February 25, 2015

IDEA Dictionary: Stock Indicator Codes

When dealing with data, and all related terminology, you may feel like you’re trying to speak a foreign language. In the interest of keeping things clear and simple, we will introduce commonly-used terms in each newsletter that will help you navigate the data shorthand and learn the lingo. This week, we bring you three related terms: stock, quick-ship, and non-stock.

A manufacturer’s products don’t each sell at the same rate: high-demand items must be available at all times and need to be replenished rapidly, while other products move more slowly, perhaps they are high ticket items that are important to a construction project, but not ordered in large quantities. Those items do not need to be replenished as often. Manufacturers use stock indicator codes to show this difference in the rate of production, sale, and storage of products. These codes tell a distributor the potential availability of an item and provide a better sense of how much time to allow for order fulfillment.  

There are five different stock indicator codes available for manufacturers use to code their products in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), three of which are included in evaluation for the Data Certification Program. They are the following:

  • Stock: An item that is considered stocked and/or published, or available to order or purchase, that does not require product or packaging configuration and is not produced to meet a customer’s unique specifications; Identified by stock indicator code “S”
  • Quick-ship: A “stock” item that is always available to be shipped without delay; Identified by stock indicator code “Q”

A quick-ship item is a best-seller, which a manufacturer will always want to have in stock. These items sell quickly and often. For example, distributors always have black electrical tape, switches, and tie-wraps on their shelf. Manufacturers must be capable of same-day shipping on orders for these products.

  • Non-stock: An item that is not necessarily kept in inventory, and could have a longer lead-time; Identified by stock indicator code “N”

Some larger items such as generators, lighting fixtures, or electrical enclosures may not be produced until an order is received.  The items are not necessarily custom products, but manufacturers only build enough products to meet current demand.

The other two stock indicator codes, which are excluded in evaluation for the Data Certification Program, but are available for manufacturers to code their products, are the following:

  • Made-to-Order: An item that is custom-built to meet a customer’s unique specification; Identified by stock indicator code “M”
  • Configurable: An item that is built from readily available products to match the customer’s specifications and may become a regularly ordered product; Identified by stock indicator code “C” 

It is important to note that a stock code indicates the status of the item on the manufacturer’s warehouse shelf, and is not specific to any particular distributor trading partner. One item produced by a manufacturer does not have the same demand across all distributor trading partners. A product might be a quick-seller at one distributor location, but not in demand in other regions. The stock indicator code is not individualized; rather, it is dependent upon the manufacturer’s aggregate sale of the item. High demand from one distributor may not cause the manufacturer to classify the product as “quick-ship.”

If you have any questions regarding the meaning of stock, quick-ship, or non-stock, or any other IDW terms, please contact your Data Management Specialist. Requests for future definitions can be sent to communications@idea4industry.com.