The RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Mandate is a DOD initiative that allows it to more efficiently processes supplies that arrive at its depots. As a replacement for scanning barcode labels, RFID provides a fast, hands-off approach that is far more accurate.
To make RFID work as a replacement for barcode labels contractors provide the DOD with advance shipment notice of the RFIDs they are sending, including the quantity of each contract line items (CLINs) within each RFID-tagged container. So when the depot reads the RFIDs it instantly knows what is in each container.
The first challenge for defense contractors is procuring RFID labels. Pre-encoded labels are widely available. For shippers of any kind of volume, printing RFID labels in-house makes sense for both economic and process efficiency reasons. Often the best way to collect CLIN data for each RFID-tagged container is to do so when printing its labels. This becomes doubly true when Unique Identifiers (UIDs) are involved. Each UID in a container must be correlated with its RFID. Since the UID must appear on the container label, the best way to collect and correlate CLIN, RFID and UID data is to do so when printing RFID container labels.
All of this data must be entered into Wide Area Workflow (WAWF), which is a pain to do on the WAWF website, and a challenge to do accurately. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is provided by WAWF to solve this problem. EDI allows contractors to collect, organize and review shipment and invoice data, including UID and RFID, then submit it electronically to WAWF.