Overview

The Change item state command on the scanner allows you to change what an item is. This command applies to items with serial numbers and comes into play when a company tracks the state or status of a serial numbered item as its Product ID. In these scenarios, when the item changes state, its Product ID changes but its serial number and barcode stay the same. The Change item state makes this change.

Example

What it means to change the Product ID of an item is a bit subtle, so let us illustrate with a relatively deep example. Imagine a company repairs cell phones, and keeps track of the state of the cell phones as they go through the various stages of being repaired. For simplicity, say there are just two states: Broken and Fixed.

When the company receives a cell phone needing to be fixed, it scans the item's serial number barcode (call it 12345) on the scanner in learn serial number mode, and indicates that the Product ID of the received item is "Broken". The stock records now show one item in stock, whose Product ID is Broken, and whose Lot ID is 12345 (the serial number is stored in the Lot ID field). The learned barcode 12345 now maps to the Product ID Broken and Lot ID 12345, so whenever you scan 12345, you refer specifically to the Broken item whose serial number is 12345.

Later, the company fixes the phone and therefore wants to change its Product ID from Broken to Fixed. To do that, the company does Change item state and scans the item barcode 12345 and confirms. Behind the scenes, the Change item state command does two things: First, it does a stock change to remove the item whose Product ID is Broken and whose Lot ID is 12345, and to add as its replacement an item whose Product ID is Fixed and whose Lot ID is 12345 (unchanged); second, it updates the barcode lookup for the barcode 12345, changing it to map to Product ID Fixed instead of Product ID Broken.

Finally, when the company ships out the repaired cell phone, it scans barcode 12345, which correctly maps to the repaired item.

How does it work?

In the user's mind, the item is simply changing state from one Product ID to another. The inventory system does that by way of the stock change and barcode lookup update. When you are setting up your inventory system, you should understand how the commands work, but after you've got the system implemented and are using it, you can just think of this command as changing what the item is.

The stock change is straight forward: removing the item that was and adding the item that is. The barcode lookup update is perhaps a little harder to understand. To illustrate the need for the barcode lookup update, imagine what would happen if Change item state function only did the stock change and didn't change the barcode lookup. In the above example, after the company fixes the item and goes to ship it, the company scans the serial number on the item, 12345. The barcode lookup table still maps that to Product ID Broken and Lot ID 12345, but that item no longer exists! The item the company just scanned is now Product ID Fixed and Lot ID 12345, so it is essential that its barcode 12345 maps to what it is now.

The barcode lookup table before the Change item state command could have looked like this:

Before

Barcode

Product ID

Lot ID

Suggested packing

12345

Broken

12345

And after the Change item state command it could have looked like this:

After

Barcode

Product ID

Lot ID

Suggested packing

12345

Fixed

12345

What if I'm not using serial numbers?

The short answer is that this function only works for items with serial numbers.

In the above example, the barcode maps to a single item, with a serial number. The item could be a unit, in which case its quantity is probably 1.0, or it could be an item with dimensional quantity like weight or length, in which case its quantity may be a fraction or more than 1.0. However, as long as the barcode maps to an item that has a serial number, then whatever its quantity is, all of it should be changed to the new Product ID.

Scenarios without serial numbers are different. Imagine the company keeps track of Broken and Fixed cell phones by overall quantity, without concern for individual serial numbers. In that scenario, if the company has 50 Broken phones and fixes one of them, the company may want to change the item state of the one phone from Broken to Fixed, leaving the other 49 as Broken. The Change item state command, however, would change all of them, and would also re-map the barcode to Fixed, which would be wrong if a shared barcode is used generically for all Broken items. Since the Change item state command doesn't work for this scenario, the company could simply change the single repaired phone with a pair of stock changes, one to subtract the Broken phone and the other to add a Fixed phone.

Requirements

To prevent errors, the Change item state command requires that the scanned barcode maps to a Product ID and non-blank Lot ID in the barcode lookup. Please see the example barcode lookups in the example above.

The suggested packing field of the barcode lookup can be blank or not. This field determines whether the command applies to an item with case packing. There is no case/each button for this command. The command will apply only to an item with an exact match for the packing.


Categories: Category_Barcoding


© 2016 Finale Inventory