You can use UPCs for your products in RetailEdge Point of Sale Software. Here are somethings to think about
The UPC is typically a 12 digit code. A EAN is 13. A shortened UPC is 7. These will all work. You should be careful using any value that a vendor uses that is shorter than 7. This can cause some conflicts and since it is not a UPC, may change.
Using the manufacturers codes have advantages (like not tagging every item). However there are some disadvantages.
1. The UPCs can and do change.
2. You might not want the detail that the manufacturer is using for the item. For instance many businesses do not track color. This is because it many times does not give you the information that you need for reordering or sales history. This years hot seller might be a chile red but next year's might be cobalt. What is more important is that you are selling X number of small, mediums or larges.
3. You also might not get the detail out of the manufacturer's code that you do need. We have seen manufacturers of dog beds tracking that the dog bed is blue but not that it is small, medium or large. All sizes of the same color were the same part number.
So the bottom line is that you need to think about what information you want to track and whether the manufacturer's codes will allow you to track this information. RetailEdge also does allow you to track UPCs in a separate field. This way you can create three different parts using your own codes and have the same UPC for an item. When you sell the item by scanning the UPC, RetailEdge will recognize this and ask the clerk to choose which one they are selling.
If you do choose not to track colors but the manufacturer or vendor does need this information, RetailEdge's purchase orders will allow you use your own code that does not track color and use a part/color field that will print on the PO so the vendor/manufacturer knows what you are ordering.
Also RetailEdge has the ability to track two different UPC codes. So if a manufacturer changes a code (Chile this year, Hot Red next, etc.) and you still have stock of the Chile, you can use the same item in RetailEdge to track sales of both items. This is pretty common in the liquor industry as well.
So a lot of things to think about but RetailEdge will give you the flexibility to do what you need to in order to get meaningful information out of the program.