locked
SKUs and serialized inventory RRS feed

  • Question

  • For this question I'm hoping for opinions from people with a lot of experience with inventory management.

    I am trying to create a data model to better represent my employer's business than the vendor ERP actually used for data entry. This replacement model can be thought of as an ODS of sorts. We have an opportunity to create new schema here.

    As such, I'm trying to figure out what the inventory management part of the schema should look like. The ERP system itself doesn't even include a "SKU" data element, which is a bit odd. 

    But the company business model is slightly complex. Some of the things in our inventory are traditional stock items that are easily represented by SKUs. But others are very large, valuable items which we don't sell, but rather rent out. These items are tracked by individual numbers literally stamped into metal plates on the physical item. In our business parlance, these are "serialized assets".

    My question is this: Does a serialized asset have a serialized SKU? That is to say, in these cases is there a unique SKU for each physical thing?

    I can see arguments on both sides. On the one hand, SKU literally stands for "stock keeping unit", and in terms of stock keeping we certainly count each of these individually across the various warehouses. During stocktakes we never count a quantity of serialized assets of a type, the question is always of the form "Did we find asset number 12345, or is it missing?". This would seem to suggest that serialized assets should have unique SKUs, because for each asset we only ever count a quantity of one during stocktake.

    On the other hand, from the point of view of customer orders (and inventory transfers), a specific item identifier isn't needed at time of order creation. If I want to record a customer's order, the person doing the order entry is not required to select one particular physical item as the time of request, nor do I need to know the availability of any particular physical asset. Generally it is sufficient to say that there is some number of serialized items capable of matching the customer's requirements at some particular warehouse. This would seem to suggest that if the thing being requested is a SKU, then the SKU is not unique. It is only when the order is filled at picking time that some particular, unique asset will be allocated against the request, which will not be a SKU, but rather an asset serial number.





    • Edited by allmhuran Tuesday, January 23, 2018 6:01 AM
    Tuesday, January 23, 2018 5:58 AM

Answers

  • Hi allmhuran,

    >> My question is this: Does a serialized asset have a serialized SKU? That is to say, in these cases is there a unique SKU for each physical thing?

    This forum is about SQL Server, and towards your question, I would suggest you go to this forum for more professional response in a more efficient manner.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Regards,

    Hannah

    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018 7:44 AM

All replies

  • Hi allmhuran,

    >> My question is this: Does a serialized asset have a serialized SKU? That is to say, in these cases is there a unique SKU for each physical thing?

    This forum is about SQL Server, and towards your question, I would suggest you go to this forum for more professional response in a more efficient manner.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Regards,

    Hannah

    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018 7:44 AM
  • I agree. I think we can help you with the data model once you get your domain knowledge/requirements set a bit more. Designing the data structure will be "easy" compared to figuring out those requirements.

    Good Luck!


    Louis

    Without good requirements, my advice is only guesses. Please don't hold it against me if my answer answers my interpretation of your questions.

    Thursday, January 25, 2018 3:11 AM
  • Hi allmhuran,

    >> My question is this: Does a serialized asset have a serialized SKU? That is to say, in these cases is there a unique SKU for each physical thing?

    This forum is about SQL Server, and towards your question, I would suggest you go to this forum for more professional response in a more efficient manner.


    Indeed, although the list of forums broken down by category links back to here for "Database Design", and is the only technet forum matching this kind of category. Logical design forums are quite sparse across the web, not just within the MS network. I think everybody is too busy trying to get code into their version control system and deployed, and don't have the time to spend thinking about how the code should work! ;)

    Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:42 AM
  • Hi allmhuran,

    As this forum is about SQL Server, I suggest you go to that forum so that a dedicated support professional can assist you in a more efficient manner.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Regards,

    Hannah


    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018 6:58 AM