Inventory Serial Number Management

ERP SAP ==> SAP MM Module

In which scenarios (industry), do we use the serial number and batch number. I know that in process industry we use the batch number (where shelf life is important) and in machine tools manufacturing company, electronics parts manufacturing company, we use the serial number. Apart from this can you give me some examples and explain, where serial number and batch number gets used.

Batch: When a quantity (Kg, Ltr...) in lump sum need to be identified separately in inventory, then that material is batch managed.  

Advantage: Each batch stock can be identified in Stores separately.

Dis-advantage: For every transaction of this material Batch as additional parameter is to be placed in SAP.

Serial Number: If you want to distinguish each Item (generally unit of measure will be EA, PC.. etc) in the inventory, then serial number will be used.

Advantage: we can track the movements of each serial number of material.

Dis-advantage: every time, you need to place the serial nuber for every one quantity for movements.

Batch & Serial Number: both to-gether can also be used to maintain the group of items classified as Batch at the same time each item can be identified through serial number. Please note that lot of data (Batch & serial numbers) to be placed for each movment.

Batch: Batch for material can be activated in Purchasing view / Plant data storage view of material master.

Serial Number: Separate serial number profile need to be created and placed at work scheduling view or plant data storage view of material master.

1. At what point we create the *serial numbers*? Do we create the serial numbers as master records or we create it by the time we take the order. (As a transactional data)

2. At what point we create the Equipment Master ? Do we create the Equipment master records as master records or we create it by the time we take the order. (As a transactional data)

In Most of the scenarios I have come accross, we create both equipment and serial number as master records.

This is because each serial number or a equipment has a unique physical entity behind it and this physical entity needs to be traced for its movements, availablity, usage history. 

A very simple example is a truck. Each truck needs to have a serial number so that its location can be traced and see if its available for transporting materials.  Only time its used as transactional data when you need to generate labels for transporting dangreous goods.  So that each container or box has a unique number on its label and could be traced.

To use serial numbers, enter serial number profiles in the master record for the relevant materials.  Serial numbers are usually specified in the delivery item. However, you can also define them in the order.

Materials for which you carry out plant maintenance require equipment master records so that maintenance can be administered.

Your create equipment record in transaction IE01

Serial number is also a master record, as it will be unique for a particular material. The serial number will be mostly given at the time of delivery. But this can be effectively controlled by the serializing procedure. We can create a serial number by IQ01. As and when you do transaction with serialised material, the status will get updated.

Equipment also have same like serial number, this can be effectively created with transaction IQ01, activate the equipment view. 

I want to use serial number for material, so that we can use the same in each and every transaction of material like in refurbishment also, please guide me all Config settings for the same.

You have to configure the serial number profile & assign it to Material master. In the configuration profile of serial number, you have to check the check box for serial number required for processing & set the Goods movement transaction where you want to automatically create the serial number or create the serial number for the material using Tcode IQ01.

During Serial Number profile in Serializing Procedure you have to maintained the following settings:

MMSL - Maintain goods receipt and issue doc. 03 02

SDLS - Maintain delivery 03 02

SDRE - Maintain returns delivery 03 02

In Serialization profile, there is an checkbox for (Existing required) uncheck that check box & then test your transaction. You will get an button "Create new in serial number" in selection screen during goods receipts...Create new serial number for material there & then make goods receipt.

Assign Serial Number to existing stocks

IQ02 - Edit - Special Serial Number Functions
- Change to - From Stock
- Stock Type - '01'
- Plant - 'XXXX'
- Storage Location 'XXXX'
- Save

Edit - Special Serial Number Functions
- Change back - To Stock

Get help for your SAP MM problems
SAP MM Forums - Do you have a SAP MM Question?

SAP MM Books
SAP Material Management Certification, Interview and Configuration Reference Books

SAP Material Management Tips
SAP MM Configuration Tips and Materials Management Discussion Forum

Other Logistics Modules

Best regards,
SAP Basis, ABAP Programming and Other IMG Stuff

All the site contents are Copyright © and the content authors. All rights reserved.
All product names are trademarks of their respective companies.  The site is in no way affiliated with SAP AG.
Every effort is made to ensure the content integrity.  Information used on this site is at your own risk.
 The content on this site may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express written permission of or the content authors.