Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated in November 2023 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
The serial number feature is essential for full traceability throughout the manufacturing process. It allows Megaventory users to track the movements of individual items in their inventory from the moment of purchase to the moment the goods are sold. This article will show you how you can do serial number inventory tracking in Megaventory.
Enabling serials numbers
First and foremost, start off by Enabling Serial Number Tracking by clicking on Account Setup under Settings. You can enable them when shipping (ie when selling and receiving Finished Goods) or when shipping and receiving (ie also when consuming Raw Materials and shipping goods as well). As shown below, you can also choose if you want the serial number to be unique per product or for it to be unique across all products.
Once this is set, and before heading to the manufacturing process, you might face two different situations. You might want to add serial numbers to products you already have in stock, or add serial numbers to incoming goods. In any case, you need to assign serial numbers to the stock before using it in a manufacturing process that tracks serial numbers.
Adding serial numbers to products you already have in stock
Under this scenario, in which you activated serial numbers in your Megaventory account after already entering some products, you will have two choices.
Add serial numbers to individual products
The first one is to head to Products > View Products – Services. Once there, find the product associated with the serial number you want to add, click on it, and check the box that says “This SKU requires a Serial Number”. You can also define the desired length of the serial number, although this is optional.
Once you click update, search again for the product you’d like to assign a serial number to, and click on the barcode icon next to the SKU.
To add the new serial numbers that will be associated with this product, enter them in the box (separated by commas). After that, select the Inventory Location in which the products will be located. Remember that the number of serial numbers assigned to an Inventory Location cannot exceed the available stock.
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Add serial numbers in bulk via inventory taking
The other option is to perform Inventory taking. This will allow you to define serial numbers for the products you already have in stock on your account and add serial numbers to the stock you actually have in the physical count.
Head to Inventory > New Adjustment and download the spreadsheet for inventory taking once you choose the Inventory Location in which you’ll carry it. This spreadsheet includes an additional column for serial numbers (assuming that the serial numbers module is activated in the account). You will need to fill in this column with the serial numbers (separated by commas) for each product, and upload the file as csv.
The advantage of tracking serial numbers is that it allows you to record them for products you have on the physical count but don’t show up on Megaventory. Click here if you want to learn more.
You can also use both of these methods if what you want to do is delete or edit a serial number. For deleting a serial number with the first method, select the option to delete serial numbers as shown in the screenshot below. To edit it, just delete the incorrect serial numbers and then use the same box to enter the correct one.
Adding serial numbers to incoming purchased goods
This option consists of adding new serial numbers for products without stock in your inventory location. In this case, when the items of your Purchase Order arrive and you click on Receive, you will enter the serial numbers. Either type in the serial number or enter them via a barcode scanner.
Keep in mind that the number of goods in will have to match the number of serial numbers you introduced.
After entering the serial numbers, you can view them in the tab called View Serial Numbers found under Products and Services.
Manufacturing with serialized products
Now that your Raw Materials and goods have serial numbers assigned to them, the next step to start manufacturing is creating a Bill of Materials.
Before creating a Bill of Materials for a certain product, you have to create the product code you will produce. Click on Product and Services > New Product – Service.
Since you are creating a new product code which will be manufactured, remember to set the product type as “Manufacture From Production Order” or “Buy From Supplier/Manufacture From Production Order”.
Further down, check the requirement for serial numbers.
You can now head to Production > New Bill of Materials and choose the product (Finished Good or subassembly) you want to produce, and create its Bill of Materials that may include serialized products together with their quantity. In this case, to produce FG_SERIALIZED, the only serialized product would be Product_14.
Wrapping Up The Order
Once the Bill of Materials is ready, go to Production > New Order, type in the product code you want to produce, the inventory location in which you’ll produce, and the quantity. You can also add other detailed information such as Order Reference (a description for the order being created) and custom documents for this Production run (so that you can have different headers shown).
By clicking on Create Order and then Allocate, you’ll reach a table similar to this, where you’ll have to allocate materials. You can either input the Finished Good quantity you want to produce for automatic calculation of material quantity or manually input individual material quantity to allocate.
Remember that since we are working with serial numbers, you will also have to provide the serial numbers of the serialized goods you are using to make the serial number inventory tracking possible.
When your production process is over and you click on Receive Finished Goods, you’ll also have to assign a serial number. After this, you can go ahead and close the production order.
If instead of manufacturing a product with a single level of production, you would like to produce a good with more than one level of production (a top-level product that has subassemblies to be made first from the Raw Materials), head to this article where we explain both types of manufacturing processes step by step.
Selling serialized goods
You will now be able to carry out a sale either with serialized Finished Goods that you produced or with those you have in stock.
Go to Sales > Orders > New Order and fill in the client data and the serialized product you want to sell. You’ll also need to pick the inventory location you will be shipping from.
When you click on Ship, you will need to define which serial number you are shipping out, and by clicking on the serial number tab you can keep track of the serial numbers of the goods you shipped:
When you are done, you can close the sales order, which will make all fields strictly not editable.
You now know how to:
- Assign serial numbers to your stock
- Purchase goods with their own specific serial numbers
- Produce using some of the Raw Materials with specific serial numbers
- Manufacture a Finished Good and assign it its specific serial number
- Sell an item with its specific serial number
Use Megaventory for serial number inventory tracking to have full traceability of what goes in and out of your supply chain! You’ll be able to track what goes into finished goods and tell apart individual finished goods. Finally, you can prevent and detect mistakes since serial numbers cannot be used twice!