My company is in the blueprinting phase for deploying SAP. I am in Marketing and we have a direct sales force. Most of our products are B2C and we currently have intelligently designed catalog numbers (aka SKUs/model numbers) to simplify ordering and selling. For example, a 3-digit prefix indicates a product category and a 4-digit suffix may provide more specifics around, say format or packaging size, or whether an instrument comes with a computer or not,for example. For sales reps and customers, the advantages of related catalog numbers for related items comes into play when a customer wants to purchase many different items from us; it's easier to identify the relationship between the items when shopping, quoting and ordering. For many reasons, we would like to have an intelligently designed catalog number that can refer to one (or more) material numbers.
What are the thoughts on best practices around having a customer-facing model number that is linked to the material number? Is there any reason not to do this?