The DLA’s Vendor Shipment Module (VSM) web application is of great value to the DLA in managing shipping arrangements for defense contractors.   Its primary function is to provide the current address of defense activities and assign Transportation Control Numbers (TCN’s) to shipments.   More recently VSM has begun to provide shipping labels for small parcel services, such as Fed Ex and UPS. This relieves the vendor of that task and billing for it, and allows the Government to negotiate favorable rates.   For larger shipments (TL/LTL), VSM provides the necessary paperwork for transportation carriers.

Using the VSM web site can be somewhat cumbersome.  For defense contractors with automation in place for Mil-Std-129 labeling and submission of Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) transactions, use of the VSM web site can seem like a lot of unnecessary effort.

The MIL-Comply VSM Automation feature eliminates the need to access the VSM web application, as well as the need to transcribe information from the VSM web application into other systems.   Contractors that automatically download electronic contract data into MIL-Comply can prepare container and shipment labels, and invoice the Government with minimal data entry and without accessing web sites.   DCMA shipments that require acceptance prior to shipment can achieve that electronically rather than entering data into the WAWF web site.

Creating VSM Shipments

Shipments with VSM Automation can be created in MIL-Comply using one of these methods:

  • Receipt of an electronic purchase order (EDI 850) from DLA/DIBBS
  • Using a shipment template
  • Copying a similar shipment
  • Entering the shipment data manually (with the help of parts and address databases, various wizards)
  • Importing shipment data from a business system or other source

Define Container Dimensions while Printing Mil-Std-129 Labels

VSM requires the number of containers to be shipped, along with their weights and dimensions. Comply/Labeling simply collects that information while preparing exterior container labels (Mil-Std-129). A click of a button sends a request to VSM for shipping instructions.   For small parcels accepted at destination, VSM will immediately respond with a TCN and an official carrier shipping label for each container. These can be printed on laser or thermal-transfer (e.g. UPS provided) printers and applied for shipment.

The TCN flows into the Military Shipment Label (MSL) that Labeling can print to a laser or thermal-transfer printer. Or you can print VSM’s PDF version on a laser printer.  Labeling‘s VSM Automation includes access to the full menu of Mil-Std-129 formats for unit and exterior containers, UIDs, etc.

WAWF Automation

Because the MIL-Comply WAWF and VSM processes are so tightly integrated, completely one you gets you 90% done with the other. For DCMA shipments that are accepted at origin, you really need only to added container dimensions in order to submit to VSM. Creating a WAWF Receiving Report for VSM Fast Pay shipments just requires adding address codes for the payment and contract administration offices. Using Comply/Shipper‘s templates makes that quick and easy.

For DIBBS orders, you can nearly eliminate all data entry by downloading purchase orders directly into Shipper or Labeling. Then it’s matter of simply adding container dimensions for VSM and an invoice number for WAWF. VSM will supply a TCN and the Ship-To address.