B-to-B Cataloging An Introduction to Merchandise Analysis
Product name: Include the product name associated with each SKU.
Product description: If you offer the product in different colors or sizes, you may need to include that information as a separate field if it's not included in the product name. (Companies handle this information in a variety of ways. If you have difficultly separating out your sales by color and size, skip this piece of information for now and pull it in later.)
Category/subcategory: List the English word category grouping of the products. If you use numbers or codes to identify each category, take the time to include the English word description of the code. This will make using your report much easier.
For your category divisions, try to think in terms of how your customers shop. Once while attempting to purchase about 20,000 plastic binders from a manufacturer, the company sent me its catalog that categorized its products in terms of manufacturing processes: extruded and poured. The company's customers thought in terms of binders, paper clip holders and sheet protectors.
Price: The selling price of the product.
Vendor: Make it a habit to include the vendor of each product.
Page number: The page of the catalog on which the product appears.
Square inches: This measurement is the biggest hindrance to producing a squinch report. Use this opportunity to make a breakthrough for measuring your catalog!
Treat this metric as a rough measurement of how many square inches a product takes in promotional space. Your measurement should be close, but it doesn't have to be exact. However, you must be consistent in how you measure.
I like the measurements to be precise, and every page's measured square inches to equal the same total. But I've been forced to rethink my insistence on this level of precision.
Once due to a miscommunication — two people on my staff measured the same catalog in preparation for merchandise analysis. One did it with the precision; the other, in my opinion, was a bit sloppy. He rounded up or down to the nearest half inch for both the horizontal and vertical measurements.