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.