US reseller and service provider GE Capital Information Technology Services (GECITS) has criticised vendors for delaying the allocation of serial numbers to their shipments because it encroaches on its warehousing efficiency.
Speaking to PC Dealer at the company's logistics and configuration centre in Kerpen, Germany last week, Ulrich Irnich, logistics manager at GECITS, said forward thinking by vendors, plus a universal serialisation method for incoming parts, would enable GECITS to improve its services products.
'The manufacturers are not able to give us the serial numbers in advance, therefore there is no information for our services organisation and for asset management for the customer,' he said.
'Different serial numbers from different vendors make our lives difficult. If they used EAN (European Article Number) codes like in the grocery industry, it would be more efficient. But they are in competition with each other.'
The reseller has to rescan each shipment with another serial number to transfer details to its SAP enterprise resource planning system. 'Our whole services organisation would not work without this serial number,' Irnich said.
He added that the organisation was looking into the effects that Intel's decision to introduce identification numbers on its Pentium III chips would have on its logistics and configuration operations.
Dave Eagle, products manager for ThinkPads at the IBM Greenock plant, said IBM had tried to change its serial number in the past but could not because 'the number goes through the whole process' and would create complexities.
Hans-Dieter Koch, European chief executive of GECITS, also told PC Dealer that the reseller was looking to expand into Eastern Europe this year because its key suppliers were doing the same. 'Our customers are going there and we will follow,' he said.
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