Serial Number Tracking
Serial number tracking is the process of tracking the journey an inventory item takes as it progresses through your facilities, from supply chain to warehouse storage to customer delivery. When you scan a barcode with a barcode reader connected to inventory software, information about that product and its serial number is sent to your inventory software system to enable tracking.
Each serial number is unique, unlike skus, lot numbers and universal barcodes which can apply to many products made by the same manufacturer. Serial numbers are often used for capital goods and equipment (eg. robotics, medical devices and vehicles) where there is a need to keep track of an item through the production and distribution and beyond. An inventory management software solution that supports serial number tracking allows the end user to keep track of all shipped goods, giving ready access to production data, revision levels and upgrades etc. enabling high quality downstream customer service.
There are many benefits of supporting serial numbers, some of which include:
- Ease of returns – look up an item quickly to call up sale date, location and buyer
- Proven compliance
- Managing service contracts and warranties
Serial Number Inventory Software
Tracking serial numbers on spreadsheets is not just hard work, but is often largely impractical given the need to store full production history. The least of your problems is the transcription errors and onerous manual cross-referencing that comes from managing a spreadsheet.
QuickBooks Online is the world’s most successful Financial Management systems for SME’s, and at SOS we have designed our software to extend the functionality of QuickBooks to support full inventory management and serial number tracking.
Track Serial Numbers for Years to Come
Whether your product comes with a limited or extended warrantee, an integral part of servicing that item is maintaining a history of sale date, repairs, price, parts, etc. associated with that specific item. If a customer requires a repair on a product that was replaced by an updated version, having all data affiliated with that item’s specific serial number is essential to knowing which parts and/or design apply to that particular product.
Serial Number Tracking System
Utilizing a serial number system to track a product’s journey allows your team to interrogate a product’s composition, shipment details, revision levels and current location, to provide all the information you need to deliver stellar levels of customer support, warranty claims, recalls, etc.
Serial numbers are usually generated once a product is ready to ship so that all the specific parts used to create that product can be associated with that product’s serial number.
SOS Inventory Makes Serial Number Tracking Easy
When you set up serial number tracking, you begin simply by adding an item and checking a box to enable serial numbers.
You can create serial numbers a few different ways:
Scanning a barcode
Uploading a csv file
Opting in to autogenerate the serial numbers as the product is produced
SOS Inventory acts as a serial number scanning app when using a mobile device; SOS’s mobile app lets you update the physical inventory on the go.
To autogenerate the numbers, you can indicate a serial number prefix, length of the number, and next sequential number. If you leave any fields blank, the system will randomly choose digits in that part of the series but will not duplicate previously used numbers.
When you are managing your sales orders and indicate the quantity, a field will pop up allowing you to enter in a unique serial number for each one. You can then scan barcodes or upload a csv file.
How do serial numbers work?
A unique serial number is assigned to each and every item produced within a product line. A group of products may all have the same UPC barcode number indicating they are identical; however, the serial numbers within that group will all be original.
How does the serial number help identify the owner of the object?
Serial numbers are often assigned to high ticket items and items that require service after the sale. A cellular phone is a good example. When the phone is sold, the serial number is tied to the warranty that offers protection on that phone for a year or more, according to the agreement. When the phone is returned to the manufacturer for service, the manufacturer will look up that specific phone by serial number to find out where it was sold, the warranty tied to the sale and the customer’s information.
If you would like a demonstration of SOS Inventory’s serial number tracking features, sign up today for a free demonstration.