For a lot of textile rental operators, it's not uncommon to manage a large product catalog. I've seen companies that have hundreds - even thousands - of SKU groups that they supply to their customer base.
Over time, companies add new products, discontinue old ones and change descriptions. Sometimes existing SKU groups get duplicated and users end up picking between two different SKU numbers when setting up the item for delivery. Here are three tips that can help you manage your company's SKU listing more effectively:
- Dealing with discontinued products can be a time killer if you set the item up for delivery only to learn later that item is no longer is available or no longer serviced by your company. In the Alliant software, we've added a 'discontinued' flag to provide visibility for these SKU groups. Once marked as 'discontinued', the SKU group will be highlighted in red in the SKU center and will not be able to be added to new accounts and customers or increased or exchanged for existing customers. It's a simple, but very helpful, visual queue for the user.
- A similar issue sometimes occurs when a company plans to discontinue a SKU group in the future but still delivers the item to some extent. Even if the company wishes to stop servicing a SKU group to new customers, there may be a time period the SKU is still in circulation for existing customers. We've added a 'Phase-Out' flag to provide visibility for these SKU groups. Once marked as 'Phase Out', the SKU group will be highlighted in orange in the SKU center. The system will not prevent the SKU group from being used, but serves as a cue that the SKU group will be phased out soon.
- Finally, duplicate SKU groups are not uncommon and can be confusing when users encounter multiple SKU groups that are really the same, exact item. Alliant has provided a simple solution to help operators clean this situation up. The Alliant software includes a 'SKU Group Change' utility. This utility allows you to merge two separate SKU groups into one. For example, if you created SKU group number 2000 and 2010, and both are for the same exact item, such as a red apron, the system will allow you to change one SKU group to the other SKU group number.
If you have questions or would like to discuss implementing any of these options to help you better manage your company's SKU listing, contact Alliant support today.