Starting down the road to UID compliance requires you to answer questions in two broad areas–WHAT do I have to do to comply, and HOW will I proceed with compliance. Let’s start with the WHAT…
WHAT do I have to do?
Understand the requirements.
Understand how they apply to you, your contracts and your parts. Don’t worry yet about HOW you will comply. Just make sure you understand WHAT you are required to do. Write it down. Pass it around internally. See if you can reach a consensus of the requirements. Give it to your customer–program management offices, inspectors, and acceptors. They are going to have to agree on the plan eventually. Why not get agreement up front? Maybe they’ll help educate you on the requirements. Maybe you’ll help educate them on the requirements. Neither could do any harm, could it? The WHAT part of the plan should touch these points:
Do I have a UID requirement?
Yeah, this sounds too basic. But we’ve seen suppliers with mere mention of a 2-Dimensional barcode in their contract assume that this means UID. If you have a UID requirement it should be clearly described in your contract, including reference to Mil-Std 130.
For which Contracts and Parts do I have a requirement?
If UID shipments are a small part of your business, you may want to make UID compliance an exception business process without affecting the majority of your process flow. If, however, UID compliance affects a large part of your contracts and parts, you may want to look at a more mainstream process change.
Do I have end-item UID parts only, or do I also have embedded UID parts?
Exactly which parts require embedded UIDs and which do not is a gray area with which we see lots of suppliers struggle. In a perfect world, your contract would just tell you what to mark, but we’ve yet to see a contract with that level of guidance. Best bet is to make a plan and float it past your customer for approval.
A word about Parents and Children…
- End-item UIDs are the “things” that are listed on the CLIN description
and are sometimes called Parent UIDs.
- Embedded UIDs are all the sub-components to the end-item UIDs and are
sometimes called Child UIDs. They can also be sub-sub-components,
sub-sub-sub-components, etc. Embedded UIDs are referred to by level, as
well, such as “first level embedded”, “second level embedded”, etc. Think of
it like a family history. The end-item UIDs are those great-great
grandparents at the top of the chart. Their children are like first-level
embedded UIDs. Their grandchildren are like second-level embedded UIDs, and
Take for example a Jeep. The Jeep is what is sold to the government, and
has an end-item UID. The Jeep also has an engine, transfer case, and
transmission, all of which if they fell under the UID mandate would be
This article is an excerpt from the DOD Suppliers Guide