Manufacturers who supply products to the defense industry must remain compliant with state, federal, and international regulations. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) manages a large portion of the process for awarding government supply contracts and tracking military assets. Included in the DoD asset management resources is the Item Unique Identification (IUID) program that includes a standardized database for tracking all high-value and sensitive military assets.
To remain competitive, military goods manufacturers must develop internal processes that support the military’s programs. In addition to designing compliant asset tags and labels and creating quality products, these companies must also establish systems that can maintain a high level of traceability. In this post, we’ll introduce several compliance resources that are helpful to reference for a greater understanding of DoD requirements and procedures.
Inventory management software is an important component of an effective defense manufacturing operation. These programs create an automated and reliable system for maintaining important data and preparing for audits and other compliance needs. You can take a look at our list of the 25 best inventory management software programs for defense product manufacturers to learn more about the offerings in the market and how they compare.
We also have a guide to inventory management for defense product manufacturers that shares detailed information for developing a strong inventory program. Many of the software programs and best practices we share are directly relevant to the DoD’s management of military inventory. Understanding these guidelines can help you create a stronger relationship with military entities and other supply chain partners.
There are many great resources available for manufacturers to help navigate the complex network of specifications that govern the defense industry. One example is the compliance website EverySpec, which maintains a collection of over 55,000 specifications. Their database covers documentation from major entities such as NASA, DoD, and DOE. A deep understanding of relevant specifications is vital to running a compliant operation and these documents are of critical importance for products that are sold to the U.S. military.
The Acquisition and Sustainment Department of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense has some great resources for manufacturers and other defense contractors. This page from the Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) site compiles useful information related to the Item Unique Identification program. In addition to definitions of common terms, this page also links to specific DoD instructions, directives, and publications.
Additional resources provided by the DoD are the Department of Defense Procurement Toolbox and the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment (PIEE) which gives direct access to the official IUID registry. Military supply manufacturers who ship products outside the U.S. may also need to review North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) information to confirm compliance with international standards and practices.
When designing nameplates and labels for your products, it may also be helpful to consult with the National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers (GPI) Industry Standards and Practices Manual. This information is useful for understanding how to select the best materials of construction for your product tags. Defense products must be able to withstand harsh environments and use in a variety of different situations. Selecting suitable materials for your labels and tags is another important step toward operating a compliant business.
Metalphoto® anodized aluminum is identified by the National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers (GPI) Industry Standards and Practices Manual as the most durable printed aluminum substrate available due to its ability to withstand extreme environmental conditions and outdoor exposure. Metalphoto also received the highest score among IUID (Item Unique Identification) label materials in a study conducted by the U.S. Navy. With a strong anodized aluminum substrate, Metalphoto is extremely durable, making it one of the best materials to use for asset tags and barcode labels that will be exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
Defense manufacturers must comply with dozens of different regulations that define the construction, use, and transportation of U.S. military assets. As a military supplier, it is also beneficial to integrate systems in a way that makes it easy for your team to monitor and transfer assets to military entities. We hope these resources are helpful to you as you secure new military contracts and expand your business.