The requirement for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) suppliers to comply with the UID (Unique Identification) mandate isn’t just the addition of one more contract requirement – it’s more like multiplication.
“The Good Old Days”
In the past suppliers could describe their shipment at a CLIN level (such as: “250 Electric Motors”). With the addition of a UID requirement, now the same supplier has to uniquely identify and describe each and every part (such as: 1 Electric Motor with UID = D1HLD978-44-00100001, 1 Electric Motor with UID = D1HLD978-44-00100002, 1 Electric Motor with UID = D1HLD978-44-00100003,
And now we start to Multiply…
There isn’t just one touch-point for this handling of multiplied amounts of data; there are at least 5 process steps in which UID data must be recorded, correlated, and regurgitated.
Multiple functional areas are also involved-Contracting, Customer Service, Finance, Manufacturing, Packaging, and Shipping are all involved in UID.
Multiplied amounts of data handled in at least 5 process steps across a number of functional areas-it’s no wonder that suppliers are concerned.
Add in the interconnected requirements of WAWF (Wide Area Workflow) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and you have a real nail-biter.
A sensible approach can take a lot of the sting out of UID compliance.
With proper education and planning you can save significant cash and keep your customer happy (relatively). But a make-it-up-as-you-go approach is going to cost you-cash, aggravation, and customer trust & loyalty.
There are lots of resources available to learn the nuts & bolts of UID, so much resources in fact that it is extremely difficult to glean out the exact nuggets that you need.
This is an excerpt from the DOD Suppliers Guide – “Ten Key Questions about your UID Plan.”