Windward Insider Blog

Benefits of Serialized Units: Beyond Inventory Tracking


Inventory is typically one of the largest assets that your business owns. If you keep a large amount of inventory it is important to have an appropriate strategy to keep track of it. This becomes more complex when your business sells new and/or used units, has units for internal use, and services customer-owned units.  Implementing an inventory management system that is capable of serial number tracking is a good way to maintain control, offer organization and keep customer unit information accessible for your staff.

Once an inventory system like Windward System Five on Cloud is in play, your team can track units throughout your fulfillment or work order process, allowing them to deliver a seamless experience for your customers.

What are Serialized Units?

Items such as appliances, electronics, automobiles and jewelry often bear a serial number as an individual identifier.

Serialized units are unique inventory items that have an additional layer of tracking other than the manufacturers model or part number. This might be a serial number that the manufacturer assigned to an appliance, or a VIN number on a piece of equipment or a vehicle. 

Not every type of product will need to be identified with this level of detail and may only have a model or part number.

In addition to reading the serial number assigned by the manufacturer, Windward System Five on Cloud also facilitates barcode creation for items that the manufacturer didn't serialize. This is particularly useful for Rental Businesses where depreciation of units is common.


Barcoding in your business helps to eliminate errors when identifying products during the ordering and receiving process.

Serial Numbers Enable Inventory Efficiency

The ability to control your inventory workflow effectively results in less excess stock sitting around.  When you use an inventory management system with serial number tracking, inventory turnover rates and other data can be leveraged in becoming more efficient. Let's face it, excessive stock levels cause warehouse inefficiency.

A clean and orderly warehouse:

  • reduces the potential for product damage
  • makes it easier to prevent spoilage
  • can help minimize obsolescence

Facilitate Recalls

If one of your suppliers identifies a problem with a product and issues a recall, you will be able to quickly find the affected serial numbers and kick off your RMA process to exchange them for working units.

The likelihood of selling or using a known faulty product in a repair is significantly reduced if serial number tracking in place.

And finally, the inability to control your inventory effectively resulting in excess stock sitting around can cause warehouse inefficiency, potential for product damage/spoilage, and potential for obsolescence can be costly to the company.

Serial Numbers Help Customer Service

thumbs-up-wrench-upUnit records are automatically listed on the sale of new or used items that then appear in a customer’s record. You are able to view the service history of their unit as well as track other aspects of its history such as the item’s warranty status.  Create unique records for customer owned equipment that you service, but did not sell.  Windward System Five on Cloud also allows you to transfer a unit from one owner to another, retaining the service history of the unit without effecting the invoicing.


Serialized Units Can Be Capitalized/Depreciated

Accounting functions often get overlooked when researching inventory management systems.  Windward System Five on Cloud truly helps to run your business instead of just reporting on it, so you'll find accounting functions that work alongside each feature. This is especially true when it comes to Capitalization and Depreciation of Units.  Costs can be added to a serialized unit to track your total investment prior to sale.  For those assets that get used in the business, and for rental units, there are a number of depreciation methods to choose from.

Windward System Five on Cloud can help manage serialized units in your business. 

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Existing Windward clients have resources available.

Need some help managing Serialized Units?

Try the Windward Software Wiki for your topic.  Many topic about Serialized Units are available in the Windward Learning Academy and you can also use Searchable Self-Help.

Windward Webinars

The Windward Webinar Series will cover Common Inventory Unit Issues next.  This Webinar will discuss how to correct issues with inventory units. We will also discuss, how to deal with damaged units and how to correct units that were received or attached on a wrong part. There will be a live demonstration and a quick Q & A will follow at the end of the presentation.

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