Serial Number Tracking, Benefits, Examples, Uses
LAST UPDATE: JUL 16, 2022
4 minutes reading
What is Serial Number Tracking?
One of the most popular ways to track the journey that individual units of an inventory item take as it progresses through facilities from the moment it is created until it is sold. This is done using a unique identification code. Thus, it lets you know easily where your products are.
Serial Numbers Vs Lot Numbers (Batch Numbers)
Lot numbers also known as batch numbers are used to track a group of items from a specific product where the batch number represents a group of goods rather than one unique item.
They are used to track products that have a specific shelf life, such as food products, medicinal products, and perishable products.
On the other hand, serial numbers are used to identify individual items instead of groups, assigning a serial number to each unit to be tracked along the supply chain.
When Is a Serial Number Used?
If you think about the idea behind using serial numbers, simply, it lies in identifying a specific item, as a fingerprint identifies a specific person, serial number is a unique number assigned to a specific product to distinguish it from all others.
Many industries are more sensitive to serial number tracking than others, such as the Electronics Industry as we see many items have serial numbers like electronics, laptops, notepads, DVD players, bicycles, musical instruments, notebooks, watches, sporting equipment, and so on.
The serial number is used for many purposes, for example, warranty control, version control, track faulty products, and even for quality control as we will later in this blog.
FDA regulations also have standards of Device tracking system which say “A manufacturer of a tracked device shall adopt a method of tracking for each such type of device that it distributes that enables a manufacturer to provide FDA with the following information in writing for each tracked device”.
This identifier could be the serial number of the device or other identifier necessary to provide for effective tracking of the devices.
The FDA says that each drug made by the manufacturer should have a serial number, generated by the manufacturer or repackager for each individual package. Serial numbers should be numeric or alphanumeric (including letters, numbers, or both) and should have no more than 20 characters.
How to Track Serial Numbers?
It begins with an easy process, the serial numbers will be assigned for different items by the manufacturer, usually generated once an item is ready to ship, then all the related parts used to make this product are joined with the product’s serial number.
As soon as a product has a serial number, then you can track it along its supply chain from the origin point till the end user.
A good inventory management system should have the serial number tracking feature.
By assigning unique serial numbers for products, it can place any product in orders by entering its serial number or just scan its UPC code via a barcode scanner.
It also enables reports on products availability by warehouses, and more.
Serial Number Tracking Benefits
1- Ease of Product Recall
If your company has ever faced a problem with faulty products and they are returned to you. In this case, you will have to recall the entire product from the market.
The serial number tracking system enables you to determine the sale date of any item, the location, and the buyer. Consequently, you can identify faulty products or the specific components of a faulty product and recall them easily from the market instead of bearing the cost of recalling all products and determining which ones are faulty.
For example: the notebook computer batteries recall, a defective notebook may not be the fault of manufacturer, it could be a faulty battery as what happened with apple at August 2006 when they recalled 1.8 million notebook computer batteries for defective notebooks, made by Sony, after several instances where the batteries overheated or caught fire.
2- Meet Compliance Requirements
Serial number tracking helps you to meet the legal compliance requirements and demonstrate your complete accountability for your products.
3- After-Sales Service (Warranties and Repairs)
Tracking serial numbers allows you to improve after-sales services and track warranty information and repairs for your products. as it guarantees that you will not provide free services on products with expired warranties.
On the other hand, tracking the serials enable you to maintain sales dates, prices, and repairs associated with an item, making it easy to exchange specific parts for another or find bad products to stop production.
For instance, if a customer buys a washing machine, then discovers that it is a faulty machine, by using serial number tied to the warranty, the manufacturer can identify the specific machine and offer protection and warranty tied to the sale.
4- Inventory Control
Tracking inventory using spreadsheets is tedious and involves errors. A good inventory management solution -which supports serial number tracking- makes inventory tracking easy and greatly simplifies inventory management, starting from tracking products with multiple expensive components down to the individual products.
The right inventory management system allows you to easily track all shipped goods and capture data. With just a few clicks, you can locate any individual product, at any time, starting from the time the purchase order is received for the products into your inventory, and ending with the shipment of the products outside your warehouse.
The serial number provides instant access to product data such as size and color, in addition to the current location, revision levels, shipment details, upgrades, etc., ensuring that you provide high-quality customer service levels, while quality management becomes much easier.
5- Fraud and Theft Protection
Serial numbers provide you an excellent service to your customers in protecting them from fraud and theft. For instance, the Consumers who get stolen from can report the mobile IMEI number to the police, where it can be tracked and returned to its original owner or alert customer support when the stolen device is turned on and connected to the internet.
Serial numbers tracking enables you to spot fake serial numbers, prevent patent infringements or sale of counterfeit products, as well as help retailers to track stolen products, and reference warranty terms.
For example, if you have a tablet, and for some reason, if it was lost, stolen, or left behind, using a serial number helps police departments identify owners of lost and stolen items.
There are more benefits of Serial Number Tracking than we mentioned like Improving your turnover rate tracking, reducing risk, and more and all are aimed at providing you a granular look at your inventory and streamline your business operations.
Serial Number Tracking in New G Solution
The right inventory management system leads you to manage your inventory efficiently. Trust New G Solution for all your business needs.
New G Solution has all the capabilities you need as well as a serial number tracking feature which is one of the countless features our system is capable of.
From the powerful reports that supply you full details about serials movements to creating purchase orders with no need to remember the product name using serials, and stock adjustment operation, passing to assigning serial numbers for your products to track your products through multiple stages, and keep you in the know where your products are going and where they come from.
Discover more about serial number tracking for your business New G Solution could do here.
To learn more about the features of our inventory system and serial number tracking feature, sign-up for a trial of New G Solution today.
see also: New G Solution Features