While we typically think of SKUs as a distinct identifier for a particular variant, it is possible that your SKUs may have changed over time, all while still representing the same variant that a customer shops for and buys. This, however, makes it difficult to consistently track your variants over time.
In order to address this issue, Toolio introduces the concept of Master SKUs which can be defined on any SKU. This allows you ensure that any sale, inventory, purchase order, receipt, or bookings data referencing a particular SKU will be attributed instead to the Master SKU. Read below to learn more.
What are Master SKUs?
The Master SKU of any SKU represents the SKU in which you want to use for all reporting and planning purposes of that variant. Master SKUs are essentially a SKU alias; when a SKU has a Master SKU defined, Toolio will attribute any reference to that SKU as the Master SKU instead. This also means that only the attributes associated to the Master SKU will be used.
Let's say you sell a Black Leather Shoe in Size 11W with a SKU of BLS-11W. As you make slight adjustments to the shoe over time, your vendor may request that you use a new SKU for ordering purposes. Even though these adjustments are minor (i.e. change the material on the toe box, alter the stitching, improve the insole) and do not change how the customer purchases the variant, you may now need to order (and sell) updated SKUs that have been incremented to BLS-11W-02.
Even though BLS-11W and BLS-11W-02 are distinct SKUs to your Vendor, we will want to make sure that the two are tied together so that you can reference accurate historical data for the variant. In order to do this, you will need to make sure that both SKUs have been added to the Toolio Product Master, and that BLS-11W-02 is defined with BLS-11W as it's Master SKU.
As you make additional incremental adjustments in the future, you may continue to experience SKU changes (i.e. BLS-11W-03, BLS-11W-04 may be introduced). As these SKUs are created, you will want to make sure they are also added to the Toolio Product Master and attributed with the correct Master SKU.
How do I define Master SKUs?
Master SKUs can be defined on any SKU. You will need to make sure that every SKU which can have sales, inventory, purchase order, receipts, or bookings data tagged against it lives in the Toolio Product Master. Additionally, you will need to ensure that the Master SKU is also defined within the Toolio Product Master. The attributes of your SKUs will not be used in Toolio as the Master SKU's attributes will be taking precedence.
There are 2 ways in which you can easily define Master SKU values:
1. Import via your Toolio Product Feed - simply add a column with header titled 'Master SKU' to your Toolio Product Feed and attribute your Master SKUs for each SKU line, as shown below. Please note that the rest of the Product Feed can remain completely unchanged.
(Rest of Feed Unchanged)
2. Define Master SKUs directly via Product Master Data - alternatively, you can directly navigate to your Product Master Data Model > add the 'Master SKU' attribute to any view, and define the relationship there: