Serial No issues


I am trying to implement ERPNext in my company. We are dealing in computer items like Motherboards, HDD, Monitor, MiniPC, Laptops etc. Our purchases are in bulk and mainly imports. We also deal in used Laptops which we buy in bulk & sell in retail & semi-wholesale.

We need to keep track of Serial Nos of items. The Serial Nos can be manufacture affixed or our generated (Bar coded Serial Nos).

Our Main issue is at the time or purchase or goods inward supplier don’t provide us serial nos and our goods are stored in remote third party warehouse where it is practically not possible to physically open and note down each item serial nos.

Serial Nos are only available to us at time of production, checking or issue for sale. In ERPNext if we enable serial no wise inventory then it does not allow Material Inward without serial Nos.

Is it possible to implement Warehouse wise Serial Nos. For eg in warehouse where bulk goods are stored system accepts inward/outward without serial Nos and in retail or production warehouse inward / outward are maintained serial No wise.

Ravi Modi

I will suggest the following :
Have two separate item codes-

  1. Laptop_Third_Party : This should be without serial nos.
  2. Laptop_Stock: This should be with serial nos.

When you buy material use Laptop_Third_Party. When you receive them at your warehouse use “Stock Entry for Manufacture”, and convert Item 1 to Item 2.
This will accept serial nos, you can choose warehouses accordingly.

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@dhananjay, I have already thought of this solution, but we have around 200-300 items and creating 2 item codes for each of them will be confusing.

I am ready for sponsorship for any customized solution if possible.

You can add 200-300 items with Bulk Import Tool. 200-300 items is a fairly small number .4

Name the items is a way that they can be easily distinguished in filters.

Since you are still implementing the system, I would highly recommend you to avoid customization.

Just go ahead with a workaround like the one I suggested, and review it once you entire implementation is over.

I think @dhananjay’s solution is perhaps the best. Let’s say you have ItemA. ItemA is not set up for serial numbers. When it’s stored in one warehouse (say Stores - ABC) it’s stored as ItemA. But you could add a bit of scripti g: When it’s transferred to another warehouse (Say Work in Progress - ABC) it’s still stored as ItemA but any outbound transactions (manufacture, transfer) will covert ItemA to ItemA-SNo and will ask for Serial Numbers on both sides. The background code or scripting will actually convert ItemA to ItemA-SNo and do the handling.

It’s possible to do this. Another option is for you to use custom fields to capture Serial Numbers but set up the items as non-Serialized items. This will bypass the built in ERPNext controls, but still let you capture Serial numbers. Though it may not be as elegant a solution as what ERPNext supports. And with a bit of Warehouse context sensitive scripting, it’s possible to make these fields mandatory in the right context. But it becomes a bit more complicated if you deal with both serialized items and non-serialized items, as you probably will.

Can’t you ask your suppliers to stick a bar/QR code sticker on the boxes they send you? That could be the easiest solution in many ways.

Hope this helps.



Thanks @JayRam for your suggestions. As suggested by @dhananjay I will initially start with dual items, one item without serial Nos & one item with serial Nos. At later stage if we find that this system is difficult to manage or not suitable we might go for customization.

Sure. Good luck in your journey. Here’s what you most likely will discover. Let’s say you have two items, ItemA (Non-serialized) and ItemA-SNo (Serialized).

So you will receive ItemA from your suppliers and most likely you will also issue ItemA to the Assembly/Manufacture process. During Assembly/Manufacture, your users will open up the package and be able to access the Serial Numbers. But now, they need to consume ItemA-SNo in the assembly/manufacture/packaging process, while they have ItemA on ERPNext.

So, you have to find a way to convert ItemA to ItemA-SNo. One way to do this is to use a Manufacturing/Repackaging Stock Entry to convert ItemA to ItemA-SNo.

So that’s an extra entry in an environment (shopfloor) that is hard pressed to make entries. I think (very) sooner rather than later you will discover that you will need a different configuration and I think it’s better for you to address this before you begin.

If you think your assembly/shopfloor can handle an extra entry, proceed on courageously, else please address this issue before you begin.

Hope this helps.



I had a client doing just this very thing and they were relieved later when they discovered how this 2 item code system helped them to turn mistakes into proper items for sale.

They would purchase a secured lot of laptops from a vendor and they would arrive in boxes of 10 to a box each bubble wrapped individually in the box. Their typical lot size was 40 pieces.

They found that (sometimes quite often) when they were processing the laptops from a box that one or two in the box would be a different model number from the rest with additional features the original lot was not described to have included.

By using the 2 item code system they were able to re-classify these occasional oddities into their correct new identities to be sold correctly to a retailer or the general public. They would simply leave the oddities in the WIP warehouse and process the majority of the lot then close the work order. They would create a new work order to turn the remaining stock into their alternate identities. This made record keeping much easier in the long run.

Had the client been using a single record for these inbound items, it would have been much more difficult to sort the items into correct catagory and would have required individual manufacturing processes for each item in order to keep the item records straight.

I think if you implement the procces described above, you will find even more benefits as time goes on and you use the process more.

Just my opinion…


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@bkm Our process is similar to what you have described. We also buy lot of used Laptops / Desktops ( avg lot size 300 Pcs) and exact model no & configuration is not known. Although Supplier mentions Model No. & Configuration in Challan, after checking we find that there is variation in what is mentioned in Challan & actual received. We are planning to create one single item as “Used Laptops” and inward full Lot in this item. Afterwards after checking we can transfer this items in individual model/config wise item after properly checking with serial no.


If you use the manufacturing process to transfer them to your sales inventory, then you have a built in process for converting the bulk raw materials (used laptops) to specific sales items (Dell Latitude model 660) for your inventory and you don’t have to edit each one individually.

You setup a different BOM to handle each of the different models of PC that you find in your inbound raw materials. That way you only have to generate a work order form the existing BOM the next time you setup a group of them for refurbishment.

By using the manufacturing process with BOMs and Work Orders, you have the opportunity to capture your labor and any other costs related to the refurbishment process in the actual cost of goods.

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