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Developing a system for creating part numbers

The first step in developing a system for part numbers is creating a key. A key is a list (that you may want to print and laminate for reference) of rules describing how part numbers are set up. The key will keep your item codes consistent, and will make it easy to distinguish one item from another when looking at your Items list.

You can develop a key at any time. To apply it, open your existing items, and change the item number to fit with your newly developed set of rules.

Keep these tips in mind when developing a key:

  • Evaluate your needs. Based on your evaluation, develop a first draft of the key and review it with other appropriate members of your organization.

  • You can use both alpha and numeric codes when developing a key.

  • You may want to use a different key for finished goods and raw goods.

For ideas about structuring your key, see the Sample keys for defining part numbers.

Some businesses use the vendor's part number as their part number. If you manufacture or assemble goods, it is generally better to set up your own numbering system. If you decide to use the vendor's part number as your part number, be aware that:

  • You might purchase that part from multiple vendors and end up with multiple part numbers for the same good.

  • The number means something to your vendor but may not mean anything to you. They have developed a system for numbering their part numbers, and that system may not work for your organization.

See also

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