Tracking Serialized Inventory for Electronic Stores

Muhammad Saqib

March 21, 2024

Tracking Serialized Inventory for Electronic Stores

Losing track of a single high-value item could be the difference between profit and loss.

That’s not an exaggeration — especially for electronics stores. You carry the latest gadgets and devices, from new smartphones to high-spec laptops. Any discrepancies in inventory records could lead to lost sales and frustrated customers.

A better way of doing things is adopting serialized inventory management.

This article highlights what serialized inventory management is, why you should use it for your electronics store, and how to go about it.

What Is Serialized Inventory?

A definition of serialized inventory management: Tracking and managing individual items in your store's inventory using unique identification numbers.

Just like every person has a unique fingerprint, every item in your serialized inventory system has its own serial number, making it easy to track your entire stock. Why go through the trouble of assigning individual numbers to each product?

Because you want to keep a close eye on every item from the moment it arrives in your stockroom to the moment happy customers buy it. If you also offer repairs in your electronics store, you want to make sure that you know what’s happening with repair items at all times, too.

Having a serialized inventory system in place could be the best thing you do for your electronics store. Let’s get into some of the benefits.

Benefits of Effective Serialized Inventory Management

If you want to increase profits and customer satisfaction, serialized inventory management is the way to go. Here’s why:

  • Reduces loss: You know exactly where items are at any given time and can quickly notice discrepancies before they become an issue.
  • Deters internal theft: When employees know that each item is closely monitored, they’ll think twice before stealing.
  • Improves accuracy: Errors creep when using manual counting methods. When each item is scanned and its journey tracked, errors are less likely to happen.
  • Makes recalls easier: If, for any reason, you need to recall products, you can quickly and easily identify which specific items are affected and track them down before they cause harm.
  • Helps provide a better service: You can provide up-to-the-minute product availability and quickly locate specific items for customers.

The biggest benefit is that you can make better decisions about inventory based on data. Everything is easier, from pricing to ordering to marketing.

For example, when reviewing inventory data, you may notice that a particular model of wireless earbuds is selling well. You’ve sold 50 units this week alone and are down to your last 10 units. You can now make some key decisions:

  • Pricing: You decide to increase the price slightly to help your profit margins. You know customers are willing to pay for the product.
  • Ordering: You place a large order with your supplier to avoid running out of stock and missing sales. You can even negotiate a discount on a bulk order.
  • Marketing: To attract customers, you can tailor your marketing efforts to showcase the wireless earbuds, create a display in your store, send targeted emails, and post on social media.

Related Read: Cell Phone Repair Store Profits: 5 Tips To Improve Your Bottom Line

All of this is possible with accurate serialized inventory management.

Implementing a Serialized Inventory System

You know what serialized inventory management is and its benefits. How can you go about setting it up for your electronics store?

Start with auditing your current inventory. Perform a manual count and make sure it matches up with what’s in your point of sale (POS) system. Then, start assigning unique serial numbers to your products. You can use a combination of letters, numbers, or even barcodes to create these unique identifiers.

Next, choose the right inventory management software. You can explore spreadsheet-based options or more advanced software. But your best bet is a POS system that comes with inventory management features.

Last, train your staff. If your inventory management software is integrated into your POS system, train your employees on how to assign serial numbers, track items, and update records.

Pro tip: Establish clear protocols for handling serialized items. You should have standard procedures for receiving inventory, selling products, and managing returns or exchanges.

Best Practices for Tracking Serialized Inventory

First and foremost, conduct regular manual inventory and cycle counts. With such a large inventory and a lot of moving parts, you need to catch discrepancies early. If there’s a gap between your manual count and what’s in your POS system, there are usually two culprits:

  • Theft or loss: Without proper loss prevention controls, theft by staff or shoplifters might go undetected.
  • Data errors: Incorrect purchase orders or sales transactions entered into the system could cause overages or shortages.

Once you know the root causes of discrepancies, you can find solutions.

Related Read: Inventory Reconciliation 101: How To Reconcile Inventory in 5 Steps

Next, use a barcode scanner to make tracking your serialized inventory easier. With a quick scan of a barcode, you can instantly update your inventory records and know exactly where each item is located.

Last, ensure your inventory management software facilitates real-time updates and reporting. Your inventory records should be updated immediately as soon as an item is sold, received, or moved. With reporting, you can quickly generate reports on your inventory levels, sales trends, and more.

Track Serialized Inventory for Your Electronics Store

Your electronics store carries hundreds of products, from smartphones to washing machines, so you need the best inventory management software and the correct methods.

Using an electronics store POS system together with serialized inventory management practices is the best way to ensure accuracy, keep your stock well organized, and keep your customers happy.

CellSmart POS provides electronics store owners with a dedicated POS system that facilitates serialized inventory management so you can track products by serial and IMEI numbers. You can also attach serial numbers to receipts and warranties.

And that’s not all.

Other features that will benefit your electronics store include:

  • Multi-location support if you own more than one store
  • Capability to handle new and used inventory if you resell pre-owned items
  • Smart reports on your bestselling and slowest-moving items
  • Inventory management for repair parts if you offer electronic repairs

Schedule a demo today to find out how CellSmart can help manage your inventory and operations.

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