Today’s article is going to be a comparison between two different types of inventory systems. They are the batch inventory system and the serialized inventory system.
We will be looking at how these two types of inventory management differ and what sort of products (or stores) they are best suited for.
With no further ado, let’s take a closer look.
The first thing we should do is define both of these types of inventory systems. That way, we can see what they are and be able to ascertain their strengths better.
Serialized inventory is an inventory system where each individual unit of a particular line of products is given its own unique identifying number. Eg: Every unit of a mobile phone might have a unique code.
Conversely, a batch inventory system is an inventory system where all the individual units that were produced from the same source at around the same time are considered a ‘batch’ and are tracked and identified as a collective.
These two types of inventory systems are clearly very different and meant for very different types of products.
Both serialized inventory systems and batch inventory systems excel at different things. So, let’s take a look at the strengths of both and see how they stack up.
Batch inventory is really useful when tracking large quantities of products that have the same manufacturer and manufacture date. This means that it is very useful when keeping an eye on expiration dates of products like milk or bread.
Batch inventory is also very useful when entire product lines have to be recalled due to manufacturing issues. This is not common or ideal, but it helps to have a mechanism that can handle such a recall on the retail end. That way, your store will not suffer the brunt of the work to track down the recalled products.
As for serialized inventory, its strength lies in how it can help identify each individual unit of a type of product. This means that it is very useful for tracking down specific units of products. It can also help keep tabs on the customers who bought specific products, helping with warranty calculations and other after-sales services.
Serialized inventory is also very useful when a situation demands that a specific unit of a product need be tracked down. For instance, mobile phones are a type of product that could benefit from serialized inventory. Each phone as a unique IMEI number that can be used to identify it and locate it. This pairs well with the unique serial number a serialized inventory system could provide, making it easier to locate individual phones and who bought them.
Best Suited For
Now that we’ve gone over the strengths of each type of inventory management system, let’s briefly discuss what kind of shop or store they would be best suited for.
Firstly, let’s look at batch inventory systems. Since they are all about tracking products and items in batches, convenience stores, grocery stores, and produce markets might benefit from such a system. The users could know when each batch of stock came in, which ones are the freshest, and which ones need to go the soonest.
Conversely, the serialized inventory system is all about tracking individual units, even among hundreds of seemingly identical units of a product. This means that stores like electronics stores and automobile dealers might benefit from such a system.
Batch inventory and serialized inventory are two different types of inventory systems that come with their own unique strengths and uses. However, it is when both are used in conjunction that you get the best outcome.
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