Item Unique Identification (IUID) is the gold standard for tracking government assets. Created by the U.S. Department of Defense, IUID provides a comprehensive asset tracking methodology that allows users to manage and track manufactured end items, government furnished property and legacy items, as well as any updates and rebuilds. With IUID, the government can keep track of any asset as it moves, to ensure mission readiness.
As a military operation or a defense contractor, it is important to develop a thorough IUID plan to ensure compliance against all DoD standards. Here are the five things that will help you develop a foolproof IUID implementation plan:
- Map assets to your organization’s program support structure: To design an IUID asset tracking process that will keep your organization in compliance with the military’s stringent standards, you should start by visually mapping out dependencies across all assets within your program teams. It is important to understand how your assets work synergistically to support and maintain your program’s operational structure. Dependencies include custodians that manage assets, relationships between asset components, and interdependent services that depend on your asset.
- Configure your tracking system for your assets’ lifecycle: To ensure that your IUID asset tracking system is reliably and accurately tracking all assets throughout their lifecycle, you should ensure that you are capturing every possible state that an asset can be in, such as “ordered,” “received,” and “retired.” IUID is dependent on total asset visibility to know where an asset is when you need it and if it is useable.
- Integrate your tracking system with your other service management areas: In your organization, you have a unique combination of service management areas, such as purchasing and maintenance, that use their own protocols and systems. For an IUID system to reliably receive continuous, real-time asset tracking information, you need to ensure your IUID system integrates seamlessly with all other service management areas and their systems. This is easily achieved using a software API or Application Programing Interface.
- Build transparency and accountability into your system: Maintaining IUID compliance is a rigorous challenge that requires full transparency and accountability all the way through to a Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) audit. As you prepare to roll out an IUID compliance and asset tracking system, you should set up a system that is able to easily prepare your organization for audits, ensure Certificates of Conformance (CoCs) are easily generated, and that electronic data is flowing through to military systems.
- Distinguish between end item production and property management: When your organization gets audited by the DCMA, you need to ensure your IUID system can distinguish between end-item production and property management. The military does not treat these two categories the same. Items that qualify for IUID are different and reporting requirements are different. End items are assets that are produced by the contractor and delivered to the client, whereas property management refers to managing government-furnished property (GFP) and legacy assets. Thus, end items must be marked, registered and delivered to the client with an Advance Shipping Notice, while GFP and legacy assets only need to be registered if they are modified by the contractor.
Developing a rock-solid IUID implementation plan can feel overwhelming, but it is possible to design an IUID process that will ensure your organization can pass DCMA audits and ultimately track every asset accurately. In order to develop this plan, you must: map your assets to your organization’s program support structure, customize your tracking system for your assets’ lifecycle, integrate your system with your other service management areas, build transparency and accountability into your system, and distinguish between end item production and property management.