The DOD’s Unique Identification (UID) initiative is an effort to apply international standards to the goal of uniquely identifying items in the DOD inventory. Serial numbers have long served that purpose, but fail to provide globally unique identification given that any number of manufacturers can use the same serial number. Simply put, UIDs work by incorporating the manufacturers CAGE code into each UID, thus differentiating identical serial numbers from each other.
Since most UID part marking requires identification that is permanently affixed to an item, without effecting its performance, actual UID labeling is generally more of a manufacturing issue than a concern during preparation of items for delivery to the DOD. However, UID still impacts the packaging and labeling process because UID data must be incorporated into Mil-Std-129 container label, correlated with Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) data and collected for submission to Wide Area Workflow (WAWF).
UID data is submitted to WAWF twice. First as part of the Receiving Report so the government may know and accept the UIDs it is buying. This UID data is also routed to the UID Registry for permanent storage. UID data is also correlated with RFID data, allowing depots to know which UIDs are in each container.
All of this data can be a challenge to submit efficiently and accurately when using the WAWF web application. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is provided by WAWF to support contractors that generate more data than may be conveniently or accurately submitted manually.
The availability of EDI allows UID and RFID data to be collected, organized and reviewed prior to submission, then easily sent to WAWF electronically in EDI transactions.