Shipfusion Blog

Understanding SKU Tracking and How it Can Help Your eCommerce Business: Part One

Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.

Stock Keeping Units or SKU is a method that can be used to organize inventory. The method takes into consideration key similarities and differences in various products. The information is then used to come up with a simple way of keeping track of stock.

It is worth pointing out that if you offer a huge variety of products it may be quite difficult to keep track of all stock through physical inventory. Stock Keeping Units or ‘SKU’ help simplify tracking and ensure your business runs smoothly.

You can create unique SKU numbers for the purpose of tracking. Some people do this manually while others choose to use a point of sales system to generate the necessary numbers.

There is also certain software that enables you to generate SKUs automatically. Once you have the alphanumeric codes for your products, you can enter the information into a given system for easy tracking.

Methods of Tracking Inventory or Stock

There are different ways for you to keep track of inventory. The best method depends on the resources available to you and the amount of stock you have at any given time.

Manual Tracking

As a new startup, you may not have all the technological hardware and software you require to keep track of your stock. In this case, you can opt for the manual method of tracking your inventory.

A pen and paper or booklet may be all you need to track the way products move from the supplier to your store and out. This technique can be quite tedious and time-consuming because you have to make updates to your booklet regularly.


If you have a computer you can utilize the spreadsheet system to keep track of your inventory. Spreadsheets are an excellent way to organize massive amounts of data. 

Using your SKU Numbers or codes, you can enter data into your system and easily keep track of inventory. The downside to this system is that you may still have to enter data manually by typing the necessary information into your computer system.

Inventory Management Systems

Inventory management systems like Shipfusion’s keep track of inventory and stock. They can also forecast demand and generate reports that can be useful in the daily running of your business. In most cases, these systems also integrate customer support and training. They can be used alongside payment and accounting systems to give a wholesome view of stock movement.

Open-source software

Open source software is one of the most modern ways for you to keep track of inventory and stock. These platforms often have simple interfaces, basic dashboards and some tracking features. Basically, they have what you need to keep track of your stock but may not have advanced features that can help you connect with other important systems.


A SaaS solution with inventory features is another excellent way for you to keep track of stock. This solution is often recommended for startups that are not yet ready to invest in comprehensive enterprise inventory management systems.

Cloud-based Software 

Cloud-based software solutions are quite easy to use and allow different people to keep track of stock remotely. This is a good solution for any business that has multiple outlets and wants to keep track of inventory or stock from every location.

Teams in different locations can enter data into the cloud-based system and share the information with everyone else regardless of location. Not only are cloud-based software solutions flexible but they also help cut down on costs.

Third-Party Logistics (3PLs)

You can opt to outsource your inventory and stock-keeping management to a third-party service provider like Shipfusion. This can help free up space, time and resources in your organization.

This solution is often recommended for retailers and ecommerce businesses that are 100% online.

Third-party companies often have the mandate to receive, store, move and track inventory on behalf of their customers. This strategy eliminates the need for the primary business to have a warehouse thereby eliminating the costs associated with it.

In-house Solution

Another way to keep track of stock is by coming up with personalized applications. This is especially a good option for organizations that have enough internal resources to plan, design, develop and deploy their on-premises inventory management systems.

One of the most important advantages of this method is that you can come up with a system that is tailored to match your unique business needs. In-house tech support is also able to make changes and improvements as soon as the need arises.

Stay tuned next week to learn, The 5 benefits of SKU tracking for your eCommerce business.

Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment specialists today.

“Part of the theme at Shipfusion is that we don't constrain our clients. We work with them as business partners, which allows them great flexibility to work with other 3PL solutions and still take advantage of Shipfusion services.”

Dean Bentley-Falcke
Senior Solutions Architect and eCommerce Specialist
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