Print on Demand Video Series: Why Your Inventory Matters (And How to Set It Up)

In this video, we'll look at why setting up your SKUs with their print details in Order Desk is so important and how to go about getting them added. We'll also talk through which print details you need to add and some important things to keep in mind when adding each print detail.

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Why do I need a SKU for each item?

SKUs are unique combinations of numbers and letters that help identify an inventory item. By giving an item and individual SKU, you're allowing for your printer to know exactly which item needs to be printed with which dimensions.

Why do I need to add all of my inventory to Order Desk? Couldn't I just use rules to add the print details?

By investing time initially into setting up your inventory correctly in Order Desk, you'll be setting yourself up for a fully automated experience down the line. Each inventory item needs to have all the correct print details set up for each individual product, so using rules would not be an option. A rule would not be able to accommodate for each individual item's unique SKU and print details.

What if my items are personalized and the print details change for each order?

Personalized items will have their personalization added as item metadata. The print details for an item will still need to be set up, with additional item information added for each specific order. This guide has more information on that specific process.

Should I use the value provided to me by the printer as my item's SKU?

No. Instead, each combination of print_sku and print_url should be its own separate SKU. Since you might have multiple designs that you want to print on the same blank, giving them each their own SKU avoids limiting your products to just one design per printer blank. It can get a bit confusing, so it's best to just remember that each item you sell should have its own unique SKU that is not the printer's item code/blank.

How can I know whether my printer needs me to include additional fields when I send them my orders?

The best way to know which fields a printer needs is to check the Order Desk guide for that print on demand integration. Not only will this guide tell you want fields can be sent, it will also indicate which ones are mandatory and which ones are not. With a few exceptions, a print_url and print_sku field will be mandatory for orders intended for all printers, but additional fields may be necessary as well.

Do I need to add all of my items one by one?

While we recommend setting up a few items manually to get a sense for how to edit the fields, you can definitely add items in bulk using an import template. This video series is a great resource for how to do so.

I added the print details to my store, but they didn't sync into any of my orders. How do I get those details onto my existing orders?

An important thing to keep in mind about Order Desk is that it doesn't take action retroactively without being told to do so. As a result, if you add details to your inventory after orders have been imported, those changes won't sync in automatically. To tell our app to bring those details into the order, open the order, scroll to the bottom, and click the Sync Item Details With Inventory button. This will tell us to bring in those inventory details so the order can be sent to the printer.

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