Guest Contributor: Zebra Technologies
Improve DoD Asset Management Efficiency
The adoption of item unique identification numbers (IUIDs) is moving slower than expected. Since 2004, the Department of Defense (DoD) required that all newly requisitioned government furnished property be marked with IUID. The DoD’s 60,000-plus suppliers must mark their products, but only a small number are on track. This ambitious item marking policy is essential to the broader DoD goal of achieving visibility of all property, as well as huge numbers of legacy assets, in a comprehensive UID Registry.
Fast and accurate tracking of DoD assets worldwide has the potential to deliver tremendous savings in terms of time, cost, and manpower. The reason why adoption of UID lags in both the government and commercial sector is that not all adopters see the value of the new process.
The Value of IUID is Real
There are multitudes of benefits that bar code-based asset management and tracking can deliver. Contractors and suppliers who actively become a part of the UID transformation of asset management stand to realize significant value. Beyond simply “complying”, they can become partners with DoD planners and managers to bring the entire DoD logistics system into the new century. At the same time, they can streamline their own core business processes. Consider the following benefits:
- Streamline Operations – IUID labels enable end-to-end tracking across many operations, from the supply chain, to manufacturing, to delivery and storage.
- Tighten Manufacturing – Encoding required information onto the manufactured product as an integral component for supporting just-in-time delivery and other asset and inventory management trends.
- Simplify Production – Bar code scanning ensures nearly 100 percent data accuracy, giving production managers precise information for proactive decision making.
- Gain Supply Chain Traceability – IUID marking enables gains in warehouse utilization and may even improve cash flow through faster billing.
- Boost Workforce Efficiency – Bar code scanning is many times faster than manual inspection processes, enabling faster data entry, data collection, and checking
- Manage Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) – Provides an easy-to-scan foundation for item visibility, improved life cycle item management, and accountability.
- Increase Workflow Collaboration – Productivity goes up, mistakes go down, and the bottom line benefits from productive collaboration.
- Improve Quality – Make QC and QA faster and easier to accomplish and while supporting the highest ISO standards
Choosing the Optimal IUID Printing Solution
Thermal transfer printing meets the vast majority of DoD IUID marking requirements. It is readily available, easy to learn and use, and inexpensive compared to every other IUID marking option. Their output is suitable for items where a permanent adhesive label can be affixed to the item.
Thermal transfer printers are designed specifically to create long-lasting bar code labels. This make them ideally suited to meet the DoD’s IUID requirements because they work with a wide range of highly durable media that can withstand extreme temperatures, harsh environments, and the sand and grit of battlefield conditions.
The wealth of business benefits of IUID labeling helps contractors and suppliers streamline their business with the government, while providing improvements to their own workflow, productivity, and competitive edge. Thermal bar code printing is the simple answer to this business need.
For more information about thermal printing and its application for Federal Government and IUID Labeling, read our White Paper Sensible DoD Asset Management and Tracking: The Business Case for Thermal Label Printing for IUID Marking.