ODYSSEY: The Leader in Defense Commerce Solutions Blog

iRAPT; formerly known as WAWF

Posted by James Lusk on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 @ 13:03 PM

If you’ve been reading our blog recently you know that we’ve written pretty extensively on Wide Area Workflow, or WAWF for short. We’ve done this because WAWF is a critical element of DoD vendor compliance. In fact, it’s so essential we’ve built our software with that specifically with this in mind. Now, however, things are changing up a bit. WAWF has been renamed to iRAPT (Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance and Property Transfer). Change like this has the potential to be a little jarring, so we want to use this post to fully explain what all of this means. iRAPT Console

Before we get started, though, take a look at our blog post on the various acronyms associated with iRAPT, WAWF and ultimately UID. It will help clear up a lot of confusion if you’re unfamiliar with the terminology.

In November of last year, e-Business Suit 5.6 was released and thus changed the name of WAWF to iRAPT. Fear not, if you were familiar with WAWF, you’re also familiar with iRAPT. It’s still the secure web-based system used by the DoD for electronic submission of advance shipping data, invoicing, receipt, and acceptance, which allows DoD vendors to submit and track invoices and receipt/acceptance documents. That means that, critically, it allows government personnel to process those invoices in real-time.

iRAPT will manifest itself in a DoD vendor’s compliance efforts most frequently in submitting advance shipping information, including RFID and UID data as well as Invoices. Our blog post on the UID Registry Migrating to WAWF (now iRAPT) explains these processes further, but essentially, this means that iRAPT must be the method in which new acquisition UID and RFID data is submitted to the DoD. This is extremely important as  RFID and UID data makes up the backbone of the DoD inventory control methodology and an asset’s lifecycle management.

The most important thing to note is that the name change doesn’t alter the critical nature of the iRAPT application or Odyssey’s position in the process. Because iRAPT Console is the core to what our software does (allowing DoD vendors to stay compliant in a manner that is both efficient andDoD Compliance effective), we’ve built the Odyssey program specifically around submitting RFID and UID data to iRAPT by marshaling these unique identifiers, providing their management and incorporation within MIL-STD 129 R and MIL-STD 130 N interior and exterior label compliance.

So fear not, specifically if you use Odyssey’s platform to complete your DoD-related tasks. You’ll still submit your data to iRAPT in the same manner you did for WAWF, which breaks down to a few simple clicks after our software automatically marshals the appropriate RFID and/or UID data. You can rest assured that those processes will remain just as hassle-free as you’ve always known them to be.

 Watch iRAPT Console Demonstration Here!

Topics: WAWF, Wide Area Workflow, dod compliance, MIL-STD-129, MIL-STD 129R, MIL-STD 130 N, iRAPT

DoD IUID; Let's start with the Basics

Posted by James Lusk on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 15:01 PM

If you work with the Department of Defense, like our clients, you frequently have to work with something called Military Standard 130 n Item Unique Identification, or IUID for short, as the DoD mandates the use of these marks on a growing number of assets. Trying to understand the ins and outs of UID can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the technology and subsequent processes. In light of that, we thought we’d do a series of blogs related to various topics within the IUID world.

Let’s start with a couple of the basic concepts: IUID DoD compliance

1. What is UID?

Think of UID as a social security number for a particular item. The discrete string of characters is globally unique to that particular item. Once a UID is assigned to an item it is never reused, ensuring that item will forever be connected to that mark and data identifier.

            Physical items are marked with UID in the form of a 2D Data Matrix symbol. The Data Matrix consists of black and white modules arranged in squared patterns, and can be decoded by a specialized barcode reader. The Data Matrix will often manifest itself on a poly label or is sometimes etched or dot peened into certain items, ensuring lifetime identification, even if the item is modified in some way.

            This type of identification is critical to the DoD as it deals with millions of assets that require total visibility, lifecycle management and financial accountability. UID provides a practical way to keep up with all items coming and going.

            Picture this: a supplier is sending the DoD an asset and needs to include a UID. Simple, right? Except each item that encompasses the make-up of the asset also needs to have its own UID as well. This ensures that critical components aren’t missing from the final product. It’s like when you were little and your Lego set was missing a brick. There may be 100 pieces that make up your set, but missing just one makes the whole thing unbuildable. Now imagine that on an $80,000 vehicle!

Proper UID compliance ensures situations like that never happen, and moreover; in conjunction with the registry UID provides the DoD a way to record and manage all life cycle events that affect the vehicle including maintenance, upgrades, etc.

2. How Do I Stay Compliant with UID? UID Registry

It’s good to know what UID is, but being able to work with and manage it properly is even more important. This is where the real headache begins. One of the things Odyssey seeks to do is make DoD compliance a no-brainer. Since day one, our software was built to automatically create compliant MIL-STD 130 n and MIL-STD 129 labels with respect to the PDF417 UIIs and electronic submission of end level and embedded UID data to WAWF at time of transaction and subsequently the UID Registry.

Our DoD vendors can either utilize the Odyssey software to marshal their UIDs or they can easily scan or import previously marked items into Odyssey’s software for management and transmission purposes.

Once the UID is in Odyssey, it takes just a single click and, boom, all the data is pushed exactly where it needs to go and our vendors are compliant. What initially seems like a complicated endeavor becomes hassle free and allows UID, which is an incredibly useful asset management tool, to be quick and easy.

            We’ll get into UID and process complexities a little more in upcoming blog posts, but this is the ground floor. For our clients, compliance isn’t a choice, but making something simple that initially seems daunting certainly is.

 

5 Tips to remember  when evaluating  software solutions

Topics: UID, Wide Area Workflow, dod compliance, UID Registry, MIL-STD 130 N, IUID

DoD RFID and Commerce Compliance; Two Common Challenges

Posted by James Lusk on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 12:11 PM

We want to start off by saying that we love RFID technology. We probably love it more than most people will ever realize. But as great as that affection is, we do recognize that there can be challenges in utilizing it correctly. Lately, we’ve noticed that prospective clients have been calling us with two specific issues related to the DoD Commerce process.DoD Software

1. ‘proof of delivery.’ Essentially, suppliers aren’t getting paid for the goods they’re shipping until they are able to prove the shipment occurred and was delivered.

2. the General Service Administration (GSA) recently transferring management of their contracts to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

      These two issues, if not approached correctly, can throw a wrench into the machine of any supplier looking to ship their products in the most efficient manor possible. The complications seem to loom large, but they don’t look like obstacles to us, because we’ve specifically developed our Odyssey software to counteract such scenarios. Allow us to explain.

      We’ll start with 'proof of delivery', as this tends to be more of a widespread issue. When a DoD supplier sends something to the Government that requires a RFID tag they must ensure that the information they provide is 100 percent accurate. If the label data isn’t inputted correctly into Wide Area Workflow (WAWF), the supplier won’t find out until they see they haven’t been paid, which may be 30 days later.  Contacting the Government in this case often doesn’t solve the problem either. Without proper tags/MIL-STD 129R labels and corresponding database reconciliation, there’s no way for the receiving agency to properly accept the shipment. The supplier is left to search through their files, make sure they’re organized, get a copy of the packing slip, and shippers receipt label (UPS, FEDEX etc.) and send to DLA. Needless to say, this situation, that we have dubbed ‘forensic accounting,’ is all too easy to fall into, and can cause a variety of issues that include accounting and wasted resources.

      A RFID tag is composed of 24 characters and can easily succumb to human error when being transposed or hand entered into WAWF. Since RFID technology only works properly when it’s being used 100% accurately, a little bit of human error can cause a lot of headache. This is supremely easy to fix, however. Odyssey’s proprietary software combats this issue by marshaling the tag data within its software and in conjunction with electronically received contract data. Odyssey’s customers don’t have to touch the tag, which means the information can be sent to the DoD with 100% accuracy. Issues with proof of delivery become completely nonexistent. Wondering whether or not the information that’s been sent to the DoD is correct, and waiting a month hoping to receive payment, becomes a thing of the past.

       The second issue that we’ve seen recently deals with suppliers of products whose contracts were formerly managed by GSA, such as, but not limited to, paints and adhesives. These contractors are suddenly faced with a slew of new label and data requirements they need to meet. DLA began managing these former GSA contracts approximately six months ago. By being thrust into a space they’re not as familiar with, these contractors have struggled with creating the correct labels and processes for invoicing through Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) DoD approved Softward

      Previously, these suppliers would ship orders via a typical commercial shipment company like UPS with no additional label marking requirements. That is no longer the case, however, as the DLA requires MIL-STD 129R case and military shipping labels, scheduling of shipment through the Vendor Shipment Module (VSM) as well as a submission to Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) for shipment notices including composition and payment. Most of these suppliers have never even heard of these military standards and websites, and sudden requirement of their utilization is intimidating. Odyssey can easily step in and provide a solution that’s both quick to learn and easy to operate, which means they won’t lose any time or efficiency shipping their product. This ease and efficiency is born mainly from Odyssey managing compliance behind the scenes. Any person could be pulled off the street and taught how to use the software because the tricky stuff is handled automatically.

      We like to think of ourselves as problem solvers. RFID technology, while practical and efficient, does present challenges to its adopters. The industry as whole is still evolving, and we’re striving to be the foremost leaders within the DoD space. The Odyssey solution eliminates a multitude of issues and inconveniences associated with RFID. We ‘ve recently seen these two specific issues popping up in droves and we want to let suppliers know there is an easy solution to both of them.

 

Watch iRAPT Console VSM Integration Here!

Topics: DoD approved software, WAWF, RFID, Wide Area Workflow, VSM, MIL-STD-129, dod compliance, MIL-STD 129R

The UID Registry is Migrating to WAWF

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

If you weren’t aware, some big changes are coming to the UID Registry on the planned date of November 3rd.

       Specifically, the IUID Registry is migrating to the Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) e-Business Suite, and with it, changes to when and where UID information needs to be submitted DoD Software Compliancefor new acquisitions. Click here to read more about the migration from the DoD Procurement Toolbox. This new policy appears to be an attempt to make things easier on the supplier, as well as ensure DoD compliance across the board by all registered vendors. 

        This will no doubt cause headaches and potential process changes for some, particularly when it comes to creating compliant labels and submitting the UID data to WAWF at the time of transaction. Some users may be accustomed to simply submitting contract and transactional shipment data to WAWF initially and then circling back to the UID Registry when it’s convenient, if at all. That will no longer be a viable option, as the data will now flow from WAWF to the UID Registry. In other words, the Registry will no longer exist in and of itself for new acquisition submissions.

     Of course, it’s difficult to guess how the Department of Defense will enforce this new change, but noncompliance could potentially lead to issues such as payment delays and negatively-impacted vendor scores. Simply put, this change is important to get right.

     We at Odyssey are actually pretty excited about the UID Registry migration to WAWF e-Business Suite, though. Since day one, our software was built to automatically create compliant labels with respect to the PDF417 UIIs and submit UID pedigree data to WAWF and subsequently the UID Registry at the time of transaction. Vendors can either utilize the Odyssey software to marshal their UIDs or they can easily scan or import previously marked items into Odyssey’s DoD Compliance Softwaresoftware for management and transmission purposes.

     Once the UID is tied to a transaction in Odyssey, whether RFID is required or not, it just takes a single click and, boom, all the data is pushed exactly where it needs to go and Vendors are compliant.

     A process that might have been a hassle, caused delays or worse; has been condensed into a get-in-get-out solution that takes the guesswork out of all MIL-STD 129 R and MIL-STD 130 N label creation, data entry and final submission for compliance and payment

     So, ultimately, how important is this UID Registry migration to Odyssey and its users? From a purely practical standpoint, not very. Odyssey users will continue to interface with the software as normal. No extra process steps or new settings that need to be toggled will be added. Our users are already 100% compliant with the new regulation. In another sense, however, the change is important because this migration, and Odyssey’s proactive compliance with it, shows that we’re staying ahead of the curve when it comes to DoD regulations.

   In the end, this migration makes us happy, because we’ve strived to design a compliant, transparent, repeatable program that’s quick and easy for our users. UID data is extremely important to the DoD because it is the backbone of lifecycle management for some of the most important new acquisitions made by our Armed forces. The fact that we don’t need to make a single change to adhere to this migration policy reaffirms our corporate understanding of the importance of upstream activities by DoD vendors and suppliers, and tells us we’re doing something right!

 

5 Tips to remember  when evaluating  software solutions

Topics: DoD approved software, WAWF, UID, Wide Area Workflow, dod compliance, RFID Software, MIL-STD-129, dod compliance, MIL-STD 129R, UID Registry, MIL-STD 130 N, IUID

The Goal and Purpose of VSM

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

If a company or person has been working within the DoD space for any amount of time the Vendor Shipment Module (VSM) formerly known as DPMS is probably somewhat familiar.

If your new to the DoD commerce world and specifically Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) transactions we will attempt to provide some clarity to this piece of the process.

The Vendor Shipment Module or commonly referred to as VSM is a distribution and transportation system that DLA utilizes to support global warfigther efforts. Suppliers access VSM through a web-based portal and registered login information.VSM, DoD Compliance

click here to visit the vsm registration and login page. It is reccomended that each organization register with VSM.

VSM provides DLA the ability to more effectively have in-transit visibility on assests as they move from the vendor to various DLA destinations, ports and ultimately to customers.

VSM was designed in order to provide the most efficient process both physically and fiscally for DLA.

The DLA effort to meet these stated goals is highlighted within VSMs successful implementation resulting in:

  • standard enterprise process
  • reduction of customer wait time
  • reduction of returned/frustrated shipments
  • favorable freight rates

Statistics point to over 2,600 vendors utilizing the system and processing over 100,000 shipments per month. This number is growing rapidly in the wake of the memo dated September 3, 2013 introducing the First Destination Transportation Inatiative.

Maximizing vendor participation increases the economy of scale thus improving the cost savings realized by the government. Cost savings is a mere by-product of deploying human capital in the most efficient manner possible.

In order for the entire supply chain to reach maximum cost savings; efficiencies must be deployed evenly on the vendor and government side of the transaction. Vendors should have the ability to meet these additional requirements as efficiently and effectively as possible.

What about MIL-STD-129 and RFID?

The question often asked is how does utilizing VSM affect the requirement of Military Standard 129 p change 4 specifically RFID?

The answer is that it doesn't. VSM is a valuable, yet additional step in the process. Contracts calling out for Mil-std-129 label requirements including RFID must still be addressed.

DFARS 252.232-7006 and 252.232-7002 and 7003 centered around Passive RFID and electronic submission of payment requests is still activeVSM, WAWF,

The in-transit visibility provided by VSM is not related to the passive RFID mandate which is used to populate Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) for inventory control methodolgy and payment.

It is still very important to address the MIL-STD 129 label requirement. The vendor is also required to submit advance shipment notices (ASN) and commercial invoices (CI), potentially together as a combo directly to WAWF with the appropriate RFID information.

VSM is in addtion too, not in lieu of WAWF

Focusing on the proper completion of these steps will ensure DoD compliance as well as continued high performance vendor scoring and prompt payment.

The government has provided free services and tools for vendors to meet these requirements. Regsitering with the following sites will assist any organizaiton that would like to work in the area of DoD commerce.

Dibbs- DLA Internet Bid Board System

VSM- Vendor Shipment Module

WAWF- Wide Area Workflow

SAM- System for Award Management

Future blog topics will include

  • First Destination Transportation Initiative
  • ASTM D3951 commercial packaging
  • Mil-Std-130N IUID compliance,
  • IUID registry submission
  • UID custodial and lifecycle management

Watch iRAPT Console VSM Integration Here!

Topics: DoD approved software, WAWF, Wide Area Workflow, dod compliance, RFID Software, VSM, MIL-STD-129

MIL-STD-129 RFID software expands its reach

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 @ 16:06 PM

The below excerpt is from an article written by Claire Swedberg and featured in the June 3rd online edition RFID Journal. If you would like to review the article in it's original publication and entirety please click here

This piece highlights the efficiency and compliance an integrated solution offers your organization. MIL-STD-129 Defense requirements can be difficult to master but finding a working solution shouldn't. RFID software can have many applications so it is important to balance the requirements of the customer with the needs and capacity of the organization.

The purpose of a software solutions is to allow users the ability to effectively complete tasks in the most efficient manner possible. Far too often the words 'software' and 'solution' are intertwined; as to suggest that all software is a solution

The size of an organization shouldn't dictate its accessiblity to solutions either. Organizations of all sizes and volume of business, agree integrated solutions are far and away the best way to maximize the efforts of their team!

When your working in a niche space such as the Department of Defense (DoD) DLA Troop Support commerce arena one solution providing integration between DLA Dibbs; Vendor Shipment Module (VSM), VIM-ASAP, Wide Area Workflow (WAWF), and the UID registery makes sense.

RFID Gets Boots on the Ground for Air Force

Wellco is using a solution from Odyssey to create passive UHF RFID labels for every pair of boots, case and pallet, and confirms shipping orders are correct by reading those tags before loading goods onto trucks.

by Claire Swedberg
For the past year, Wellco, a Tennessee manufacturer of combat boots, has been ensuring the accuracy of its shipments, as well as complying with a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) mandate, by applying radio frequency identification labels to every pair of boots that it ships to the U.S. Air Force. The company is reading the labels attached to those boots, as well as to the cases and pallets in which they are packed, in order to confirm that the shipments are correct.
Wellco has been a supplier of combat footwear since 1965. The present generation of combat boots come with a rubber-based sole and a rugged high-traction rubber tread. The company recently opened a new facility in Morristown, Tenn., where its boots are packaged prior to being shipped to military agencies.
To fulfill an order, Wellco packs six tagged pairs of boots in a cardboard box and passes the carton down a conveyor, where two sets of RFID readers and antennas capture the tag ID numbers.
To track those boots, Wellco is employing a software and RFID hardware package supplied by defense commerce solutions company Odyssey. As part of that package, Odyssey is providing Avery Dennison ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, Zebra Technologies R110Xi printers and a Printronix SL4M printer to encode the tags. Odyssey's cloud-based hosted RFID software, known as Visual Shipment Builder, then stores data regarding each order, and about every pair of boots being packed in that order that is linked to a tag number. The information can be accessed by the supplier, and can be submitted electronically to the DOD's Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) system. The RFID-based system also includes Alien Technology readers to interrogate tags attached to cases loaded with goods filling a specific order, according to David Mason, a senior network administrator at Tactical Holdings Operations, Wellco's parent company. MIL 129
At the end of the conveyor, a video screen confirms that the boots chosen are correct for the order being filled, and the system prompts a Zebra printer-encoder to generate an adhesive RFID label for that carton.
While the boots are assembled mostly offsite, the products undergo final manufacturing processes onsite, and are then shipped out to the Air Force. At four workstations, operators apply laces, visually confirm the size and style to match the order, and press the prompt in the Odyssey software to print and encode the labels on the Printronix printer. The workers then take those labels and attach one to each pair of boots, on its laces, after which the pairs are placed in individual boxes, with six such boxed pairs loaded into a case.
****click here for remainder of article****

 


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Topics: DoD approved software, RFID, Wide Area Workflow, RFID Software, Item level RFID

ITEM LEVEL RFID for any Environment

Posted by James Lusk on Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 09:05 AM

We thought we would share the latest announcement of a contract extension and product expansion within the ODYSSEY network of customers. UNICOR The Federal Prison Industries clothing and textile division utilizes the ODYSSEY platform because it has the flexibility to meet internal and external requirements.

Much like your organization, UNICOR is focused on work-flow process, integrity of data, flexibility of application and a scalable solution that allows them to efficiently and effectively meet their customer requirements.

Please keep an eye out for our feature that will focus on the importance of working with the General Services Adminstration (GSA). GSA provides an opportunity that most DoD contractors are not aware of. The article will discuss the process and advantage to working with the government's largest contract management and procurement office.

UNICOR Renews Contract and Adds Functionality with ODYSSEY

UNICOR to add ODYSSEY’s item level RFID solutiondescribe the image

CINCINNATI ODYSSEY, the leader in defense commerce solutions and only Department of Defense (DoD) commerce solution provider delivering an integrated, cross-departmental workflow process utilizing an efficient and effective cloud-based platform, is pleased to announce that it has renewed its contract with UNICOR’s (Federal Prison Industries) clothing and textile division.  

UNICOR has extended its existing license with ODYSSEY and will continue to use ODYSSEY’S Software as a Service (Saas) model. ODYSSEY’s SaaS platform provides system management for DoD contracts, RFID compliance and shipment data submission. Additionally, UNICOR purchased new licenses and began utilizing ODYSSEY’s item level RFID solution as an add-on to existing modules. This functionality allows UNICOR to efficiently address evolving DoD RFID compliance requirements. UNICOR has utilized ODYSSEY for the past six years with more than 20 facilities using the ODYSSEY platform.

“With our scalable SaaS platform, our customers can more efficiently and effectively meet customer requirements as well as customize a process that works within their particular IT environment,” said James Lusk, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, ODYSSEY. “We are thrilled that UNICOR has chosen ODYSSEY for continued services for DoD RFID compliance, and contract management.”

Schedule a 20 Minute Call!

For more information about ODYSSEY and their defense commerce solutions, visit http://www.odysseydcs.com/.

About UNICOR

The mission of the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI) is to protect society, reduce crime, aid in the security of the Nation’s prisons and decrease taxpayer burden, by assisting inmates with developing vital skills necessary for successful reentry to society. Through the production of market-priced quality goods and services, FPI provides job training and work opportunities to inmates, while minimizing impact on private industry and labor. For more information, visit http://www.unicor.gov/.

About ODYSSEY

ODYSSEY was founded in 2006, intent on being a one-of-a-kind Department of Defense (DoD) commerce solution provider. Seven years later, ODYSSEY stands as the only provider delivering an integrated, cross-departmental workflow process utilizing an efficient and effective cloud-based platform. ODYSSEY has emerged as the leader in defense commerce solutions and the preferred platform for hundreds of DoD commercial suppliers, non-profit government partners and federal agencies. Partners of ODYSSEY have transformed their DoD commerce by streamlining the entire workflow process into a review environment rather than data entry. For more information, visit http://www.odysseydcs.com/

 

Topics: DoD approved software, RFID, Wide Area Workflow, WAWF Login, dod compliance, RFID Software, Item level RFID, VIM-ASAP

DoD Approved Software integrates with VSM and WAWF

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

We wanted to share the below press release regarding ODYSSEY's new integration with VSM.DoD approved software

As discussed in previous blog posts software solutions that are integrated offer users the ability to work in the most efficient manor possible.

Please take a moment and review any previous blog posts as well as the below press release reiterating the value of integrated solutions for DoD suppliers.    

ODYSSEY is First to Offer VSM Integration for DoD Suppliers, Non- profit Government Partners and Federal Agencies

ODYSSEY’s WAWF Console VSM Integration Modernizes Department of Defense Commerce Workflow Process

CINCINNATI — ODYSSEY (http://www.odysseydcs.com/), the leader in defense commerce solutions and only Department of Defense (DoD) commerce solution provider delivering an integrated, cross-departmental workflow process utilizing an efficient and effective cloud- based platform, announced today that its WAWF Console module will offer full vendor shipment module (VSM) integration. The addition of this interactive functionality makes ODYSSEY the first and only company to offer such comprehensive services to DoD commercial suppliers, non- profit government partners and federal agencies. RFID Software, DoD Approved

This integration will allow organizations to streamline their DoD commerce processes by working within one comprehensive platform. Programmatically and in real-time, users will be able to submit required contract data and receive updated shipping instructions from VSM without leaving their WAWF Console module, allowing organizations to work efficiently by eliminating redundant data entry and opportunity for error. The efforts put forth through calibration on each side will also have a direct and immediate benefit within the DoD supply chain. These measures will help ensure integrity of data relevant to critical shipping instructions, as well as assist in the DoD inventory control methodology. The data the integration will directly incorporate into RFID and Non-RFID military standard compliant labels include, but are not limited to, updated TCN numbers, project codes, ship to DoDAACs, and ultimate consignee. 

“The VSM Integration essentially enables us to communicate directly with the government module, so when we process these transactions, we can stay within the ODYSSEY platform without having to log out. This allows us to shave about five minutes off of each order. We process roughly 1,000 orders a month, so this really adds up,” said Patrick Able, General Manager of Government Business, TW Metals. “And we appreciate that Odyssey made us a part of this process. When they developed this product, they actually asked for our feedback so they could create something that would be the most beneficial to their clients. Each time Odyssey adds capability to their platform, we save time, and in this climate of price pressure, limited budgets and increased competition, time is money. This is vital to our long-term success in the government market.”

We are thrilled to offer this added level of integration to our clients,” said James Lusk, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, ODYSSEY. “DoD suppliers follow very specific, and at times, complicated requirements to complete a successful transaction; our job is to make that as seamless as possible.”

For more information about ODYSSEY’s WAWF Console VSM integration and other defense commerce soutions, visit http://www.odysseydcs.com/.

 

 

Watch iRAPT Console VSM Integration Here!

About ODYSSEY                     

ODYSSEY was founded in 2006, intent on being a one-of-a-kind Department of Defense (DoD) commerce solution provider. Seven years later, ODYSSEY stands as the only provider delivering an integrated, cross-departmental workflow process utilizing an efficient and effective cloud-based platform. ODYSSEY has emerged as the leader in defense commerce solutions and the preferred platform for hundreds of DoD commercial suppliers, non-profit government partners and federal agencies. Partners of ODYSSEY have transformed their DoD commerce by streamlining the entire workflow process into a review environment rather than data entry. For more information, visit http://www.odysseydcs.com/.

 

 


Topics: DoD approved software, WAWF, RFID, UID, Wide Area Workflow, WAWF Login, dod compliance, RFID Software, VSM, DPMS

RFID Software; DoD shipping resource integration

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 @ 16:03 PM

Since you're reading this article it's probable that you or someone in your company is familiar with the required special steps it takes to process a DoD award versus an order from a standard commercial entity.

The DoD process is often overwhelming and missunderstood by companies working in government space. The reason it is a challenge for these companies and their personnel is because the required steps and data vary depending on the

  • Issuing agency, 
  • Award type,
  • Receiving depot and,
  • Asset class, etc.

 Updated 'Ship To DoDAAC'   RFID software

One of the steps in the DoD process involves receiving shipping information from the government so that compliant MIL-STD 129 p change 4  labels can be created and a shipment successfully transmitted to WAWF for payment.

The DoD methodology behind this process may seem odd to some, but it does make sense. 

Often times it is impossible at 'time of award' to know exactly where an asset is headed or the appropriate DoDAAC information to provide the contractor.

Because of the gap in 'practical information' the contractor must then reach out to the government at time of shipment to obtain the proper 'Ship To DoDAAC'.

The only way the data can be obtained is by logging into the government's site  DLA and Vendor Shipment Module VSM formerly known as DPMS.

Once logged into the site, the contractor must first provide data about the award so that they are able to receive the required information regarding the appropriate 'Ship To DoDAAC'.

The integrity of these data elements is extremely important and required within two areas of a compliant shipment.

  1. Human readable and barcoded on a physical label
  2. Transmitted to WAWF for accounting purposes

On the surface obtaining this information sounds like a pretty straight forward deal.

The challenge in this process is that all the other tasks involved with creating compliant labels are occurring in one or more unrelated software applications outside of the government's website.

The user is forced to 'copy and paste' or 'type in' information from multiple websites-into other websites to successfully complete a transaction. Data is being transmitted through various methods including

  • hand entering
  • copy and paste
  • writing down and re-typing
  • copying and handing off

and all of these examples must be manged with zero opportunity for error otherwise the organizations ABVS score is negatively affected or worse, non-payment ensues.

That is tough stuff and a lot of unneeded pressure! 

This one example is reason enough for companies to shy away from bidding on government contracts.

Integrated Solutions       describe the image

The ideal situation for a company is to have all DoD commerce activities,including RFID software; integrate with the many resources provided by the government.

Integrated software solutions allow customers to complete all tasks from one interface without logging in and out of software applications, websites or utilizing hand written notes. 

With respect to VSM and the data required to complete compliant labels and shipments; integration IS possible!

Odyssey-the leader in defense commerce solutions is the first solution provider to offer DoD suppliers an integrated and automated way to retrieve the following data elements and more!

  • Ship to DoDAACs and Addresses
  • TCN #'s
  • Priority Code
  • POD
  • Project Code
  • Required Delivery Date
  • Ultimate Consignee

DoD work is great although spending 80% of employees time on 20% of business is neither Efficient or Effective

If the DoD is the core of your business it makes sense to do things as Efficiently and Effectively as possible

Reach out to us and we will evaluate your current process and help determine if the revolution in DoD commerce is a good fit for your organization!

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Topics: DoD approved software, WAWF, Wide Area Workflow, WAWF Login, RFID Software, VSM, DPMS

Is Wide Area Workflow login the only way?

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 @ 15:11 PM

Is utilizing a Wide Area Workflow login (WAWF) the only way to do buisness with the government?

We hear this question all the time so it only makes sense to discuss the what, when, why and how surrounding WAWF.

The short answer is No; WAWF is not the only way to interact with the government. There are numerous avenues to submit packing information, receiving reports, invoices, asset data, or receive payment from the government.

These avenues are dictated by multiple factors including but not limited to:  Wide Area Workflow, WAWF login

  • Contracting office,

  • Type of buy, award or purchase from the government,

  • Delivery timing and urgency in which the asset is required,

  • Administering agency responsible for overseeing the transaction.

GSA and eMall often (but not always) utilize a credit card to purchase items from suppliers, and in that situation WAWF is not required.

Awards may also be administered through a particular program whereby the buyer or customer (DoD agency or office) directs the supplier to invoice a specific system developed and managed for the program's sole purpose.

While these examples do exist; they are more often the exception rather than the rule.

The majority of the 20,296 active DoD suppliers working against the over 330,000 active contracts are mandated to submit packing information (including RFID and UID )and invoices to the government’s database; WAWF.

WAWF serves many masters within the DoD space

Organizations utilize their WAWF login through a web interface to enter contract, packing, RFID, UID, shipment, and invoicing data. Organizations perform these tasks in WAWF to meet mandated compliance and invoicing processes.  These steps are extremely important to the supplying organization as well as the government.

The data elements entered in WAWF have multiple functions and when executed properly they automatically flow to specific end users on the government side including accounting and logistics teams.

The integrity of the data entered in WAWF is of the utmost importance.

The government relies on WAWF as a correct and up-to-date database representingWide Area Workflow, WAWF login

  • assets shipped to the government,

  • assets received by the government and

  • transactions set for payment to the supplying organization.

The second piece of the puzzle directly affecting WAWF and the supplier’s success is the labeling component.

The physical assets are mandated to be represented by MIL-STD 129 p change 4 and/or MIL-STD 130 N label requirements. The labels must have the same data that were entered in WAWF represented in a combination of human and non-human readable elements.

Organizations effectively meeting these data and label requirements are initiating the first steps in the government’s inventory control methodology and ensuring their own success as a DoD supplier

How does an organization properly manage these steps?

As you're reading this your first thought may be “If I manually enter data, how do we know it is correct?” This thought would be very insightful on your part. 

WAWF works great for its intended purpose of reducing paper documentation and contract lifecycle management and record. WAWF is not a clearing house for data nor does it marshal or manage RFID and UID data.

The onus to be 100% accurate throughout the entire process, each and every time is placed squarely on the supplier and typically involves multiple departments.

Any single error from manually entered data can  affect the integrity of the database, cause a rejection of the transaction or worse, acceptance and non-payment down the road.

We will cover errors, frustrated freight and proof of delivery scenarios in future blog posts so subscribe now to stay up to date!      

                    WAWF Login, DoD approved software

One caveat to the this process is the ability to submit data directly to the WAWF database and bypass the redundant nature of the web interface. Achieving maximum effieciency is only accomplished by allowing suppliers to do what they do best.

This option sounds great however most supplier organizations don't have the resources, government approved status, or know-how to create an integrated connection between themselves, the issuing agency and WAWF.....and why would they?

While there are many factors involved in the what, when, why and how a supplier interacts with WAWF a small few are very clear.

Direct WAWF integration is the most efficient and effective way to manage and submit compliant shipping, RFID and UID and invoicing data. 

When used to its fullest potential, the WAWF database is a great tool serving both the supplier and the DoD very well.

Compliance and efficiency are the two most important factors in becoming a successful DoD supplying organization.

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Topics: WAWF, RFID, UID, Wide Area Workflow, WAWF Login, dod compliance