It is crucial that a contractor or supplier working with the DoD understands the government’s mission for paperless acquisition and property transfers in order to improve their own internal processes to meet them. Not understanding and meeting the government’s requirements regarding paperless acquisition and property transfers, contractors run the risk of jeopardizing their contract, failing an audit, or not getting paid.
Why Paperless Invoicing?
The government’s mission is to streamline and modernize their invoice collection by moving to a paperless acquisition system. Paperless acquisition of invoices improves accessibility, eliminates lost documents and greatly decreases the processing time. Gone are the days of triplicate paper invoices. The contractors that work with the DoD are required to use the secure web-based system iRAPT (Invoicing, Receipt, Acceptance, and Property Transfer) which is part of the e-Business Wide Area Workflow or WAWF suite (see figure 1) for all their government invoices and shipments. The WAWF e-Business Suite is a complex system. It requires a coordinated effort from your organization to manage and submit the appropriate data through the correct channels. As a government contractor (shown as a “Vendor” in figure 1 below), your ability to navigate this ecosystem properly is essential to your program’s success. The DoD requires that you submit your data accurately into the iRAPT application to record contracts, invoices and receiving reports in order to be paid. The government must inspect, accept and approve all shipments of end items prior to sign off on final invoice payment.
Figure 1 – Illustrates the complexity of current WAWF and iRAPT functionality. Vendors interact with WAWF and iRAPT in many different ways: via FTP, web, or EDI (all EDI transactions are done through GEX – Global Exchange Services). In addition,a broad and diverse group of government officials, including Inspector, Acceptor, Reviewer, Approver, LPO Reviewer, LPO, and Pay Offical, interact with WAWF and iRAPT
Why Paperless Registration of Property Shipments and Receipts?
The government also uses and requires paperless property shipments and receipts. For this transfer of custody to meet contract requirements to DFARs, contractors must have the correct IUID label that matches the custody transfer documents and data being submitted to iRAPT and the IUID Registry. Far too often, a contractor will have the IUID labels correct on the shipment but will have failed at registering that same data with the DoD. Understanding how to manage the data in the IUID and iRAPT registration process is critical to your success.
Figure 2 – Illustrates the current iRAPT Property functionality within WAWF. Property Shippers and Property Receivers interact with iRAPT in many different ways: via FTP, web, or EDI (all EDI transactions are done through GEX – Global Exchange Services). Interactions between iRAPT and the IUID Registry and Property System are numerous and complex.
How the DoD’s Electronic Submission Requirements Impact Your Business?
To consistently meet all of the DoD requirements for electronic reporting, contractors and suppliers must implement the proper processes that ensure the correct data comes from the correct departments. For instance,
- Contract data comes from the Program Management office
- Invoice data comes from Finance
- Product data comes from Manufacturing
- Unique Item Identification (IUID) data comes from Quality Assurance
- Shipment data (Military Shipping Labels, DD250s or Receiving Report and Advanced Ship Notifications) comes from Warehouse and Shipping
- Asset data (Custody Transfers, DD1149s) comes from Property Management
If the wrong data is collected from any of these departments, it can result in a great amount of wasted time to correct the data, while putting a significant strain on reporting. Eventually, this can lead to rejected payments or shipments from the DoD.
Why Is This Critical?
Government contractors within the DoD community are responsible for timely and accurate reporting of shipments, invoices, property and material. While contractors may be following the military standard in the identification and shipment of products, if they are not reporting electronically to iRAPT and IUID Registry then they are not in compliance with DFARs regulations. By not managing this reporting requirement correctly, these contractors are at risk of payment or shipment rejections as well as jeopardizing their DoD contract.
How To Better Automate Electronic Submissions
Relying on Excel spreadsheets and manual data entry into the iRAPT and IUID registry is inefficient and an error-prone approach. Using a cloud-based, asset tracking and data management system like UC! Web™ from A2B Tracking allows you to automate iRAPT reporting while accurately tracking and storing all iRAPT data from all of your departments, ensuring compliance with military standards and integrating automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) systems seamlessly into diverse workflows.