When performing Quality Inspection in China, we are usually required by our client to evaluate the cost of it before performing it.
Most of time we evaluate price of quality inspection service according to few parameters:
- Location of the inspection (China, India, Bangladesh, etc..)
- Product type (what kind of goods are inspected)
- Quantity of manufactured goods to inspect
- Number of SKU (or number of reference).
All those parameters allow us to establish a number of man-day needed to perform the inspection of the goods.
Sometimes there is a misunderstanding about what a SKU is and why we ask our customers how many SKU they have in their order.
Defining what is (SKU)
Short for stock keeping unit, SKU sometimes written “Sku” is a unique numerical identifying number that refers to a specific stock item in a retailer’s inventory or product catalog. The SKU is usually used to identify the product using brand, size, color, model, type.
In the retail industry, the SKU is a part of the backend inventory control system that allows it to be tracked for inventory purposes and must be stored and accounted for separate from other items.
Understanding the importance of SKU
The SKU is established by the merchant. A good SKU identify each item uniquely regardless of whether it is a single, variation or bundle product. In the case of a variation product, the parent product as well as the child (the variation) will have a unique SKU.
Working with an example
Let’s say you are manufacturing shoes in a Chinese factory: you have may have style, color, and size that differentiate each item. If we use a scientific approach it would make that each reference is a function of style, color, season and size: (style, color, season, size) = SKU1
For example, lady shoes of a particular style, color and season size might have an SKU of “1221-001-F15-S,” meaning “Style 1221, color black, season Fall 2015, size S.”
Every SKU is assigned a unique identification number ( inventory or stock number) which is often the same as (or is tied to) the item’s EAN or UPC.
If you use Barcodes, you can use your barcode as a SKU providing you add the barcode into the relevant SKU field within the marketplaces/webstores you are listing on.
Why SKU is important when performing quality control in China or in Asia?
It is very significant that client SKU’s details are provided to inspectors before starting inspection. It can help the inspector understand each single type of goods specification in advance without confusing as well as allow get a good idea of how to average product quantity checking and quality control in Asia.
Apart from the product quantity, type and general specification, SKU is often used to estimate the number man-day and time required for quality inspection.
The more SKU in the order, the more inspection time will be required because we are supplying very detailed inspection service and reporting details with all quality check possible (color check, size check, weight, etc…), and of course the more checking there is to do, the longer it takes. So, for this reason when we perform a product inspection in China or in Asia, we need to know in advance how many SKU are present into the order.