- Materials & Industrial Technology
Model and Serial Plates: How These Help Retailers and Buyers
You’ve seen these all around you and in lots of items that you use on a daily basis. You may not really pay that much attention to these, and why should you? Once you’ve purchased the item that you are now using the model and serial plate that comes with it usually does not mean anything to you afterwards.
While these are deemed insignificant by the average consumer after the purchase is made, companies on the other hand know that these are important to them even after the sale has been made. These tags are actually one of the most useful tags that can be found on items like kitchen appliances, electronics, handheld gadgets, and even office equipment as well as machinery. The use of these tags to the manufacturer, as well as to the store that sold these to the consumer, is more than what people might expect.
How Companies and Businesses Use These Serial Number Plates
Did you know that the alphanumeric combinations found in the serial number space of your model and serial plate is actually unique and no one else has the exact same combination on their tags for the same product? These unique number and letter combinations actually serve a higher purpose, and this is to help businesses know a number of things.
For starters, these serial numbers help manufacturers determine whether or not an item has an active warranty. This comes in handy when the item in question needs to be repaired or replaced, should the damage be found within the active time of the warranty. This is usually very helpful for companies that offer a limited warranty for their products since this reduces the instances of having to replace items that suffered damage due to misuse or wear and tear.
Another reason why these serial numbers are important is for tracking purposes. Whether these are to be used to determine which retailer sells more of a specific product for them or to simply know which area of the country has sold more of their items, these serial numbers help them do that. The items that are shipped to retailers are kept track of the moment they leave the factory, and these serial numbers let them know when such items have been sold since warranties are activated once these are sold.
The Use of Model Numbers and Serial Numbers on These Plates
These customized tags are also useful when a recall is needed. Occasionally, a company will find that one of their product lines has a defect that was left undetected before the items were shipped out for sale. The defect is usually brought to their attention when a complaint is made, and this is usually made by numerous individuals who notice the same flaw or defect after using the item a few times.
When an item has a uniform flaw across all units, this is more than likely something that happened during manufacturing. When the flaw is deemed dangerous to the safety of the user, a recall is usually initiated. In order to ensure that the batch that is being recalled is the right one, an investigation into the shipped and sold batches is initiated.
To determine from which batch the defect first started appearing, the serial numbers of the items that have been called in for complaints is scrutinized. It is with careful checking, and a few emails as well as phone calls to retailers and product owners, that helps a company narrow down the search to the exact batch or batches that have the same dangerous defect. This is when a recall for items is made.
When recalling such products, some companies do a blanket recall and have everything that belongs to such a product model be called in for returns. This is to ensure that even when some of the batches are okay, that the possibility of injuries from such an item is minimized or eliminated altogether. Some businesses however try to reduce losses and simply call in the items that belong to the specific batch that seems to have such a flaw.
When these recalls are made, companies either compensate the customer with either a replacement of the same item with a similar model but in a batch that is deemed safe, or refund their money. A few companies also give customers a better deal for a more expensive model of the same item, while a significant number not only replace the item in question but also offer incentives such as discounts on other products that they sell as an apology for the damaged item that was initially purchased from them.