have what is called SPIFF. Help me out, please.

zero

LisaRx
06-04-2001, 12:38 AM
Stock-keeping-unit.

For example peppermint tums #100 is one sku, peppermint tums #150 is one sku, cherry tums #100 is one sku. etc.

Another way to explain it is the # of different items, or UPC codes.

DMC
06-04-2001, 12:38 AM
SKU: Stock keeping unit. It's the in-house equivalent of a UPC. UPCs are universal. If you buy a 24 pack of Coca-Cola, it will be 4900001278(memory, I hope that's right), no matter where you buy it. The SKUs are usually store, chain, or manufacturing specific numbers.

SPIFF (sometimes SPIF): Special Promotion Incentive Fund (or Fee). It's money that is tacked onto an item that doesn't sell well. If a salesman is able to sell it, they are supposed to get the extra money.

DMC
06-04-2001, 12:40 AM
I meant to say that the SPIF is tacked onto the commission on the item, not the item's price.

zerohero121
06-04-2001, 12:42 AM
You guys rock. My question was answered in 5 minutes. I understood the idea behind SKU and SPIFF it was just killing me not to know the meanings of the acronyms.

thanks

DMC
06-04-2001, 12:59 AM
The SDMB is famous for "rocking." :)

Welcome aboard and enjoy your stay. This flight's going to be a long, but pleasant one. Feel free to move about the cabin.

Mangetout
06-04-2001, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by DMC
UPCs are universal

Hmmmm, I know what you mean. but...

<Pedantic>...The universe (and even the world for that matter) consists of more than the United States of America.

In Europe, it's EAN (European Article Number), but both EAN and UPC are to be superseded by DUN (I haven't been able to find out what it stands for, but someone else will doubtless know)
</pedantic>

Mangetout
06-04-2001, 06:51 AM
Sorry about that, it's just made the whole 'World Series' thing wash over me again.

Sunspace
06-04-2001, 09:18 AM
It's called the 'World Series' because it was originally sponsored by a newspaper called the 'New York World'. But it still grates on my nerves too. :)

Some Guy
06-04-2001, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Mangetout
Originally posted by DMC
UPCs are universal

Hmmmm, I know what you mean. but...

<Pedantic>...The universe (and even the world for that matter) consists of more than the United States of America.

In Europe, it's EAN (European Article Number), but both EAN and UPC are to be superseded by DUN (I haven't been able to find out what it stands for, but someone else will doubtless know)
</pedantic>

[even more pedantic]
I feel I have to point out two things:

1. There are other bar code standards beside UPC and EAN (look at most magazines for an example).

2. Some North American products commonly use EAN encoding . The best example is books, which use the EAN to encode the ISBN, which won't work with UPC encoding.

DMC
06-04-2001, 11:21 AM
Bad choice of wording. By universal, I meant that they were not assigned by the store, chain, manufacturer (well, the last 5 digits might be, but that's a different story). I was trying to point out that the SKU for a specific item at one retail outlet might be completely different than the SKU for the same item at the shop next door to it. As for other bar code types, there are multitudes, depending on the application.

Books do have UPCs on them. Some of them also have the ISBN encoded in EAN, but not all.

Every magazine that I've bought from a grocery store also has a UPC on it.

Some Guy
06-04-2001, 07:32 PM
It used to be true that UPCs were more common on books than EANs were - rather, it was usually a UPC + 5 format that encoded the publisher's list price as well. These days, it's much more common (nearly universal) to see books with a BOOKLAND EAN (that's the industry term for them), because the UPC format can't map an ISBN. Most of the books that you'll see with UPCs these days are titles specifically intended for wide distribution (in other words, more places than just in a dedicated bookstore). Some other publishers use an 8 + 5 format in addition to the EAN.

About magazines: I should have been a little bit clearer there. Lots of publishers (but not all) use a UPC as part of their barcode scheme. However, it's usually a UPC + 3 (three additional digits) for warehouse sorting purposes - in other words, it distinguishes between different issues of the same title, an invaluable tool that simply isn't possible with bare UPC encoding.

I probably should have put that in my above post, but then again, that would have implied that I can think :p