ODYSSEY: The Leader in Defense Commerce Solutions Blog

Should You Outsource Your Defense Commerce Labeling and Reporting with Transaction Services?

Posted by James Lusk on Sat, May 25, 2019 @ 12:05 PM

Collaborating on defense contract fulfillment via outsourcing

Supplying the government with any kind of physical goods, from boots to jet engines, requires a completely different set of business processes to manage shipping, fulfillment, and compliance with DoD standards.

Understandably, many companies choose to outsource these business processes. For example, Odyssey offers Transaction Services, where we manage the labels and data submission requirements to ensure your contract is fulfilled according to government compliance standards.

Here are four questions you can ask that may indicate outsourcing this aspect of your DoD contract management is the right move.

1. Are you new to working with the Department of Defense?

As you’re probably finding out, supplying the federal government comes with a considerable learning curve. Between the terminology, compliance requirements, labeling processes, and often confusing government sites and databases, fulfilling a defense contract presents numerous challenges.

Until you know how much business you’re going to be doing with the DoD, it might not make sense to invest in the hardware and software required to effectively handle all the required processes.

2. Does DoD commerce account for a relatively small portion of your overall business? 

Because the requirements for labeling and reporting compliance are complex, many suppliers end up spending a disproportionate amount of time managing their work with the government compared to their private-sector clients. If you don’t do a lot of business with the DoD relative to your other customers, outsourcing these processes on a per-contract basis could be the right choice.

As you are awarded more contracts, you can decide to continue outsourcing these processes or to bring the work in-house using a defense commerce software like Odyssey’s.

3. Do you have limited staff to help with the requirements of working with the government? 

If managing the labeling of items and submitting data to VIM or iRAPT is pulling staff away from other work, getting some outside help with this time-consuming process may be the best approach. Outsourcing this business process to a provider like Odyssey frees up valuable capacity on your team. And if staffing changes, you can opt to have your team handle those tasks for your next defense contract.

4. Were you awarded a contract that involves UID? 

This is specific to current Odyssey users who leverage our iRAPT/WAWF Console, RFID and MIL-STD-130 capabilities, but are awarded a contract that requires UID. The Odyssey team can handle these requirements on a per-contract basis, saving you from having to upgrade your Odyssey software to manage UID. This is a good option if you don’t typically deal with UID, and don’t expect to have future contracts of this type.

If any of the situations above apply to you, it’s worth considering Odyssey’s Transaction Services. On a per-contract basis, our team creates all required labels and submits the necessary data to iRAPT in a compliant, timely fashion. Learn more about our Transaction Services.

A Primer on the IUID Registry: What DoD Vendors Should Know

Posted by James Lusk on Wed, Mar 6, 2019 @ 17:03 PM

iuid compliance with iuid registry for military gear and more

When it comes to MIL-STD-130 compliance, it would be nice if all you had to do was slap an IUID label on the item and call it a day. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. DoD suppliers must also register the required data with the government in order to be in compliance.

What is the IUID Registry?

The IUID Registry, hosted within the government’s iRAPT suite (formerly Wide Area Workflow, or WAWF), serves as the central repository for all IUID data. This allows the government to track the vast amount of items it acquires.

As the government’s system of record, the IUID Registry gives them an audit trail for all assets. The system allows them to analyze the entire lifecycle of assets, informing decisions about logistics, systems, and operations.

Learn more about item unique identification (IUID) and how to correctly label assets for MIL-STD-130 compliance here.

What information must be submitted to the IUID Registry?

For every item delivered, you must submit data that’s compliant with the IUID syntax. Here is the basic information you’ll plan to submit about the assets you supply to the government:

  • What the item is

  • How and when it was acquired by the government

  • Its initial value

  • Its custody status (who has the asset on-hand, you or the government)

  • How it’s marked for tracking

  • Additional details for end items, legacy items, and government-furnished property as applicable

Here are some data points you’ll need to have at-the-ready when reporting to the IUID Registry in order to ensure you’re meeting the reporting requirements and remaining in compliance:

  • Contract number and type

  • CLIN-level detail

  • Acquisition costs

  • Unit of measure

  • CAGE code

  • Part and serial number

  • UID number

  • Date of shipment

  • Date of acceptance

If you’re new to Department of Defense terminology or need a refresher, take a look at our DoD Glossary.

What are some common pitfalls when using the IUID Registry?

IUID Registry reporting must be 100% accurate because it is the system of record for all government assets. Although it is possible to make changes to IUID data you’ve already submitted, it can be a painful process. Better to get it right the first time.

But this also poses a challenge: manually entering pedigree information (via a government website that’s somewhat less than user-friendly) can be a time-consuming chore. What’s more, manual data entry is a minefield of potential mistakes that could result in audits and penalties. The amount of painstaking data entry needed to comply with IUID Registry requirements is just not scalable in the long run, especially as you look to grow your revenues from DoD commerce.

How can I make IUID compliance easier?

All the data you’ll need to successfully submit asset information to the IUID Registry is easily created or quickly imported using a solution like Odyssey’s. Our end-to-end DoD commerce solution streamlines IUID-related tasks to reduce user error and redundancies. Odyssey’s IUID modules have been designed to scale with DoD requirements as they evolve, and are built to ensure simple, sustainable workflows as your business grows.

By ensuring compliance and accuracy, Odyssey solutions for IUID give your business a competitive edge. Learn about how we drastically simplify the complex compliance processes required for DoD suppliers – get in touch with us today.

Topics: MIL 130 N, UID compliance

What Odyssey’s New Integration with DLA’s Vendor Shipment Module Means for You

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 @ 17:02 PM

new integration with DLA Vendor Shipment Module

Recently, Odyssey announced a new integration with Defense Logistics Agency’s Vendor Shipment Module (VSM) that expands on current functionality for shipping label access. We had previously built an integration for Freight on Board (FOB) Destination shipments to allow you to access the necessary shipping labels, and the new integration lets you do the same for FOB Origin. This integration is the first of its kind and streamlines contract fulfillment processes for DoD suppliers like you.

Before the new VSM integration

The government has a program called First Destination Transportation Program (FDTP) that provides for the government to pay the shipping costs. Our platform was already integrated with DLA’s tool for FOB Destination shipments, and the previous functionality allowed suppliers to create all DoD-specific labels, such as NSN, MSL, and CASE.

However, businesses were not previously able to access or submit data for contracts designated for FOB Origin, and had to do an extra step of logging into VSM to access the shipping labels they needed.

What the integration means for DoD suppliers

With Odyssey’s new integration, all the required data can be directly accessed through our platform. Shipper labels for UPS, Fedex, DHL, and others can be easily generated from the same interface. This type of direct integration with VSM has never been available before, and Odyssey customers benefit from an even more efficient process.

If you’re an existing Odyssey customer, this new VSM integration upgrade is available at no cost. To learn more, contact us or refer to the Help tabs within the Odyssey software interface.

We know constantly evolving requirements create a burden for DoD suppliers, so being first to market with this VSM integration is exciting because we know it will help our customers fulfill government contracts more efficiently.

See the press release here, and get in touch with us to learn more about how we can make the process of doing business with the government easier and more profitable for your business.

Topics: VSM

How to Correctly Label Assets Using the MIL-STD-130 UID Label Format

Posted by James Lusk on Sun, Jan 13, 2019 @ 12:01 PM

 

business people working on correct uid label format

 MIL-STD-130 gives instructions how to mark items purchased by the US Department of Defense, including instructions on acceptable materials, text formatting and syntax rules for identifying marks, where markings should be located, etc.

What is UID label formatting all about?

The MIL-STD-130 requirements include rules about using the UID unique identifier data matrix for machine-readable information.

The most recent updates to MIL-STD-130N, “Change 1,” which took place in 2012, made changes to allow for easier automation data capture via machines. The unique identifier follows an asset throughout its entire lifecycle for easier tracking.

Why is this so important for DoD suppliers to understand?

Time and again, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other auditors have reported that the US government lacks reliable, comprehensive information about all its property, equipment, and inventory. Without a strict system in place, the government would be incapable of knowing what assets exist, how many of a certain type they have, and where they are. Following the labeling and tracking requirements set forth by the government helps suppliers get paid on time and potentially win more contracts in the future.

UID label format basics

Let’s level-set with some basics of UID label formatting.

  • What does the government define as an “item?” The DoD defines an item as “a single hardware article or a unit formed by a grouping of subassemblies, components, or constituent parts.” In a general sense, hardware refers to physical items like tools, equipments, kits, fittings, and so on.
  • How do I know if I have to mark it with a unique identifier? The DoD has some helpful decision trees (starting on page 13 of this guide) to help answer this question. Items may need to be given unique identifier markings based on their value, intended use, and other factors.
  • What pieces of information are needed for the unique identifier? Instead of requiring items to be labeled with a unique identifier, the government only requires the label to contain the component parts of the unique identifier. Machines then read its component parts to figure out the unique identifier. Those components are: issuing agency code, enterprise identifier, serial number and, for Construct #2 additionally, original part number or lot or batch number.
  • What is an issuing agency code? The issuing agency code, or IAC, is that assigned by the Registration Authority for ISO/IEC 15459-2. Examples include organizations like the GS1 Global Office, the US Department of Defense, and Dun & Bradstreet.
  • What is the difference between Construct #1 and #2? These concepts refer to how items are serialized. If #1, they are serialized according to an entirely unique, alphanumeric code set by the manufacturer or vendor. If #2, the code is serialized within the part, lot, or batch number of the item.

How do I make all this easier?

Odyssey’s software, hardware, and labels help DoD suppliers ensure compliance with all government requirements with just a few clicks. We work with many companies to address the challenges of DoD commerce. With all the complexities and potential pitfalls, we’ve seen that a holistic approach to DoD commerce and compliance is the best option. In other words, using a single integrated system to manage the end-to-end process of finding and bidding on contracts, quickly and easily creating compliant UID labels, submitting required information to multiple government databases, invoicing and so on.

In addition, working with a company that specializes in this area ensures you have an expert partner to consult with as you get your team up to speed on DoD supplier processes and as new challenges and regulations arise. If you’re interested in learning more about how to drive greater efficiency and ensure 100% compliance with DoD commerce processes, talk to the experts at Odyssey today.

 

Topics: UID compliance

Is An ERP Enough For Department of Defense Suppliers?

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Nov 27, 2018 @ 17:11 PM

DoD supplier trying to manage contracts via ERP and DoD-approved software

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, can be a valuable tool for companies large and small to improve the flow of internal processes and facilitate better communication between the different teams within your business. In fact, 81% of organizations are either currently implementing ERP software or have completed an implementation.

But does ERP have everything companies need when it comes to fulfilling defense contracts?

Unique process needs for Department of Defense suppliers

For many companies, DoD commerce is one part of their business. In addition to their core business, they might supply government agencies with everything from heavy equipment to combat apparel.

While an ERP system makes sense to streamline many typical back-office functions, working as a DoD or DLA supplier in any capacity is fundamentally different than serving your typical customers. From finding contracts to processing shipments to tracking invoices, supplying goods to the DoD requires specific processes to be followed and requirements to be complied with.

For example, creating and printing DoD-compliant labels and submitting RFID tag tracking information is required, and many businesses use the government’s online systems to submit this data. However, data has to be entered into multiple disconnected systems, leading to a time-consuming and error-prone process for what’s often a small percentage of your overall revenue. Unfortunately, ERP is not the answer.

Why ERP is not enough for managing DoD contract fulfillment

DoD-approved software is not only designed to streamline the work of fulfilling government contracts, it has direct integrations into DoD systems that ERPs don’t natively have. Due to government cybersecurity standards, few solutions can deliver direct integration across all the systems needed to handle DoD compliance efficiently.

The alternatives are:

1) to manage parts of the fulfillment process through ERP and then submit required data to the government using their multiple disparate systems

2) to attempt to build custom ERP integrations into all the required government systems, which can become prohibitively expensive and time-consuming

3) to use a DoD-approved solution like Odyssey that can natively perform all the necessary DoD commerce tasks you need while integrating with your ERP

Clearly, the wisest choice is to rely on software that is purpose-built for DoD commerce functions. Not only does this save time and reduce errors, it’s designed to ensure compliance with government requirements – which ERP systems are not.

Helping companies turn their work with the Defense Department into a steady, efficient revenue stream is our area of expertise. Talk to us about configuring the right solution for you.

Topics: ERP

What to Look for in Government Contract Management Software

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 17:10 PM

 DoD supplier using industry leading government contract management software

Although steady contract work with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies can provide a reliable income stream, the challenges and complexities of working with the government can be overwhelming for many businesses.

We find that many suppliers end up spending a disproportionate amount of time managing contracts and compliance for DoD commerce – and exposing their companies to a disproportionate amount of risk – compared to time spent dealing with their “regular” customers.

Why You Need Government Contract Management Software

Why is it so important for DoD suppliers to be using a government contract management and fulfillment solution? Because of the risk and the lack of efficiency inherent in trying to manage DoD commerce without a streamlined approach.

The government’s highly specific and stringent requirements for vendors make it all too easy to inadvertently slip up if you’re not using DoD-approved software to manage the entire process. And the results of mistakes can be significant: rejected shipments, delayed transactions, cash flow issues, even penalties from the government.

However, getting compliance right can mean more on-time and early payments, and helps you build your reputation as a vendor. As a result, it can become easier to secure renewals or open up future contract opportunities.

In addition to compliance and cash flow benefits, there are also efficiency gains to consider. Instead of managing contracts through a variety of different, disconnected government systems and internal spreadsheets, DoD commerce software allows you to use one centralized system to simplify the end-to-end contract management and fulfillment process.

6 Key Elements to Look For

When searching for government contract management software, make sure it delivers these six key attributes:

1. Comprehensive. The solution you choose should help manage every step of the process, from finding and bidding on contracts, to fulfilling orders and getting paid – even the required scanners and equipment. This is a better approach than using point solutions for different parts of the process, since that can introduce unnecessary opportunities for human error as well as risk, and does not provide a meaningful efficiency benefit compared to using the government’s various websites and systems.

2. Easy to use. Your team should be able to complete the necessary processes with just a few keystrokes. The right solution can reduce the risk of human errors by requiring you to only enter data once, and ensure you’re using the same NSNs and other nomenclature approved by the government with simple dropdown lists.

3. DoD-approved. Not all government contract management software solutions are created equal. It’s important to work with a solution that has the necessary integrations into government systems to ensure data is transferred back and forth with speed and accuracy. Read more about the benefits of using government contract management software approved by the DoD.

4. Streamlines the process. There’s no point using a tool to unify your contract management and fulfillment processes unless it saves you time. Time savings free you up to focus on the core elements of your business, and enable you to fulfill even more DoD contracts in the future to grow your business.

5. Ensures 100% compliance. We’ve already mentioned the risks of non-compliance with all the standards and requirements that come along with government commerce. Look for solutions that offer strong compliance management capabilities to protect your business – and give you peace of mind.

6. Offers support and training. Beyond the software itself, the business partner you choose should provide training, ongoing support, process and compliance advice, and updates on the latest rule changes.

Finding the Right Solution for Your Business

As a leading provider of solutions for DoD commerce, Odyssey’s software and expertise are highly specialized in this field to deliver the best possible efficiency gains and compliance for your business.

See how government suppliers heart&core and Kessler Soils Engineering ensure compliant, efficient government contract management processes and drive increased cash flow using Odyssey’s DoD-approved software.

 

Topics: business technology, dod software

5 Reasons Automation is Your Friend, Not Your Foe

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Sep 20, 2018 @ 17:09 PM

Using software to automate tedious back-office tasks


When you hear the word “automation,” what comes to mind? Robots taking all our jobs? Not so fast.

Why the robots aren’t coming for us

The experts agree that technology is getting smarter and more capable of handling various tasks. McKinsey & Company found that occupations across the board have some activities that are automatable – in fact, their research revealed 30% of activities in 60% of jobs could be automated.

Lest we all panic about our job security, it’s more likely we’ll be working alongside smarter technologies than being replaced by them. The New York Times reported that process automation technology is “freeing workers from drudgery far more often than it is eliminating jobs.”

And according to Leslie Willcocks, a professor at the London School of Economics and industry expert, companies that use technology to automate the most tedious aspects of back-office jobs retain staff to work in tandem with technology, but focused on more interesting or complex work. “It takes the robot out of the human,” he says.

The conclusion is clear: A blended approach is best. Humans are good at certain things, software is good at certain things, and they can accomplish more when they work together.

5 reasons to embrace what technology can do

Software tools can automate mundane tasks and help you be more efficient, but for Department of Defense suppliers, they can be even more valuable. Complying with DoD requirements and managing fulfillment can be complex and time-consuming, but government contract management solutions can make these processes faster and more accurate.

Here are five reasons you should use advanced DoD software solutions to improve operations:


  1. Gain peace of mind knowing the right software can ensure 100% compliance with DoD requirements.
  2. Improve cash flow by mitigating errors that could cause payment delays and penalties.
  3. Get both real-time and long-term visibility for your shipments, while eliminating the headaches, personal liability, and physical space associated with maintaining government audit files.
  4. Software support teams can reduce the pressure to know everything about the complex world of supplying the government, and provide additional help on those unsure shipments and contracts.
  5. For most companies, working with the DoD represents a fraction of their operations. Embracing software and automation allows you to spend more time on your core business.

Benefits to you

Remember that government contract management software is just a tool in your toolkit. It still takes a human to perform the tasks and complete the shipments. Plus, automating processes can revolutionize the way your company does business with the government, and being an internal champion for these improvements will raise your status within the organization.

Learn more about how Odyssey’s technology can make doing business with the DoD more efficient, and help you work smarter. See a demo or get in touch with us today.

Topics: automation, dod software

What Clothing and Textiles Suppliers Should Know about Item-Level RFID

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 17:08 PM

Military helmets provided following item-level RFID requirements

 

We’ve written about the value of item-level radio frequency identification (ILRFID) across different types of industries, but for makers of clothing or textiles for the federal government, item-level RFID has become vitally important.

Item-level RFID tagging identifies and tracks unique assets, allowing companies to better understand inventory levels and locations. RFID in general has gained in popularity – in fact, research found the total RFID market had an estimated worth of $11.2 billion in 2017, and estimated that more than 18 billion tags were sold. This amounts to a growth rate of 20% compared to the prior year.

Why item-level RFID is important for clothing and textiles producers

While there are RFID standards for the case and pallet level within the Department of Defense suppliers, clothing and textiles producers are required to also RFID-label items at the individual level.

Take, for example, the story of Original Footwear LLC, makers of combat boots for the U.S. Air Force. A top supplier of combat footwear since 1965, a few years ago they were asked by the DoD to begin individually RFID-tagging every pair of boots they shipped. While this required a major process change, the company was able to quickly and efficiently achieve compliance with the DoD’s requirements using Odyssey’s cloud-based software platform, RF tags, and readers.

Another example is heart&core, which was awarded a contract to supply t-shirts to DLA Troop Support. Shipping more than 90,000 items per month, with item-level RFID tracking required for each, they looked to Odyssey to help them with label printing and tracking. In addition to using Odyssey’s VIM-ASAP Console software and scanning equipment to streamline their fulfillment and shipping processes, they also use the proprietary Odyssey software that allows them to scan a box and automatically capture all the item-level information for each of the individual items it contains. Instead of having to scan item by item to meet the DoD’s item-level RFID tracking requirements, heart&core can simply scan each box once and get the required data on its contents.

Other benefits of item-level RFID

Implementing item-level RFID also helps clothing and textiles suppliers with:

  • Shipping lead times: RFID can solve speed and accuracy issues with sorting and tracking finished products and their components.
  • Accurate inventory tracking: RFID tagging provides highly accurate, precise information while greatly reducing the opportunities for human error. According to RFID Journal, this type of tracking can bring inventory accuracy up to 95% or better.
  • More efficient scanning: RFID tags can provide information more quickly than traditional tagging methods, like barcodes. This is due to the fact that they can wirelessly multiple item tags simultaneously. The technology also reduces man-hours spent scanning, which helps with cost control.

How to successfully implement item-level RFID

Adopting any new tech brings its own challenges. Item-level RFID is no different. Human error is often the culprit, since it doesn’t matter how well an RFID label is printed if someone entered incorrect information to generate it, or applied it to the wrong item.

It’s important to look for item-level RFID technology that can:

  • Generate hang-tag or item labels with integrated RFID
  • Create and associate item labels with an RFID case label
  • Produce and associate RFID case and pallet labels
  • Electronically submit the RFID shipment pedigree to VIM

But arguably more important than the technology is the provider you choose to work with. Partnering with a provider like Odyssey that specializes in working with defense suppliers can help your implementation of item-level RFID go smoothly.  

See which item-level RFID tagging solution is the best fit, and talk to the experts at Odyssey to plan your strategy.

Topics: Item level RFID, RFID labels

What is MIL-STD-130N UID & What Does It Mean for You?

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 @ 17:08 PM

Military equipment markings must follow MIL-STD-130N UID rules

MIL-STD-130N is a set of directions for how to mark items purchased by the US Department of Defense, including instructions on acceptable materials, text formatting and syntax rules for identifying marks, where markings should be located, and so on. The requirements include rules about using the UID unique identifier data matrix for machine-readable information.

The most recent updates to MIL-STD-130N, referred to as “Change 1,” took place in 2012 and established the UID requirement to allow for easier automation data capture via machines. The unique identifier follows an asset throughout its entire lifecycle for easier tracking. Read this article to learn more about the history of UID.

What does MIL-STD-130N UID mean for you?

The asset marking requirements set forth in MIL-STD-130N can be complex and difficult to manage. And failing to comply with this and other DoD supplier regulations can result in delayed payments, damage to your relationship as a vendor, and even non-compliance penalties.

With these challenges in mind, it’s vitally Important to automate the process of managing UID markings as much as possible, resulting in greater efficiency as well as better compliance due to reduced errors.

3 tips for managing MIL-STD-130N UID

1. Reduce errors when creating new UID MIL-STD-130N labels.

The key to reducing errors is limiting the opportunity for them to occur – in other words, by decreasing the amount of manual data entry required to create the labels. Odyssey offers a user-friendly UID Module that allows you to create or import UID information that the system then validates, ensuring each UID is truly unique and compliant with DoD requirements. From there, it’s easy to associate end-level UID, as well as parent UID and any children, to individual transactions within the iRAPT Console. Instead of manually entering this information and introducing the opportunity for errors along every step, you’re ensuring compliant markings.

2. Automate submission to the UID Registry.

Using a platform like Odyssey’s allows you to automate submitting UIDs to the Registry, saving valuable time while meeting DoD requirements.

3. Speed up payment with iRAPT integration.

Odyssey provides a direct, DoD-approved integration into iRAPT that allows you to quickly push UID data into the iRAPT system for payment. The sooner this information is logged in iRAPT, the better your chances of getting invoices paid quickly.

With an integrated UID software module to manage UID compliance more efficiently and accurately, as well as MIL-STD-130N compliant labels, Odyssey has the solutions you need to streamline processes and improve cash flow from your government contracts.


See how Odyssey has helped companies like Perkins Technical Services manage MIL-STD-130N UID marks and other DoD requirements with a comprehensive solution.

Topics: MIL 130 N

4 Reasons Item-Level RFID Matters for Defense Suppliers

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 09:05 AM

Army recruit waiting with gear tracked with item-level RFID tagging

Item-level radio frequency identification (ILRFID) can be an indispensable tool for companies across many different industries, from retail to logistics to manufacturers – and especially Department of Defense suppliers.

As the name suggests, this technology allows for RFID tagging at the individual item level, going beyond container- or pallet-level tracking. Item-level tagging allows singular assets to be uniquely identified and tracked. This enables companies to understand how much inventory they have on hand, and where assets are located at any given time.

And companies are taking note of the many benefits of item-level RFID tagging: research found the total RFID market had an estimated worth of $11.2 billion in 2017. It’s also estimated that more than 18 billion tags were sold, a growth rate of 20% compared to the year before.

4 reasons defense suppliers should adopt item-level RFID

  1. Efficiency

RFID tags can provide information more quickly than traditional tagging methods, like barcodes, because they can scan wirelessly and scan multiple tags simultaneously. This approach also reduces man-hours spent scanning, helping to control costs.

  1. Precision

RFID tracking can give you real-time data about your assets, allowing for informed decisions based on the most up-to-date, precise information.

  1. Accuracy

RFID tagging provides highly accurate information with less opportunity for human error. It can bring inventory accuracy up to 95% or better, according to RFID Journal.

  1. DoD expectations & requirements

DoD use of item-level RFID for asset tracking is well-documented; a good example is the uniform management system at Fort Leonard Wood Recruit Training Center in Missouri. In addition to using item-level RFID tagging to make sure the Training Center has enough of each uniform item on hand, the tags help the trainees pack their duffel bags – and even scan their duffels at a checkout-style counter to ensure they have all the items they need.

Another example illustrates how implementing item-level RFID isn’t always the supplier’s choice: Original Footwear LLC, a combat boot manufacturer that supplies the U.S. Air Force, was asked by the DoD to begin individually RFID-tagging every pair of boots for enhanced asset tracking. While this represented a major process change for Original Footwear LLC, it ended up being a change for the better. The previous approach of manual tracking was prone to errors, and correcting issues was often cumbersome and labor-intensive. Using Odyssey’s cloud-based software platform, along with RF tags and readers, Original Footwear LLC significantly improved efficiency, precision, and accuracy while meeting the requirements of working with the DoD.

Overcome implementation challenges by relying on experts

As with adopting any new technology, implementing item-level RFID can come with its challenges. Human error is often to blame, as it doesn’t matter how perfectly a label is printed if someone entered incorrect information to generate it, or applied it to the wrong item.

These organizational challenges are the very reason a consultative approach is needed during item-level RFID implementation. Working with a provider like Odyssey that specializes in working with defense suppliers can ensure a smoother transition. Plus, it helps to have label creation software that can be configured to your company’s exact labeling needs. 

Item-level RFID has transformative power for DoD suppliers, but needs the right technology partner to enable seamless adoption.

See which item-level RFID tagging solution is the best fit for your business, and get in touch with the experts at Odyssey to learn more.