Contractors only get paid when the DCMA inspects and accepts the shipment and the products within the shipment – and the DCMA does not accept anything that is not compliant to the shipment marking and item marking standards. Think of them as a form of Quality Control; if the shipment doesn’t pass the standards laid out by the contract, your products won’t make it to the government programs who need them, and you won’t get paid.
The DoD must verify that they’ve obtained the correct products, but they also must determine whether or not the shipment conformed to all aspects of the contract obligation.
If MIL STD 129 is called out in the contract, a few critical things must be in place in order for DCMA to accept the shipment:
- An RFID tag must have been embedded as part of the Military Shipping Label (MSL). People mistakenly believe that MIL STD 129 requires additional barcodes, but not necessarily RFID tags. Encoding assets with an RFID tag requires a special label stock that includes embedded microchips, applied via a specialized thermal transfer printer.
- IUID tags must be affixed to the right items, parts, or components.
- Tags must be capable of being scanned with a 2D barcode reader and the barcode must conform to the MIL STD 130 syntax.
- Tags must be verified to all quality standards with Certificates of Conformance to prove to the auditors that a satisfactory grade was achieved when verified.
- Every tag must be registered electronically which means that iRAPT and the IUID Registry has all of the data necessary to allow the DoD programs to manage these assets and shipments from within their own systems.
Every aspect of the shipment and the items within it are subject to scrutiny. The job is not complete on the shipment date; it must be identified and marked according to the correct MIL STD when received. Without taking these steps, payment may be severely delayed or the shipment may be rejected entirely.