Making Meaningful Inventory IDs

As I mentioned last week in Inventory Tag-Freebie Alert!, I have been working on building my business, with the goal of having a booth at a craft show or market. Part of that process has been building an inventory of ready-for-sale crocheted items. In trying to maintain good records, I found a template through Microsoft Excel for tracking inventory. One of the categories is “Inventory ID.” That made me think, how should I number my inventory? I’m not really a fan of using random numbers or a barcode (which appear random even though I have been informed that they are not), not to mention I absolutely do NOT want to waste the ink printing barcodes. I want to be able to look at it and know exactly which item was sold instead of having to search for a code and see what it was. I really try to manage my time as efficiently as I can; naps are no longer guaranteed with my son, and that has been my main quiet, uninterrupted work time. So like many of the things with LuLu’s Yarn Art, I decided to make up a system that makes sense to me and works for me. I’m not completely alone (I hope) in the way my brain works, so I want to share my system here in the hopes that it could help someone else starting out.

Let’s get started using one of my currently available products as an example.

 

 

Shell Headband Collage
Like what you see? Visit My Store to see if it is currently available for purchase.

 

Step One: What is it?

As you can see, the item we are looking at is a headband. The first part of the Inventory ID will demonstrate that it is a headband. I used HB.

Step Two: What style is it?

I have several different styles of headbands available, so the next step is the name of the style. The pictured headband is a Double Crochet Shell pattern, which Olivia over at Hopeful Honey reminded me how to make. So I use the initials for that: DCS.

 

Step Three: What yarn is it?

I think most people who crochet have one main thing in common. We have a lot of different yarn; maybe some of us are addicted to getting good deals on yarn and just can’t resist that 20% off total purchase coupon that Jo-Ann Fabrics sends to us, or 40% off a single item from Ben Franklin Crafts…but I digress. If a repeat customer wants the exact same thing they previously purchased, I need to know what yarn I used because in all likelihood, I won’t remember. The headband pictured was made with Peaches and Cream: PC.

Step Four: What color is it?

I use the manufacturers names, in this case it was Bright Orange: BO.

Step Five: What size is it?

Whether it is a headband, hat, blanket, etc., it most likely has a size attached. This headband is 22 inches so I put 22. If it were a blanket I could show the full dimensions: 32×32. The nice thing about making your own system is you really can do whatever you want.

Step Six: Put it all together.

We have a headband that is a double crochet shell pattern, made with Peaches and Cream yarn, in Bright Orange, and is 22 inches. So my Inventory ID for this item is HBDCSPCBO22. It includes everything I need to know in order to recreate the item to replenish stock or fulfill an order.

Good luck!

6 thoughts on “Making Meaningful Inventory IDs

  1. This sounds like a very sensible organized system. Plus I’m sure you can add a field or two to track number of particular items sold to be able to track sales trends and see which items or category of items is most popular. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are definitely more organized than I’m sure most people are! I have no doubt that you are going to be really successful – you have the right kind of attitude and tons of motivation and ambition! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Meghan ~ I’ve also tried to come up with a consistent item number system. I like what you’ve come up with, but my eyes would need something between sections so I could read it easier on the fly. Could be a dash, a period, or even a comma, just something to break it up.
    All manufacturers have a number assigned to each color that would be usable if you come across the same initials for different colors. You might also want to note the lot number in case that repeat customer is a stickler for exact matching. You might not find the same lot, but you could let them know in advance the color of new items might be a shade off.
    Thanks for following my blog, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Jan

    Liked by 1 person

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