It’s hard to believe A2B has been focused on IUID for ten years. Although the adoption of IUID by the Department of Defense didn’t really become official until January of 2004, a lot of time and effort went into formulating the final policy and making sure the department could hit the ground running on that date.

Looking back, it’s clear that one of the key aspects of IUID that made it such an attractive investment for the DoD was the promising advantages of implementing the technology at the very beginning of an asset’s lifecycle – the procurement stage.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that, from an outsider’s perspective, using IUID as part of a procurement strategy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when the goal is to get the optimal value out of IUID barcode and automated data capture. Most see it primarily as a way to track items, manage inventories, monitor warranties and repair cycles, and have better visibility into the movement of all their assets. Procurement and acquisition practices may appear to be detached from these processes. But they’re not. It’s only when you layer on the DoD’s eBusiness initiative, that it starts to make much more sense.

eBusiness is a strategic initiative by the DoD to improve government acquisition practices. Consider the extraordinary amount of time and paperwork required to document a manufacturer’s production, packaging, shipping, invoicing, receiving and inspection back in the 1990s. Today, all these transactions are easily handled electronically.

From A2B’s perspective, the electronic transaction infrastructure needed to support the line item shipment of parts and equipment to the DoD for receipt and inspection, starts with the global identification of each item. That’s where IUID comes in.

IUID has become the central focus in ensuring that all “things” made for the DoD are identifiable and linked to a specific invoice for prompt action by the government at each transactional stage of the procurement process: receipt, inspection and payment. Managing all of these transactions efficiently is as complex as it is necessary. But IUID makes it all work. In fact, we just released the latest version of our best-of-breed cloud-based software, UC! Web 2.5, with new features that hit the procurement issues facing the DoD head on. It manages all transactions seamlessly with exceptional data integrity.

UC! Web is being used successfully by many of the top 50 DoD defense contractors in the country. I’m proud to say that, ten years on, we’re able to drive innovations in IUID technology that make our software product even better. And I’m excited to think about what the next decade will bring.