High visibility, automation and data access could be the watchwords of good inventory tracking. The use of serial number tracking has made inventory management more streamlined and far more accessible. With the addition of mobile technologies (coming soon to Unleashed!), serial tracking offers fantastic returns for any business.
There are some stand-out benefits and general wisdom to explore, so let’s take a look at serial tracking and what it offers for inventory management.
Choosing the right software package
It’s important to choose the right software for what’s required. There are a variety of platforms and packages available, so a bit of research into what they do and what features they have is a good starting point. Investigate how they work with serial number tracking and, if possible, get a demonstration. Most products have video demos for their important features.
If you’re looking to use mobile technology, make sure that the platform you choose is up to the challenge.
High visibility and tighter groupings
Having every item of inventory visible and correctly grouped pays huge dividends. Serial number tracking makes groupings easier to achieve, and more beneficial for forecasting and overall management. Everything from the linking of similar items down to the behaviour of certain inventory groups can be achieved.
Knowing the character of your inventory
You could say that serial numbering helps you know the character of your inventory. Like a name tag, with the most important information underneath. The more you know about your inventory, the better you can plan and make adjustments to get the most out of it.
Complete and accurate history
Serial numbers allow easy access to the complete history of each individual part or product. This is a great advantage for any business using historical data for forecasting, or needing to enact product recalls. Leading inventory management software providers make this a simple and user-friendly task.
Reduced data entry and errors
Serial number tracking is one the best ways you can cut down on data entry and errors. With each product or item numbered, every transfer, sale or order is more accurate and better monitored. Using mobile and barcode technologies optimises the use of serial numbers, and is particularly useful for manufacturing businesses, or for those with a large variety of inventory.
Efficient and streamlined warehouse management
There’s usually a lot happening in the warehouse of a business. Even relatively small ones have their problems, so businesses are always looking for new systems to help with the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Serial number tracking is one key way that you can reduce the errors and increase productivity. The use of serial numbers and mobile technology is by far the best solution to a lot of the issues of running a warehouse.
Serial number tracking also allows for the deeper use of lean inventory practises, helping businesses free up capital that’s unnecessarily tied up in stock on hand.
Goods in process
For manufacturing businesses, serial number tracking is an essential tool. It provides accurate tracking, transporting and ordering from start to finish of the manufacturing process. It enables the use of techniques like Just-In-Time, which rely on the ability to move or order items required for production at exactly the right time.
Another great advantage is with after-sales processes and actions. If a part is found to be faulty or there is a product return, the necessary data is easily available, accurate and complete.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.