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AS400 Serial Number Tracking

Posted on 2016-09-16
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Last Modified: 2016-10-05
Hi there All,

I need some assistance with a problem that we experience on our AS400 system. We import goods and sell them locally. As means to track warranty, we want to include the serial number as part of the invoice when selling to customers. Is this possible on the AS400. Can the serial numbers of the items sold be linked with the AS400 invoice.

Kindly assist with feedback on the process to implement.
Regards,
Matt
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Question by:Matt Botha
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41801488
AS/400 does not provide any built-in Retail or Inventory package. You must have installed a third party package. You do not need the AS/400 machine number to add to your invoice.

What package do you have (or did you write your own)?  
Can you record the serial number of the goods for resale on the purchase order for the goods (when you buy them)?
Then retrieve the serial number when you prepare the invoice for sale.
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Gary Patterson earned 250 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41801795
Matt,

The short answer is "yes" - there is always a way.

As John already explained, "out of the box", ther AS/400 doesn't come with any business software.  Just like with your desktop computer, you have to install software on an AS/400 to perform specific business functions.  There are lots of different software packages for the AS/400 that provide order management functions like the ones you use.  Also, some companies like yours have written their own software (in which case you probably have a programmer on staff who could answer this question for you).

For example, my company uses Quickbooks for accounting - we had to buy that and install it on a Windows PC in order to perform accounting functions.  Same thing is true of the AS/400 - someone in your company either purchased a software package or had programmers write software to provide order management functions like inventory management and invoices.

If your AS/400 business software already supports serial number tracking, you may just need to enable the feature.  In some systems there is an option (perhaps in Item Maintenance) to enable serial number tracking.  You may want to talk to the person or company that created the software that you are using, and ask them if the software supports serial number tracking - or just take a look through end user-documentation or item-related menu options.

If you are unable to determine if your software supports serial number tracking, or of you have determined that it doesn't, then you will probably need to engage the services of an experienced AS/400 programmer to help you determine the cost and complexity of adding the support that you require.  Be aware that adding something like this to a system that doesn't already provide serial number tracking support it is not trivial.  Often a project like this would include:

Modifying the database to provide a place to store serial numbers, and to add an attribute to the item database tables to flag if serial numbers are required for that item.

Adding a way to capture serial numbers - usually when an order is packed.

Modifying the packing list and/or invoice to include serial numbers.

Do you have an IT department in your company, or an outside IT service provider?  If so, that's probably your best place to start.  If not, and you can identify the software package that you are running, you should probably contact the company that supports that software.  In commercial software, there is usually some identifying information on the splash screen when you first log in, or on the main menu.  

Also, if you want to post a screen shot of the main menu of your order management system, we may be able to help you identify it.

Finally, if you don't have access to anyone who can help you, you'll want to contact IBM, or your local IBM Business Partner, or find an AS/400 expert.
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