Difference between Serial Number and Batch Management

Explain the difference between Serial Number and Batch Management in brief.

Serial number management and batch management are different functions that can be used in conjunction with each other.

Batch: Group of material with similar characteristics can be assigned under a Batch.

For example every Nokia battery has a unique serial number and then can assign a unique batch number to serial number(for example 1001 to 2000).

If they get many customer complaints and issues in the serial number range from 1001 to 2000 they will replace the whole batch with new one.

A batch represents a non-reproducible subset of the total quantity of a material held in stock, which is managed separately from other subsets of the same material.

For Example, Different production lots (for example, paints, wallpapers, pharmaceutical products), delivery lots or quality grades of a material.

Therefore, Batch Management is used in the entire logistics process from procurement to sales. Batches are the subset of a total quantity held in stock. Batch Management helps to trace the material in case of complaint. For Example, in the FMCG industry, if a material is produced and supplied in the retail market. One of the retailer complains of a defect in the product. It necessitates for the manufacturer to track the entire material that has been produced in one lot. This production lot manufactured can be tracked and  taken back from the market effectively if the batches are assigned to the material. Hope you understand.

Serial number: When you assign serial number profile to material in work scheduling view. Whenever a new material is produced or procured then a serial number will be assigned to the material either manually or automatically. Serial number is used for tracking purpose also.

Whereas a serial number is a number that you give to an individual item of material in addition to the material number, in order to differentiate between this individual piece and all other items of the material.

Therefore, Serial no. is basically created for a material which are same in shape and size but have different no. for e.g. Nokia mobile (6600).  You can create a serial no. profile with t-code "OIS1" and assignment in "OIS2".  This profile can be assigned in material master under sales general/plant tab in general plant parameters.


The combination of material number and serial number is unique. It is not necessary to use the batch management function to use serial number management.

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