Serialized Inventory: 5 Ways It Benefits Your Warehouse

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Are you running a busy warehouse operation? Then you know how important inventory organization is. To run a successful business, you need to know what you have on hand, where everything is, and whether it's earmarked. And ideally, you'll have that information updated constantly. Not knowing where everything is and how much you have in real-time can result in overordering, stockouts, frustrated employees, disappointed customers, and lost revenue. Serialized inventory is the key to keeping your warehouse running smoothly.

An optimally organized warehouse requires more than color-coded aisles and tidy shelves. Companies now have access to digital tools and programs designed to identify and locate items quickly and accurately. From accurately tracking inventory data to simplifying the return process, finding the right serialized inventory strategy can do a world of good for your operation.

What Is Serialized Inventory?

Serialized inventory is a method of monitoring individual products using distinctive serial numbers. These numbers are different from SKU numbers that may identify several items of a kind. Serialized numbers identify each individual item or part and pinpoint its location. Smart inventory management software makes all the information regarding your product easy to access.

Top 5 Benefits of Serialized Inventory

Serial item numbers are among the most valuable tools for warehouse organization. Properly applied, they pack a powerful inventory management punch to take your business to the next level.

1. Achieve Complete Visibility

When it comes to serialized inventory, real-time, start-to-finish visibility is critical. When you have assigned serial numbers for every item and part, you can track exactly where each one is at any given time and look it up in your ERP solution with just a few clicks. Coupling serial numbers with barcoding will create a warehouse without secrets or surprises.

2. Trace Costs and Customers

How easily can you determine the exact costs associated with an individual inventory item? With serialized inventory and the right software,  it couldn't be easier.

When each item in your inventory has serial numbers attached, you can quickly and accurately determine how much money was involved in acquiring, stocking, and selling each item. Moreover, you'll know precisely who bought it and when, which can be critical information in case of recalls, returns, or other issues.

3. Employ Multiple Serial Numbers 

Many people don't realize that the best ERP solutions allow you to utilize multiple serial numbers on your items. If you deal with inventory worthy of being serialized, you probably purchased it from a manufacturer who already assigned a serial number to the article. Most often, you'll want to keep using the same serial number throughout the item's journey.

But there are certain situations in which assigning a different serial number also makes sense. For instance, if you want to create an additional warranty on top of the manufacturer's warranty, multiple serial numbers will streamline the process.

With the right ERP platform, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP or Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can handle multiple serial numbers without a hitch. When that sort of innovative thinking gives you an edge over your competition, take advantage of it.

4. Handle Recalls, Returns, and Refunds Easily

In benefit number 2, we mentioned serialized inventory allowing you to see precisely who bought your product and when. That information proves invaluable if it comes to the dreaded recall.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts and intentions, you'll have to issue recalls. They're no fun for anyone and are often a source of customer frustration and negative reviews, so it's crucial that you provide a smooth, streamlined experience for your disappointed customer. Accurate information that is easily accessible is the first step in remedying the problem.

5. Build the Best Inventory Database

Depending on what products you stock and sell, your inventory database could be vast. That means it can become disorganized quickly.

Manually assigning inventory numbers—or worse, naming items according to physical description—puts your team at risk of input errors or the frustration of creating a unique identifier. Not to mention, it wastes a great deal of time. Serialized inventory item numbers can transform an unruly inventory database into a powerful tool for inventory data accessibility.

If you're working with an extensive catalog of products, Cavallo is uniquely positioned to manage the complexity of your inventory database. From flexible workflows to robust automation capabilities, Cavallo empowers you to optimize your entire operation—including your warehouse. Browse our solutions, then contact our experts to start achieving your inventory management goals.

By Cavallo, www.cavallo.com

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