Serial Numbers

A serial number is a unique code assigned by the manufacturer to identify an individual unit of inventory. Tracking the serial number can help prevent fraud with returns. It also can help trace where the unit originated.  Serial number management enables you to:

  • Assign serial numbers to products as they are shipped out – The serial number saves to order and allows you to verify returned units.
  • Assign serial numbers to products as they are received on a PO – The serial number saves to the PO and allows you to check the origin of a unit.
  • Validate that the serial numbers match the serial numbers assigned to units when they were received on a purchase order – This completes the cycle. If a defective item is returned you will be able to trace the originating vendor.
  • View movement history of a serial number
  • Reject serial number that are not a defined length – This safeguard feature can help prevent inaccuracies when recording the serial number.

There are several Client Settings that manage the workflow of serial numbers:

  1. Enable Serial Number validation – This controls the validation process within SellerCloud as explained in item 3, above. There are separate settings required for shipping through ShipBridge and receiving through ReceiveBridge. Please note that the SB and RB settings work independently of the client setting; the client setting does not need to be enabled for the the serial number to be validated in SB or RB. See below in the workflow.
    1. Validate Serial Globally sub-setting – Use this option for Skustack to always prompt you to scan serial numbers for any of the following (excludes Receiving, which is controlled by the client setting Require serial scan when receiving):
      1. Bin-to-bin transfers
        Bin/Warehouse adjustments
        Warehouse-to-warehouse transfers (the picking and receiving process)
        SKU-to-SKU SKU transfers
        Kit Assembly picking/prepping
        Bin cycle counting
        Credit Memo picking
        FBA Picking
        FBA Box content packing
        One-way transfers
  2. Enable Product Serial number length validation – Enable and set a default length. The length can be adjusted on the product level in the Shipping Preferences page.
  3. Enable Order profit and loss by serial numbers – When a serial is received on a PO, that specific price will be stored and used on the P&L when that unit is sold.
  4. Transfer Serial numbers while transferring inventory between warehouses  – When a SKU to SKU transfer is done for a unit, the serial number of that specific unit can be transferred as well in order to preserve history and will allow for resale of that unit. This setting should be enabled in conjunction with Enable Serial Number validation
  5. Enable Serial Number Management – Allows serial number addition and edit from the Order Details page by going to Action > Manage Serials.
  6. Show Serial Number on Order Details – Displays serial number on Order Details page where applicable.
  7. Show Serial number on Order invoice – Displays serial number on standard invoice where applicable.

Serial number workflow

Enter Serial Numbers When Receiving a PO or a Credit Memo.

  • When receiving a PO or Credit Memo in SellerCloud:
    • Open the action menu and click Manage Serial Numbers
    • On the following page scan the serial numbers into the grid.
    • If there are multiple SKUs in the purchase order, select the SKU from the drop down menu and enter the serial numbers of that SKU.
  • When receiving a PO in ReceiveBridge: Set requirements to input a Serial Number for specific items. This requirement can be set in SellerCloud.
    • Set requirements to input a Serial Number for specific items. This requirement can be set in SellerCloud. Navigate Inventory > Product > Toolbox > Shipping Preferences.
    • Check the option to Require serial number scan in Scan & Ship and save the preferences.
    • Open the menu in ReceiveBridge and click Options.
    • Open the “General” tab and enable the setting to Require Serial Number input. You may also want to enable Require Unique Serial Number. When enabled, RB will only accept a serial number that was not yet scanned in this PO. It will also not accept a serial number input if it’s equal to a UPC in the PO. This helps prevent scanning the UPC barcode instead of the serial number, as they are often in close proximity. Save your settings.
    • When scanning items during receiving, you will be prompted to scan the serial number. By scanning the serial number, the serial number will be entered on to the purchase order on the Manage Serial page.

Tracking serial numbers as orders are shipped

  • When shipping through ShipBridge:
    • Navigate Inventory > Product > Toolbox > Shipping Preferences. 
    • Check the option to Require a serial number when using Scan and Ship and save the preferences.
    • When shipping an item using the Scan and Ship, you will be prompted to input the serial number.
    • To require the serial number to match serial numbers that were entered when the units were received, open Menu > Option > Scan and Ship. Enable setting Require serial number to match PO.
  • When manually marking order as shipped in SellerCloud:
    • Open the action menu and click Manage Serial Numbers.
    • Enter the serial numbers for every SKU in the order.

Viewing serial number movement

  • Product Serial Report  – When client setting Enable Serial Number validation is active, the Product Serials Report tab will display under Inventory tab. Search by serial number to see the movement from PO to order to RMA.
  • To view the serial numbers on the order form and have it printed on the invoice, enable the relevant client settings noted above. The serial number will appear on the order form below the Product ID, and on the invoice in the description box.
  • Search order by serial number using the Serial Number filter in the Advanced Search tab.
  • When receiving the return in ReceiveBridge, the serial number will display in the grid when scanning the return.
  • To trace from which vendor you purchased the item, open the Purchasing tab and search the purchase orders by serial number.
  • To generate a report of all serials received based on a vendor or manufacturer:
    1. Navigate Inventory > Inventory Arrivals.
    2. Select a vendor or manufacturer
    3. Select the purchase orders.
    4. Open the action menu and click Export with Serials. The file will show one row per serial number.
  • Tracking serial numbers is also valuable when transferring inventory to an FBA warehouse. By associating a serial number with each unit, you can verify whether your units were shipped, which can help when making an insurance claim in the event that the shipment got lost. Read how to add serials to FBA shipments here.

Exporting serials in bulk

You can select multiple products from your Inventory Management screen and export their serials from the Action Menu > Export Product Serial Number.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles