Assigning and tracking the serial numbers of products in your inventory can have many advantages. Serial numbers are useful tools for record-keeping, regulatory compliance and overall accuracy — particularly in highly regulated industries or with products that have many specific variants. The drawback to serial number tracking is that it introduces another complication for your staff. Many inventory tracking systems — whether they’re paper- or software-based — have difficulty processing serial numbers. This situation leads to lost time and productivity as well as greater potential for inaccurate information entering into your records.
Goods Order Inventory is different. Our comprehensive inventory management platform contains a serial code tracker that will let you assign unique numbers for different products, sort and search them and create detailed audit trails. The process is easy and intuitive, especially when it’s used with a Windows or Android-based mobile barcode scanner.
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Tracking the serial numbers of items in your inventory provides a granular look at what you have in stock. It also tells you things about your products that an SKU can’t. For example, with serial number tracking, you can:
If you sell, for example, bicycles, a serial number may provide information about size, color and configuration that isn’t available from tracking the model number alone.
Serial number tracking can show you which configurations of your products are the best sellers — which, in turn, can inform your stocking decisions in the future and help you make better use of your space.
Serial number tracking will help you confirm that an item coming in for a return or warranty issue is the same one that went out.
In heavily regulated industries where specifics are critical — such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing — inventory serial number tracking software will help you minimize the risk of a shipping error.
For these reasons and more, it may be worth it to start tracking your inventory by serial number. However, the right software is essential, which is where Goods Order Inventory comes in.
Goods Order Inventory is a scalable, cloud-based inventory management system that supports serial code tracking and other features. We’ve engineered our product to be extremely flexible and accommodate different serial code schemes — including internal, external and user-assigned numbers. This setup supports a wide range of use cases. With perishable items, for example, our users will often assign the expiry date as a serial number to ensure that the oldest products get sent out first.
We offer several ways to import serial numbers — manually, on a unit-by-unit basis, through a bulk import from an Excel document or, for externally generated numbers, using our barcode scanner. Once a number is in your database, you can search it, track it through the system or print it on shipping manifests and other customer documentation, among other actions.
If you are in a business where mandates require you to maintain accurate records for each unique serial numbers purchase and sale (i.e. medical supplies, fireworks, chemical supplies, pharmaceuticals, etc.), then Goods Order Inventory is all you need for regulatory compliance documentation. Goods Order Inventory generates a comprehensive audit trail of stock changes and will accurately track each individual item sold, received or returned.
To learn more about the benefits of setting up an inventory serial number tracking system, sign-up for a trial of Goods Order Inventory today.
Lot tracking is used to track batches, or groups, of a specific item. Lots work very similarly to serialized inventory, except a lot ID represents a group of items instead of an individual unit. A lot ID number is assigned to each batch of items, and the lot ID number stays with the batch as it goes through the system.
Serialized inventory allows you to track individual units of an item, rather than quantities only. A serial number is assigned to each unit, and the number stays with the unit as it goes through the system. Serial numbers typically refer to individual discrete items, such as a bicycle which itself may be constructed from many other serially-numbered components such as gears and wheels.
More information on the differences between lots and serial numbers can be found here.
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