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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562674
Title SKU classification: A literature review and conceptual framework
Author(s) Kampen, Tim J. van; Akkerman, Renzo; Donk, Dirk Pieter van
Source International Journal of Operations and Production Management 32 (2012)7. - ISSN 0144-3577 - p. 850 - 876.
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) Demand classification - Forecasting - Inventory management - Production strategy - SKU classification - Stock control

Purpose: Stock keeping unit (SKU) classifications are widely used in the field of production and operations management. Although many theoretical and practical examples of classifications exist, there are no overviews of the current literature, and general guidelines are lacking with respect to method selection for classifying SKUs. The purpose of this paper is to systematically synthesise the earlier work in this area, and to conceptualise and discuss the factors that influence the choice of a specific SKU classification. Design/methodology/approach: The paper structurally reviews existing contributions and synthesises these into a conceptual framework for SKU classification. Findings: How SKUs are classified depends on the classification aim, the context and the method that is chosen. In total, three main production and operations management aims were found: inventory management, forecasting and production strategy. Within the method three decisions are identified to come to a classification: the characteristics, the classification technique and the operationalisation of the classes. Research limitations/implications: Drawing on the literature survey, the authors conclude with a conceptual framework describing the factors that influence SKU classification. Further research could use this framework to develop guidelines for real-life applications. Practical implications: Examples from a variety of industries and general directions are provided which managers could use to develop their own SKU classification. Originality/value: The paper aims to advance the literature on SKU classification from the level of individual examples to a conceptual level and provides directions on how to develop a SKU classification.

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