NetSuite provides you with complete visibility into all of your different lot and serial numbers throughout your entire supply chain process. More specifically, the Lot Traceability SuiteSolution allows users to trace assembly lot items or component lot items all the way up to the supplier or even the customer. Using this solution, users can trace backwards assembly lot items using search filters such as lot number, subsidiary, location, item, start date, and end date. Users can forward trace component lot items using similar search filters.
We’re going to examine how to track items in NetSuite via serial numbers and lot assembly numbers. In our examples below, we’re using two different items (one for each example). NetSuite’s master price list allows you to define specific item types ranging from a non-inventory item, assembly/BOM item, kits, groups, services, and either a lot or serialized inventory item. In the examples below, we are referring to a lot or serialized item. Our video at the bottom shows these examples in action.
NetSuite Item Tracking by Serial Numbers
Our first item for this example is a 15-foot cable, which is a serialized inventory item. Netsuite Allows you to manage multiple locations for each item. The item record stores all your purchasing and inventory details per location in one centralized view. NetSuite provides granular level of detail into the quantity of the item on hand, the total value of the inventory at this specific location, and what the last purchase price was. That’s a lot of information, but you might need more regarding the specific serialized number for the five cables you have in stock at one location.
The Inventory Detail tab on the item records allows you to have a real-time view of all the serialized numbers related to that specific inventory item with details on the quantity that is available to sell. The item record itself is a one-stop shop that gives us a 360-degree view into all the details specific to this item. The related records section shows historical purchases or sales that you’ve made.
If you look at an item receipt record or the transaction in the system that is used to validate the quantity of goods you actual received into your warehouse, you’ll notice that because the item type is a serialized inventory item, the system will require you to enter a specific serial number when receiving an order. The same internal controls hold true when fulfilling an order. From the item receipt, you can drill down into the inventory detail and see the serialized numbers that the warehouse operator would have entered. The system has internal controls in place, to ensure the end user specifies a unique serial number for each item that’s entered into your inventory.
NetSuite Item Tracking by Lot Assembly Numbers
Now for our second item example: A Lot Assembly item. In this scenario, we have a manufacturer has making some type of assembly item. On the item record, there are a few key areas to point out. In the manufacturing section, you have visibility into all the underlying components that are required to build this specific assembly item. On the inventory detail section, you have visibility into the different lot numbers associated to this assembly item. From here, you can drill down into a specific lot number to see the quantity on hand per location. You can even search transactions by the specific lot number.
Now, lets review a use case where you need to recall a specific assembly item or one of the underlying components on the bill of materials. NetSuite allows you to quickly investigate which components need to be recalled as well as which items have the faulty component. You can perform a backwards trace to identify the component and the lot number of the component you have an issue with. The system will go ahead and search and return all of your work order builds for this particular lot number.
There is a possibility that you could have multiple builds if you did multiple batches and completions, or you could have the same work order with different completions for it. When performing the lot traceability search, a section contains the information regarding returns, inventory transfers, or bin transfers. Another section provides all procurement details with real-time visibility into the products you made. From here, you can go in and start to expand on the underlying components and investigate the purchasing details to learn the following:
- the date of the receipt,
- the actual purchase order placed, and
- the supplier information
Thanks to having this information readily available in one place, we can easily pinpoint this individual lot number with the faulty component and perform a backwards trace to ensure we have all the recalled parts and items. At the same time, you can perform a forwards trace to find where the recalled products where shipped to and quickly notify customers of the bad products.
By managing your business on a single, unified platform like NetSuite, you have the ability to trace a specific lot number all the way down to the supplier or even track the raw material through the fulfillment process to learn exactly which customers were on the receiving end of that defect block.
Check out our video below to see these item tracking processes in action.
Have any other serial and lot tracking questions regarding NetSuite? Please contact us at any time!