Serialization refers to the utilization and tracking of serial numbers in inventory management. A serial number, aka a manufacturer’s serial number (MSN), is a unique code assigned for the identification of a specific single unit of a SKU.
Say for example, you sell iPhones. Each iPhone you sell is the same product, but each unit has a unique manufacturer’s serial number A serial number is typically a string of numbers and letters, but almost always ends in numbers. It’s important to keep track of this serial number for a few reasons.
Benefits of Serialization
Let’s use the iPhone sales example again.
If someone attempts to return one of your white iPhone X’s to you – they say that when they received the phone, the screen was cracked, and they want their money back. You can prevent fraud by confirming their iPhone’s serial number.
Serial numbers are also important to track for manufacturer warranties, and are instrumental in conveying that the products you carry are legitimate, and not counterfeit. Serial numbers are also valuable in Quality Control, as once a defect’s been found in the production of a particular batch, the serial number will help to identify which units are affected.
How SkuVault Uses Serialization
To track serial numbers, SkuVault utilizes something that we call “Alternate Codes”.
Essentially, for any given code (UPC), there can be an unlimited number of variant, or alternate, codes. Utilizing our iPhone X example, the general product UPC would be the main code, and each individual unit of iPhone X’s in your warehouse would have its own alternate code – signified by serial number.
Serial numbers can be tracked in SkuVault through every aspect of managing your inventory – from receiving, to picking, to quality control, to item history, to advanced reporting.