ODYSSEY: The Leader in Defense Commerce Solutions Blog

What You Need to Know About ASTM D3951

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Aug 1, 2019 @ 11:08 AM

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Most military suppliers likely cringe at the mention of packaging specifications like ASTM D3951. Being a supplier for the Department of Defense can be very rewarding for a manufacturer, as the defense industry is a secure and steadily growing multi-billion dollar industry. However, the heavy regulations that govern nearly every aspect of packaging and labeling can cost suppliers enough time and money to make that DoD contract seem far less attractive.

In the Past, This Drove Packaging Out-Of-House

In the past, these stringent regulations on packaging and labeling caused most suppliers to outsource the work to 3rdparty packaging houses that specialize in DoD packaging and labeling. While this adds an additional cost, making the work less profitable, for many suppliers it was necessary to avoid having to deal with the mountain of specifications for physical packaging.

So what does the newest incarnation of these packaging specifications, ASTM D3951, mean for suppliers today?

It’s Likely Not What You Think

What many suppliers might not know is that things have changed. ASTM D3951 is the newest document defining standard practice for commercial packaging of supplies and equipment for DoD contracts. It represents a fundamental shift away from the endless standards for every aspect of packaging. Under ASTM D3951, the DoD’s new relaxed guidelines for packaging place trust in the suppliers’ knowledge of the product they manufacture, and the best way to package it so it will arrive safely.

What Does This Mean For Me?

ASTM D3951 removes one of the obstacles that forced suppliers to outsource their packaging. The other obstacle, labeling, is now the main reason many continue to pay packaging house fees to fulfill their DoD contract work.

With Odyssey’s labeling solutions, suppliers can ensure compliance with all government requirements with just a few clicks. So there’s no longer a reason you can’t bring all your packaging and labeling work in-house, and increase margins for your DoD contracts.

To learn more about how Odyssey can help you cut operating costs and ensure compliance, get in touch with the experts at Odyssey today.

Topics: dod compliance, DoD, labels, department of defense, packaging, ASTM D3951

How To: Create Compliant MIL-STD 129 r Unit Labels

Posted by James Lusk on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

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One of the main complaints we hear from business owners who are considering switching to Odyssey is that they aren't able to focus on the work that really matters. They are too distracted by the inconsistencies and headaches of multiple tools and manual processes. Creating standard and compliant DoD labels can quickly become cumbersome and disorganized. With Odyssey’s NSN Label Manager, everything is automated and streamlined to help you finally leave those headaches behind.

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Odyssey NSN Label Manager allows you to standardize the creation of specific unit labels and ensures they are compliant.

Here’s how it works, step by step.

 Click on the NSN Item Label Manager.

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Enter the last four digits or any portion of your NSN.

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The information for the NSN will automatically populate directly from the contract.

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From here, you can edit any of the data if necessary. Enter shelf-life markings, such as cured or manufactured dates, as well as lot or batch data. You can even serialize these labels if needed.  When the information is complete, you can select the appropriate standard or custom template and print as many labels as you need.

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Let Odyssey’s NSN Label Manager help you standardize the assets specific label creation process to keep it efficient and effective. To view the video demonstration, click here.

 

Topics: dod compliance, DoD, labels, Odyssey DCS, cloud software

Does printing compliant DoD labels give you a headache?

Posted by James Lusk on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 @ 10:10 AM

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Suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) know that producing accurate RFID labels for shipments is only the first step in meeting the DoD’s compliance requirements. The rest of the process includes matching shipments to contract numbers and orders, generating the documentation for each shipment and electronically submitting it to the DoD’s Invoice Receipt Acceptance and Property Transfer database known as iRAPT (formerly known as Wide Area Workflow) and other computer systems.

Data management is a common problem for many suppliers. We hear your concerns and want to help. Did you know there’s a software solution to handle data entry, encoding, label printing and reporting needs through a user-friendly web-based application for data entry? And, even better, it connects to reliable Zebra printers and encoders and outputs compliant shipping labels, helping companies successfully conduct DoD commerce in an efficient and compliant manner. We handle all of the tedious and frustrating tasks that come along with printing DoD labels, so you can focus on everything else. 

Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong.

Our service simplifies DoD reporting requirements for suppliers by eliminating most data management activities. Instead of entering numerous contract numbers, contractor ID and item codes, suppliers use drop-down menus to prepare and submit shipment information to the DoD. Suppliers then have the option of using our service bureau to print shipping labels or to produce them on site with their own Zebra printer/encoder. About one-third of users choose to have ODYSSEY print and ship their smart labels, and the rest printing on site.  The option to use ODYSSEY’s service bureau is helpful for companies that might only need printers for one client or even just one order.

With hosted software and off-site printing and encoding, users do not need to install or maintain any hardware or software to meet their DoD compliance requirements. Suppliers simply make selections from validated pull-down lists, and the software handles the rest. The best part? The software ensures that all labels are produced completely compliant, meeting DoD standards.

While we support a variety of manufacturers for existing printers, we only sell Zebra to customers who are looking to purchase new printers. Zebra offers high-quality printers, which is why it is the only brand we trust with our clients’ printing needs.  You can check out more about the printers and hardware options we offer here and here.

Topics: RFID, printing, RFID labels, Zebra, labels