UID Misconceptions Can Hinder Your Business

IUID adoption offers many advantages to contractors and suppliers who sell their products to the DoD. UID is an important mandate for the DoD, and government program managers and contractors selling to the DOD need to comply with this mandate.

Yet IUID adoption is slow, with only a small percentage of suppliers actually complying. Resistance to implementing an IUID process is based on a variety of misinformation. Don’t let misconceptions about UID compliance keep your business from realizing the benefits you’ll see with a UID program. Our partner, Zebra Technologies, offers the following information from their white paper Sensible DoD Asset Management and Tracking: The Business Case for Thermal Label Printing for IUID Marking“. The following excerpt debunks much of the misinformation keeping you from effective UID integration.

IUID marking is complex and expensive. This is only true if complex and expensive processes, such as direct part marking (DPM) with lasers, are selected. In most cases that is unnecessary. In fact, DoD has estimated that simple and inexpensive thermal transfer bar coded labels are sufficient for about 80 percent of all assets requiring an IUID mark. Using expensive techniques is an easily avoidable mistake that can be costly, time-consuming, and totally unnecessary.

IUID marks have to last forever! Not true. DoD only requires that most IUID markings last for the useful life of the asset—from a few years to a few decades, not for eternity. Simple thermal printer labels on durable materials have a useful lifespan more than satisfactory to match most government asset categories.

IUID marking is just one more nuisance and expense of doing business with the government. While it’s true that DoD is smart to be out in the forefront of this new business process, the UID trend is rapidly spreading throughout the commercial world as well. From airlines to car manufacturers to medical device and computer makers, leading private sector enterprises around the world are eagerly adopting asset tracking technologies—not because they are required to, but because UID makes good business sense.

Only large contractors can afford UID and meet all the requirements. Not true according to The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, which states: “The UID Program Office is unaware of any small business that cannot afford to comply with the UID policy . . . We anticipate that most small vendors will be able to comply using labels and data plates readily and inexpensively available in the commercial market.”

Contractors selling to the DoD will have to take on all the expense, manpower, equipment, and expertise in-house in order to comply with UID. Proven packaged solutions exist and can be affordably obtained and brought into play quickly. Larger manufacturers will usually benefit from purchasing their own thermal bar code label printers or other equipment along with appropriate training; large-volume use or continuing government contracts will ensure a secure ROI. However, the cost-effective solution for some smaller or less-frequent DoD suppliers may be a packaged solution.

IUID requirements are an obstacle to doing business with the government and have little use beyond meeting DoD requirements. This is the biggest myth of all. In fact, once UID equipment and processes have been put in place, a host of business benefits can be harvested by manufacturers and suppliers who learn how to apply the power of asset management internally, as well as externally for their government customer.

Aside from being a mandated requirements for DoD suppliers and contractors, IUID marking makes good business sense. Benefits of a bar code-based asset management and tracking program are many: streamlined operations in your supply chain and manufacturing processes, better asset and inventory management, and faster access to highly accurate data.

Now that you know what IUID marking is really all about, you can feel more confident about complying with the DoD UID mandates. Call us and we can put together a solution that is right for your business.

Share Button