10 Painful Things About Meeting DoD Labeling Mandates

If your businesses handles a part or an item for use by the Department of Defense, you are most likely required to follow the DoD’s labeling mandates; MIL-STD-130 including UID, MIL-STD-129 including RFID, or both. Whether you are a Prime contractor with many contracts, or a sub-contractor for a DoD supplier, the same rules for compliance and penalties for non-compliance apply!

So what’s so hard about meeting DoD labeling mandates?

  1. You currently haven’t had to print/encode RFID labels? Can your profit margin handle the cost of printers with RFID capabilities? Answer: Pre-printed, pre-encoded RFID labels and tags provide compliance without the additional investment in hardware.
  2. Under MIL-STD-130 with a UID requirement, the labels must be durable to last the life-cycle of the product. How do you know? Answer: Work with your label vendor to choose the correct durable labeling material, adhesives, and matching ribbons proven to perform in the intended environment.
  3. RFID-enabled printers are not available when and where you need them.  Answer: Mobile carts with on-board power are a great way to get the maximum use from a limited number of RFID-enabled printers, or handle those occasional jobs that call for RFID.
  4. You now have to print a DataMatrix code. What it is? And that’s only half the question – why can’t your scanner read it? Answer:  This 2-D symbology can be easily be constructed and printed using  label design software designed for today’s applications. These 2D symbologies require scanners that with 2D scanning capabilities. Choosing a scanner with both linear and 2D capabilities will help you maximize your investment and save time switching scanners at the point of collection. Talk to your labeling vendor for help selecting the correct scanner(s) for your applications.
  5. There are high penalties for noncompliance with either labeling standard or labels that fail. Labels must be verified and proof of compliance may be requested by your DCMA. So how do you know your labels comply? And how do you prove it?   Answer:  Desktop and hand-held verifiers will do the job. For low volume labeling, it may be more economical to have your labels pre-printed and verified or simply verified by an outside vendor.
  6. The MIL-STD-129 requires the shipment label on the carton or pallet. Relevant data must then be entered into the WAWF. Typically the shipment at the dock doors and the administrative part is done in the back office means that data must be written down and manually entered leaving a lot of room for error.  Answer: Traveler Labels are made for just this application. The barcode information is printing on both the top and bottom of the label. The part with the RFID component is affixed to the carton or container and the top part is affixed to the paperwork. Back at the office, the label is scanned to enter the appropriate information – correctly and efficiently.
  7. How do you manage large amounts of data associated with your labeling compliance? If you are handling your data manually, this process is time-consuming and error-prone. Answer:  idWorx!  software fully integrates RFID, UID, WAWF and the UID Registry. With idWorx! there are no electronic submission costs which can save you thousands of dollars annually. See more.
  8. Setting up your labels for the first time can take a lot of time and are you really sure you are in compliance? Answer: Bartender Software includes label design templates specifically for DoD labeling that makes getting started a whole lot easier.
  9. You find you need a dedicated staff to enter in your contract data. Answer: Request EDI.850 from your government contact. Go back to your contract contact person and request your contract data be sent electronically in EDI 850 Data Format. For those who subcontract, this may mean going back to your customer.
  10. traveler-labelYour product is ready to ship and your customer informs you that MIL-STD labels are required. Deadlines don’t change and penalties will be incurred.With little time to make the ship date, what do you do? Answer: Winco ID can help you with all steps of your label production from label materials, printers, printer service, preprinted labels and accelerated delivery schedules. Some compliance labels can be delivered within 24 hour turnaround AND include a Certificate of Compliance.

If DoD (sub)contracts are a large part of your business,  having a staff dedicated to managing the data entry, understanding the rules and keeping current on changes as well as printers to handle the label production, may already be part of your operational expenses.  For others with fewer contracts or sub-contract an occasional job, you are still required to comply when the originating contract calls for specific labeling requirements.

Either way, getting your labels done correctly, having a Certificate of Compliance, handling the associated data and the ability to meet some of the already strict delivery dates may still be challenging.

Where do you start?  Answer: WincoID is dedicated to providing the products, tools, and services to ensure your compliance success.

Winco ID has all the components to help you not only meet MIL-STD-130 including UID and MIL-STD-129 including RFID requirements but enhance your current labeling at the same time. Join us for one of our regional seminars and on-site presentations for your team where we will show you how easy it can be to comply. If you are out of our geographical area, ask about our webinars or download our  MIL-STD-130 & UID eBook and MIL-STD-129 and RFID eBook.

Visit wincoID.com to view the proven solutions to handling military labeling standards. Then give us a call at 800.325.5260 or 603.598.1553 to take the stress out of meeting these government mandates.

Is there something you find challenging about complying with MIL-STD labeling mandates? Share with us.

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