Finally the dust has settled from the UID Forum in Orlando.  The conference produced the largest turn out of IUID professionals of any UID Forum to date – by a long shot.  This reinforces that momentum continues to build at a faster rate than ever before.

With many new faces from the conference, I want to surface a topic that we here at A2B have been stressing for years – data management.

Data is often the last issue to be considered when people deal with unique asset identification for UID.  Ignore data at your peril, however, because data offers the greatest potential for “land mines” in the entire compliance process.

Here’s a puzzle for you to solve: What would happen should the wrong pedigree (incorrect syntax) be encoded into a MIL-STD-130 plate that is then riveted or somehow permanently affixed to an item and that incorrect data is also sent to the UID Registry?  What would be required to unravel that incorrect UID?

Although the answers are not printed upside down, here are the steps that would be required:

  1. Remove the item from the UID Registry.
  2. Remove the MIL-STD-130 barcode from the item itself. This can be a challenge for deployed items.
  3. Recreate the correct MIL-STD-130 barcode.
  4. Affix the new barcode and send the correct data to the UID Registry.

Now multiply that by hundreds or thousands of items and you have a nightmare on your hands.

There is one more wrinkle in this puzzle. What if the incorrectly marked UIDs get into the supply chain? That would mean the bad barcodes are being scanned and bad data is populating systems for procurement, engineering, maintenance, property management and logistics.

Getting the data correct at the beginning of the data “food chain” is critical to getting the down-stream benefits of UID.