Logistics is a complex process that involves the shipping, handling, and storage or a vast number of objects. A system must be in place that can meet the requirements and demands posed by such a challenging task. There are many solutions that can be used to address the logistics issue, but many of them are not optimized and well designed. The Military has used a standardized system for their logistic needs for many years. Beginning in the 1990s, this system was adopted by commercial and private sector groups. As its use expanded, more groups began using the UID system for object identification. UID labels play a central part in this system.
The Department of Defense requires that all items that it owns must be in accordance with MIL-STD-130. This is a series of documents that outline the requirements of item labeling. Among these requirement UID labels must convey information regarding a specific object or group of objects through two methods. The first is through clearly legible text that is accessible to humans. The text is required to be of a certain size and style. Secondly, a bar-code matrix must be available on the item for scanning by a computer system. UID labels are in place to make the logistics process more efficient through proper identification.
In order to be in accordance with the Military labeling scheme, a certain amount of information must be expressed through the UID labels. Expiration date, group number, transportation and storage requirements, all must be clearly and easily available to determine. Many problems can develop at any point during the logistics process. An item may become misplaced or kept in an inadequate environment, leading to lost capital and time.
Each item that is marked with UID labels also has the benefit of being included in a large database. This database is known as the UID registry and it is a information warehouse that contains data on all items owned by the Department of Defense or owned by third party contractors. Having a central database has innumerable benefits to the logistic cycle.
The Military has used UID labels with a great deal of success. Recently, it has become an effective tool for the private sector as well. Logistical issues can be reduced and managed through the use of UID labels. Adherence to the labeling system is a complex topic and an expert in the field should be contacted to aid in the integration process.