NetSuite Serialized Inventory Part 2: Tracking Serials with a WMS

Serialization is the assignment of a unique serial number to each unit, which is linked to information about the product's origin, batch number, expiration date or other information. The unfortunate truth is that managing serial numbers manually can lead to bad data and lost revenue.

If you want to avoid serial problems caused by serial numbers, using a NetSuite WMS like RF-SMART can eliminate errors caused by duplicate serials or manual processes and increase visibility and accuracy in your operations. 

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This blog is a two-part series about serialized inventory in NetSuite. Read NetSuite Serialized Inventory Part 1

There are key ways of tracking serial numbers through a mobile warehouse solution (WMS), which is extremely important for any organization as they move forward in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

Full vs. Outbound: How to Track Serials with a WMS

Using a NetSuite WMS can help with full-serialization tracking or outbound-only tracking. The need for full vs outbound typically depends on your use case. Manufacturers often use full-serialization tracking as they may need to track individual components of the work order for compliance and traceability. On the other hand, distributors may choose to do outbound-only tracking since they just need to capture the serial number on a finished good for warranty claims.

Take NetSuite customer Midwest Equipment (MWE) for example, a provider of tires and tracks for leading brands such as Cat and John Deere, who is using RF-SMART to track their serialized inventory. Using outbound-only serialization, MWE can easily scan to capture serial numbers. They also leverage Cycle Counting functionality to handle inventory counting and serialization. It's not just the warehouse that gets to scan, MWE service technicians are able to join in on the scanning fun! Service technicians are able to scan to capture serial numbers without manually entering them, eliminating errors.

Keep Reading: Midwest Equipment Case Study

How RF-SMART Supports Serialization

We recognize that serialization is an essential component of inventory success for many of our customers. As supply chain experts, we believe serialization to this degree and level of optimization is vital to having a well-rounded, scalable WMS.

Here's how a WMS can help you:

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturers need to be able to track serials through a product’s entire life cycle. For this reason, RF-SMART supports serialization for Work Orders, Assemblies and WIP/Routing.
  • Easy to Move: Whether it's a batch, bulk, or bin transfer, you can select all and bypass a massive amount of scanning. Selecting "bin transfer (all)" will transfer everything in a bin and grab all serials - letting you avoid multiple scans.
  • Barcode Parsing: RF-SMART users can choose an enhancement option to parse QR codes. That way when vendors send QR codes that have serials/barcodes, RF-SMART can convert that information into License Plates.
  • License Plating: Speaking of License Plates, they can make serial maintenance a lot easier. A license plate allows you to uniquely identify a box/pallet/container/tote in NetSuite. The license plate knows its contents (item, lot, quantity) and its location. For example, if your company handles large or bulky items, storing them may be challenging. In most cases, items of this nature might be stored on a pallet. Using license plating, you can move or transfer your inventory with a single scan instead of scanning multiple serial numbers - eliminating touchpoints.

    LPN vs. Bin Transfer...what's the difference? Bin transfer (all) works in some scenarios - but is not a license plate. For example, let's say you have two pallets in one bin, but only need to move one. Bin transfer (all) can't help you in this department, but license plating can.

Continued Support from Inventory Experts

Here are additional benefits of working with a WMS solution:

Inventory Reporting Tools

Duplicate serial numbers can exist in NetSuite, even though they shouldn’t. We’ve developed a tool to find these duplicate numbers and resolve them. This functionality uses a report called “Duplicate Serials” that finds duplicates and displays them so they can be reconciled. It also allows you to see history of where an item has been so it can be located. Finally, you can also use “Transaction History” and research how the duplicate was created in the first place to better improve your processes.


To capture all those serial numbers, you’re going to need the right hardware. A dedicated hardware team can help you choose the optimal NetSuite barcode scanners, printers, labels and more for your operations. Our hardware team can help you think beyond your current processes and recommend new and efficient ways to collect your data, such as implementing RFID

Global Support

RF-SMART is a global business that offers 24/7 support to customers in more than 30 countries. No matter what time zone you are operating in, we can support you with your questions or challenges. Our team of inventory and NetSuite experts have years of supply chain experience to leverage as they help you resolve your challenges – they’ve seen it all! We also offer a Knowledge Base site to our customers with articles and videos that can help you resolve your challenges.

Ready to learn how we can help you track your serialized items?

Speak to Our Team