In today’s world of constant technological advances, every industry is experiencing major changes- and ours is no exception. Many companies have welcomed these changes with open arms, adopting new technology and software to help grow their businesses and remain relevant. These companies have experienced more streamlined processes, ultimately resulting in greater efficiency.
With the industry and its requirements constantly changing, we’re always keeping up with trends and making sure that our partners are aware of the changes. It’s important that suppliers to the Department of Defense keep up with these advancements and adapt their strategies as needed.
We’ve put together a list of some of the most important trends you should be aware of when working with the DoD.
RFID compliance is a key focus
About 12 years ago, the DoD made the commitment to implement knowledge-enabled logistics through fully automated visibility and management of assets in support of the warfighter. How? Using RFID technology. Today, the DoD continues to push forward with its vision.
The Department of Defense just launched the distribution portion of its clothing and textiles program and is relying heavily on RFID technology to get the job done. The DoD rewards companies that submit data accurately and in accordance with their RFID requirements. The reward is faster payment, as well as a higher ranking in the rating system, which provides a better chance at winning future contracts. DoD suppliers cannot ignore that RFID compliance is a major focus for the DoD and will continue to be, moving forward.
High-volume contracting vehicles are moving toward Electronic Data Interchange
Most of the high-volume contracting vehicles, such as FedMall, General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), are moving toward Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). EDI is commonly defined as the electronic interchange of business information using a standardized format. The process allows a company to send information to another company electronically, rather than with paper. Many business documents can be exchanged using EDI, but the two most common are purchase orders and invoices.
The bottom line is that electronic conversations are much more efficient. However, many small businesses don’t have this capability. And while some companies aren’t experiencing the stringent label requirements, you can bet they are coming. It is important for small businesses to use a platform that is easily adaptable and is also able to provide them with EDI services.
UID continues to be a driving force
As UID compliance continues to be a driving force for the DoD, it is mandatory that all suppliers with items over $5,000 in value be UID compliant. However, compliance can act as a major obstacle for many companies. Because UID labels and marks are serialized and highly specialized, it is complicated for suppliers to meet the DoD’s requirements. For example, it is difficult for suppliers to complete certain tasks on their own, like creating marks, managing serial numbers and properly inputting data into iRAPT, formerly known as WAWF. To add another layer of difficulty, UID serial numbers should be integrated into the MIL-129 R exterior labels.
Without a software solution like Odyssey, many companies have no idea where to begin, and they often end up wasting money and labor using outside vendors. UID compliance won’t be going away anytime soon, so it is important for suppliers to find long-term, fully scalable solutions for their DoD needs.
DoD suppliers are constantly challenged by evolving transactional military requirements and changing technology. We believe that today’s DoD commerce requires an IT platform that can make sense of requirements and provide an automated environment to easily react and respond in real-time.
Odyssey is a DoD solutions leader and the trusted platform for hundreds of DoD commercial suppliers, non-profit government partners and federal agencies, helping them transform their DoD commerce. You can learn more about how we can help your business here.