Designing product numbering and barcode systems
July 20, 2012 4:16 AM Subscribe
Assume I'm starting an e-commerce selling (retail, brand-y stuff) sports apparel and equipment. How should I design the product numbering and barcode system if I want to manage products, shipments, inventory, and warehouse locations?
posted by Foci for Analysis to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
1. I will purchase products from all around the world, some have barcodes others don't. I will probably create a non-intelligent product numbering system (there's no semantic data in the SKUs) but what about the barcodes? Should I keep barcodes that already exist and create ones for products that don't have barcodes based on their SKU? Won't this create inconsistent barcode design, e.g. a pair of nike shoes have an EAN13 barcode but my imported gloves have a 5-digit barcode corresponding to their SKU?
2. I'm thinking of using barcodes on the shelves, rooms, areas and other locations of the warehouse. This way I want exactly what goods I have at a specific location without visual inspection. Should this location barcode numbering system be part of an overall number system or stand alone? Ideally I never want barcodes to collide regardless if they're for a product, warehouse location or invoice. Speaking of invoices...
3. I want to place barcodes on customer shipments and invoices that they receive so I can efficiently handle returns and support calls. Again, should the barcode be based on a company wide numbering system or just order number?
I'm new to the field of warehouse/inventory management and I have a tendency to overthink design so please let me know the best practices for web based retail small/medium businesses.