Unit of measure / repeating barcodes

Unit of measure is a functionality that allows you to share inventory between more than one product.  Repeating barcodes are a functionality that allows two products to share the same UPC.  The two concepts are discussed in this article since they are very often used in conjunction with one another.

Before we dive into the details - here's also a video made by one of our techs on the topic as well that is a great overview: https://youtu.be/Q2CJigsycPU

REPEATING BARCODES

To set up a repeating barcode you'd go to the product record in the back office > hit the "Alternate codes" button > then type in the product code you wish to be shared into the list.  For the barcode "Type" choose "Repeating" then click "Accept" and then save the product.  

On the second product that you wish to share the same code follow exactly the same steps.  Repeating barcodes MUST be set up as alternate codes which may mean you need the system to auto-generate your primary product code.  You can share a product code in this way with as many products as you'd like.

At the POS when you scan one of these products, you'll be prompted to select from all products that share a repeating barcode.  

Great examples are; two vintages of wine that do not share inventory or pricing, clothing that is different sizes and colors that has the same barcode, and a seasonal type of beer like Alaskan Winter and Summer Ale.

UNIT OF MEASURE

Unit of measure is where you want to ring up two or more separate products but the inventory is really the same.  An example would be a case of beer that your staff may break down into 6 packs, that may get broken down into single cans.  When you buy the product from the supplier you only ever buy cases but the prices are different and when you count inventory, you have to deal with all three.

If you join them all to the same unit of measure then:

1)  When you look at the quantity on hand from the product it will be represented based on what product you're looking at.  Here's an example:

24 pack cans - 11
6 pack cans - 3
Single cans - 1

If you looked at the inventory level of the 24 pack you would see 11.83 (expressed in total cases), if you looked at the 6 pack you'd see 47.33 (your total inventory would be expressed as 6 packs), if you looked at the singles you'd see 284 (inventory expressed in single cans).

Furthermore, when you buy the products from your suppliers the costing is shared as well.  When you count your inventory it will tell you specifically which unit of measure you counted for record's sake and everything goes into the same "bucket" if you will.  Lastly, when you look at reporting it's important if you use this report that you use the Quantity on hand reports that state that they are "UOM".  These reports will only show you one of these three products based on whichever entry you've designated as your primary UOM.  If you look at the standard inventory reports you'll see 3 rows which would technically be tripling this value.

EXAMPLE WHERE BOTH ARE USED

With the beer example above the can that the cashier would scan for a 6 pack would also be the same barcode on the single can and is a great example of where both repeating barcodes and unit of measure are both used.

ALTERNATIVE TO USING REPEATING BARCODES

The repeating barcode functionality can be a lifesaver in many cases but it can also be a sore spot in some operations as cashiers are typically not paying much attention to the POS and therefore not responding to the prompt to select a product.  If you'd like to avoid the prompt our recommendation would be to use the legitimate barcode for the 6 pack product only and set the product code for the single as "S000000000" where the zeros are replaced by the UPC.  By prefixing the UPC with an "S" you avoid the need for a prompt and simply have to train your staff that if a product is a "single" then hit "s" before scanning the barcode.

KEYWORDS: parent child, parent/child, case pack, MPQ, tagalong, kit

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