The quantity of each product is one of the most crucial pieces of information to monitor in the majority of inventory management processes. Most of the time, your inventory requirements are met as long as you are aware of how much of the stock for each product is entering through the back door and out through the front. But what if you need to track individual inventory separately from the total product quantity?
What is serialized inventory?
There are many cases in which individual items in your storage and products being sold need to have unique identifiers. Serialized inventory is the tracking of individual units or products using distinctive series of numbers or alpha-numeric combinations. Serial numbers indicate a particular product or a component of a product.
One example of this is the computers and peripherals in a corporate business. When the pandemic hits, IT people have to be wise in tracking where and to whom the equipment are being assigned. Also, in the medical field, it is common to use unique identifiers to track high-value items not only for inventory management purposes but for easily tracking equipment’s lifecycle and also for the management of repair and warranties in case of any claims are needed.
How to create serial numbers for your inventory?
Below are the different ways to set up inventory serial numbers or product serialization. This process depends on your industry and the items you are tracking:
- Use the serial numbers created by your inventory management system
- Any number provided by the manufacturer
- Create your serial number
- Generate QR Codes
Serialization is different from having SKUs. These two are commonly mistaken to be the same but they are not. Serialization is being used for the thorough traceability of individual units or items whereas SKUs are location-specific identification that is commonly used in retail businesses and warehouses.
What technology can support the serialization of inventory?
We need to know that serialized tracking of inventory is effective and efficient but that is the case only when is executed properly. Manual tracking of inventory will not work because the use of numbers is a high risk of human error.
Barcoding is the most important ingredient to have success in serialized tracking of inventory and to get the barcode system running, you have to have an inventory management system that supports barcoding. From there, you should be able to track individual serial numbers from receiving them at the dock to their final destination.