Handling Vendor Part Numbers, Item Aliases, and Manufacturing SKUs

In the world of inventory, a company sells an item and transactions occur often. However, what you call that item is determined by who you’re talking to. Depending on the industry, process sequence, and product you’re dealing with, you’ll have to understand the different moving pieces that get your product from manufacturing to customers’ hands.


Vendor Part Numbers


Parts supplied by vendors are referred to as vendor parts, which can be described by various attributes, named vendor part numbers. These parts are owned by organizations or manufacturers that represent the vendor when you are purchasing the inventory. Vendor part numbers define the description, links to related documents, pricing information, and quantity data. vendor-part-number


Different vendors can have different names for the same item in inventory. To search for vendor information directly, vendor parts can be classified. Vendor parts can be associated to either a manufacturer part or an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM. OEM represents companies that manufacture original equipment from components supplied by external suppliers.


Customer Part Numbers

Similarly, customers may name the same items differently, which may cause confusion if not well organized by SKU. These front-facing names, called customer part numbers, are defined as the name customers use for the item when purchasing. customer-part-number


Using an automated inventory system can help your business organize all your parts by name, SKU, and number so that no matter what your customers refer to the product by, it can be easily located and moved throughout the production process. This can save your business ample time, money, and increase customer satisfaction seamlessly.


Manufacturing SKUs, Parts, and Aliases

Another common scenario in which your items can be called different names is if your company outsources your manufacturing. Oftentimes the company that manufactures your parts can identify them with another name or number, consisting of a series of numbers and letters unique to individual products. 

MPN’s, or manufacturing part numbers, help manage stock levels and identify items in inventory at all times so to easily and efficiently send out orders. Because of this, customers have trust in that they will receive the correct component. These benefits result in improved product discoverability, higher conversion rates, fewer returns, and overall repeat customers.


Lot Numbers, Batch Numbers, Serial Numbers


In addition to vendor, customer, and manufacturer part numbers, items can be classified by lot and serial numbers. These unique identification codes improve traceability and efficiency throughout the process from manufacturer to customer. 



A serial number is an identification number assigned to a distinct unit of a product from a single manufacturer, which may be found on the packaging or on the unit itself. Once you begin tracking an item, a serial number is generated that may be adjusted and tracked. Tracking the serial number of each component eliminates the risk of mishaps and misassembly of devices.  


A lot number is an identification number assigned to a particular quantity, batch or lot of a product from a single manufacturer. Lot numbers can typically be found on the outside of packaging. Manufacturers typically use barcode scanning and label printing to keep every shipment concise. This definitely helps with receiving purchased parts as well.


How Can Order Time Inventory Help Me?


Luckily no matter what your vendor, customer, and manufacturer part numbers are called, Order Time can handle it. The automated system allows you to assign number schemes to items for customized organization and overall efficiency for your business. 


Using item aliases, you can use multiple names for the same item despite the fact that manufacturers or customers may refer to it as something else. With this you can add even more details to complete the item’s record and provide more detail for your organization and ease. 


Utilizing an automated inventory system like Order Time can save your business countless time, money, and resources by streamlining each step in the production process. Your business can grow with visibility into all aspects of your business from accounting to warehousing to eCommerce.


To learn more about Order Time and how it can streamline your business needs, click here.



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