What is product serialization?
Product serialization is the process of assigning unique IDs or “serial numbers” to individual items in a product line. Serial numbers are typically used for high-value products, such as power equipment, chainsaws, power tools, and appliances.
Common uses for serial numbers
Serial numbers are useful for many reasons, including:
- Managing warranty coverage
- Maintaining ownership records
- Supplier traceability
- Enhanced accountability
- Product recalls
About the Paladin Serialization feature
The Paladin serialization feature lets you maintain and track serial numbers for any product in your store and has a component in every module.
- PO Receive: Serial numbers are added when items are received.
- Invoice/Quote: When a serialized item is sold or returned, the cashier must select the serial number from a list of the available serial numbers in your inventory. You cannot complete the sale without entering the serial number.
- Inventory: Each item maintains a current list of in-stock serial numbers and a detailed status history for every serial number entered in Paladin.
- Reports: You can view a complete list of your serialized products and all their serial numbers in Paladin, including current serial number status with the Serial Number List report.
Paladin has incorporated multiple safeguards to help you maintain exactly one serial number for each serialized item in your inventory. An item’s serial numbers must also be unique. Duplicates are not allowed.
When you are ready, you can set up this feature in your store. See How to set up the serialization feature for details.
Identifying serialized items—Inventory module
To identify a product as a serialized item, in the Inventory module, on the General tab, select the Serial# checkbox, and save your change.
This turns on the serialization feature for this item and all sales and receiving events will require a serial number.
Receiving serialized items: PO Module
When serialized items on a purchase order (PO) are manually received, you must provide a serial number for every received item. Serialized PO line items are identified with a Serial # label. A red Serial # warning indicates that a PO item needs serial numbers
To add, edit and view serial numbers or search the PO for serialized items, use the quick access (right-click) menu.
When you right-click a serialized item, you have these options:
- Add Serial #: Opens the Add/Remove Serial Numbers window.
- Find Next Serial # Warning: Moves to the next PO item that needs serial numbers.
To add serial numbers, right-click the line item, select Add Serial #, and then enter or scan the serial numbers in the Add/Remove Serial Numbers window.
As you add serial numbers to the item, the required number in the message decreases. For example, if three serial numbers are required, and you add one, the message will change from “Add 3 serial numbers” to “Add 2 serial numbers”.
When you are done, click Finish or press F12.
Serial numbers are only required for the quantity that you are receiving. In the image example, the order quantity is 10, but the receive quantity is 3. Therefore, only 3 serial numbers are requested.
When the required serial numbers are entered for an item, the Serial # label turns from red to black.
When a PO item was partially received at a previous time, in the Add/Remove Serial Numbers window, the serial numbers you previously entered will appear in light gray with a Status of Received and cannot be edited.
When you receive items using EDI, the items will be automatically added to your inventory without serial numbers. You must manually add the missing serial numbers to the items in the Inventory module.
To do this, after the EDI receive process is complete, open the serialized item in the Inventory module, and click the yield sign with an exclamation point next to the SOH value. This will open the Alternate Part # & Serial # window, where you can add the required serial numbers. A message in red tells you how many serial numbers are needed and will decrement the number as you add them.
After you enter the serial numbers, the yield sign indicator disappears.
Tip This indicator will always appear when there are more or fewer serial numbers than items in-stock (based on the SOH value), for any reason. It is not directly related to the EDI process.
Selling serialized items: Invoice/Quote module
If the serial number does not appear in the list, you can enter it manually with manager approval.
Tip Use this override feature with caution. While you may need to add serial numbers manually at checkout when you store is transitioning to the serialization system, over time serial numbers should only be entered during PO receiving.
On the invoice, serialized items are identified by a SERIAL # label, and selected serial numbers are added as line items on the invoice. A red SERIAL # label (also known as a Serial # warning) identifies items that don’t have the required serial numbers.
Similar to the PO module, you can use the quick access (right-click) menu to edit and view serial numbers (Add Serial #) , as well as find the next item with a serial number warning (Find Next Serial # Warning).
As a safeguard, if you try to process an invoice without the correct number of serial numbers, a message appears, and you will be taken to the first item with a Serial # warning.
Serial numbers will appear on the customer’s receipt for easy reference.
When a customer returns a serialized item, the cashier must select the serial number from this list of Sold Serial Numbers for that item. The return cannot be processed until a serial number is selected.
Managing serial numbers: Inventory module
In the Inventory module, you can view and edit an item’s available (in-stock) serial number list. You can also access a detailed serial number history and view the serial number information in Excel. To access these features, on the bottom ribbon, click Serial # & Alt Part # or press F6. Then, in the Alternate Part # and Serial # window, select Serial #.
To view the available serial number information in a spreadsheet, click View in Excel.
Each time a serial number is added to an item, added to an invoice, sold, returned or otherwise changed in some way, Paladin logs the event in the inventory item’s serial number history. To view this history, click History to open the Serial Number History viewer.
To review this information in an Excel spreadsheet, at the bottom of the Serial Number History viewer window, click View in Excel.
As mentioned before in the EDI Receiving section, if here are too many or too few serial numbers for an item, a yield button with an exclamation point appears in the Inventory module next to the SOH value. Click this indicator to view and address the discrepancy.
Tip Stores that are transitioning to the serial number system will likely have many of these warnings because items that were received before serialization was turned on will not have serial numbers in Paladin. These serial numbers can be added manually.
Serial Number Reporting
The Serial Number List Report provides a itemized list of serialized items and their serial numbers including:
- Serialized Part # & Alt Part #
- Serialized item description
- Serial #’s (one serial # per line)
- Serial # added/received date
- Current serial # status (Available, Sold, etc.)
- Supplier cost when serial # was received (if available)
- Received PO # (if available)
To access this report, in the Reports module, select Inventory > General, and then select Serial Number List.
Multi-stores and serial numbers
In multi-stores, when the serial number feature is turned on for an item, it is turned on in all stores. Similarly, if you turn off the serial number feature for an item, a message will appear to let you know that you will be turning it off in all stores.
Multi-store serialized item transfers
When serialized items are transferred between stores, serial numbers must be specified and reassigned. How they are specified depends on the transfer method.
- Purchase order (PO) transfer
- Inventory F7 transfer
In the following multi-store transfer examples, store “Greenville” is receiving a serialized item from store “Anderson”.
Transfer using a manual purchase order
In this scenario, the Greenville store creates a manual purchase order (PO) to transfer serialized items from the Anderson store. When Greenville receives the items from Anderson, Greenville is required to select the received items’ serial numbers from the Anderson’s Available Serial Numbers list. Once the serial numbers are selected and the receiving process is completed, the serial numbers are removed from Anderson’s serial numbers and added to Greenville’s serial numbers.
Transfer using the Inventory F7 Transfer feature
In this scenario, the Greenville store uses the F7 Transfer feature in the Inventory module to automatically create and send a PO to Anderson designating specific serial numbers to transfer.
When the Greenville receives the items from Anderson, Greenville is prompted to confirm that the received items have the requested serial numbers. If that is not true, the person receiving is shown all possible Anderson serial numbers for that item and can select the serial numbers that actually arrived before completing the receiving process.
Note: A negative PO for Anderson is created in this scenario only when the Paladin configuration option Create Negative POs during Stock Transfers is selected. This is a recommended setting.
If you have questions or suggestions about this information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.