Item Code vs Item Name

I’m new and stuck on something fundamental. When I create a new item I am asked for an item code and an item name. I’m not clear on what belongs in these fields. In my 24 years of engineering I am used to three critical fields when dealing with items: (example in parentheses)

Item Number (100001-000)
Item Name (Bracket PCB)
Item Description (Powder coated sheet metal bracket for attaching main PCB to enclosure)

Do I use the item code field for the item number? That field is oddly tucked away after initial item creation. To change the item code I have to click on the item name and select “rename”, which then displays the item code under a label called “item name”. This is highly confusing to me. When I am confused I feel like I must not be understanding it fully.

Please help if you can provide some clarity.

1 Like

Welcome Paul !!!

Yes it is a bit confusing. Everything I tell you now is based on my use of Version 10 production ERPNext.

Item code is in fact the first and main field for distinguishing between items in the database (in your case, Item Number). Later you will find that Item Codes are used most in doing trending analysis for sales, purchasing, manufacturing, etc. Once created, the Item code should really never change. IT is usually better to set it as inactive and create a new code in it’s place.

The reason Item Code should never change, is that any information that feeds into the Item can be changed or appended. for example, if you purchase your particular item and it has always come from Vendor_A, then you can add a line in the supplier and or manufacturer fields under the item to identify the source. If the Vendor_A goes out if business or discontinues your item, you can always add another line to the supplier or manufacturer section under Item to identify a new source. This also works for similar replacements. BTW… unique supplier codes or manufacturer part numbers are tracked within ITEM. This makes purchasing much easier when it comes time to generate PO’s for the items. Likewise, if you manufacture your own parts, then the Item Code is the ID for all things going into a Bill of Materials.

Item name is infinitely changeable without affecting the tracking of the item later in the database. Only Item code must remain unique and fixed.

Item Description is also infinitely changeable with no impact on the tracking of data.

The exception to these rules are only that once you change a item name or description, it will affect future searches of using those fields.

Also NOTE… Once an invoice has been created with a particular Item code, name, and description, it will be locked that way for that invoice forever. Only future invoices will reflect changes you make right now.

Hope this helps…

Welcome aboard,

BKM :sunglasses:


@bkm, Thank you for the welcome and the very thorough explanation. I believe I understand. I agree that normally the item code won’t change but I am currently “graduating” from Excel to ERP so I am looking at everything all at once. Part of the project is to rework my item codes for better consistency. This is why I was fiddling with them after entering legacy codes.

VERY much appreciate the response. I’ll probably have a flurry of questions as I dig in but I hope to also contribute once I get fluent.

Thanks again,