Why the Manufacturer’s Part Number Should be YOUR Part Number

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Categories: Inventory Management

By Mark Tomalonis
Principal, WarehouseTWO, LLC

Do you sell branded products from a single supplier, and do those items have part numbers clearly defined by the manufacturer?  And you are NOT using those part numbers as the part number in your company's ERP system?  Yikes!  To motivate you to change your ways, we present The Top Ten Reasons Why the Manufacturer’s Part Number Should be YOUR Part Number.

10.    New employee training is easier.  MUCH easier.

9.    Less confusion all around.  ‘nuff said.

8.    All transactions (sales orders, purchase orders, receiving) will be more accurate. Accuracy is a good thing.

7.    Purchase orders placed electronically to your supplier will get through the first time, without human interaction.

6.    Items on your sales orders and purchase orders match items shown in the manufacturer’s literature and in price lists.  Imagine that!

5.    No one outside your company knows your internal part number.  Are you posting your internal part numbers to WarehouseTWO or to the Internet via WarehouseTWO’s WEB MARKET function?  No one searching at WarehouseTWO or at Google is looking for your internal part numbers.  Why are you hiding your inventory from potential sales?

4.    Hiding the manufacturer’s true part number from your customers is so 1980’s.  Because of the Internet, your customers already know the real part number.  Give it up already.  If you must hide the manufacturer’s part number from a particular customer, use the “customer part number” functionality in your ERP system.

3.    You can reduce the number of times the same item has been entered into your company’s ERP system.  To just ONCE.

2.    Your sales order packing list shows one part number while the manufacturer’s product labeling shows another part number.  You may be confusing your customer.  Or, worse yet, he/she may think that you are being deceptive.  Either way, is this really how you want to treat your customers?

And the number one reason why the manufacturer’s part number should be YOUR part number:

1.    After all is said and done, the manufacturer’s part number IS the correct part number.  The ONLY correct part number.

Incidentally...Is your company’s ERP system unable to accommodate the manufacturer’s EXACT part number?  For example, can it not handle spaces, special characters or really long part numbers?  If so, your ERP system may be trying to tell you something:  “Replace me!”  (You just might be amazed by what else a modern ERP system can do for your company.)

About the Author
After a successful career in sales and operations management in the wholesale-distribution industry, Mark Tomalonis is now principal of WarehouseTWO, LLC.  He amuses himself by writing articles, such as this one, to help wholesaler-distributors execute their operations better.  Mark’s articles and tips are published in WarehouseTWO’s monthly e-newsletters.  Click here to subscribe.

About WarehouseTWO
WarehouseTWO, LLC is an independent “inventory-sharing” service created exclusively for durable goods manufacturers and their authorized distributors, and for any group of durable goods “peer” wholesaler-distributors, such as members of a buying/marketing group or cooperative.  To learn how inventory-sharing with WarehouseTWO can help your business, visit the WarehouseTWO website, or email info@warehousetwo.com.