Item Names or Numbers?
Assigning part numbers to your items requires some upfront planning or you might find that your scheme runs out of room quickly. Numbering schemes are a matter of personal preference and they will differ widely from company to company. When creating a numbering scheme we generally follow these rules:
- Decide on the number of character (letters and numbers) that your part numbers/code will have. Allow enough characters for future growth but don't make them too long.
- Try to avoid using descriptions, use the description field for descriptions.
- Don't use special characters (such as < > ' " @ : ; , . !). They are not read well by database. A dash (-) can be used.
- Decide on whether you are going to use numbers only or a combination of letters, numbers and dashes. Product numbers/codes that are numbers only codes are easier to bar code. Product numbers/codes that are a alphanumeric are easier to read.
- Determine the categories/features you want to include in your part numbers/codes. For example a company that produces mattresses, pillows and sheets of different sizes and color has the following categories in their part numbers:
- Product Type
- Style Name
- Reserve a number of characters for each categories/features or separate the categories/features with a dash. Consider the following example for a blue queen size mattress called 'Comfort Zone':
- Alphanumeric: MT-CMFTZN-Q-BL
- Numeric: 02790825
- Numeric with dashes: 02-7908-2-5
In the above numeric example, the first two numbers are type , the next four are style , then next one is size and the last number is color. So you can have 100 types (including 00), 10000 styles, 10 sizes and 10 colors or a total of 100,000,000 unique product codes/numbers.
- Organize the categories and features in a hierarchical fashion. The left most categories (Mattress in the above) are the broadest.