A series of roadshows highlighting the important role that codification plays in optimizing the MOD’s inventory will be taking place during February 2016. For those that may not be aware, codification is the cataloguing of military equipment – essentially allocating all MOD kit a NATO Stock Number (or NSN) by checking the form, fit and function to ensure interoperability.
DE&S Project Teams have a mandatory requirement to consider NATO codification at the very beginning of the project lifecycle in order to ensure that all equipment is assigned an NSN. But how many of us actually understand the importance of codification and the critical role codification plays both in terms of its contribution to through life management and in optimizing the size and cost of the DE&S inventory? Well the good news is that subject matter experts are on hand within DE&S to assist you every step of the way, helping to dispel any myths and mysteries surrounding the codification process.
Based at Kentigern House in Glasgow, the UKNCB within DES SEOC SCP is responsible for setting codification policy and for managing the NSN database for all branches of the UK Armed Forces. The team is directly supported by CMCA (UK), a specialist NATO codification company who are contracted to create and maintain codification records on behalf of the MOD until 2018.Richard Ireland, Team Leader for the UKNCB, recently took the time to provide DESider with a brief insight into the world of NATO codification and to offer useful guidance that will be pertinent and of value to ALL Project Teams.
“As a member of the NATO Alliance the UK MOD has for many years used a system of assigning NATO Stock Numbers across all of its military inventory. This is generally referred to as ‘codification’ and the process is designed to ensure that procurement and maintenance of equipment is managed in a way that reduces the cost of ownership burden on the UK tax payers by reducing operational costs through more efficient use of the inventory . Generally speaking, the codification process employs a system of identifiers that capture the key characteristics of an inventory item in order to procure and utilise this item in as many environments as possible based on its ‘item of supply concept’ assignment. In simple terms, codification creates a detailed catalogue of everything our armed forces use on a daily basis across the entire spectrum of the inventory including spares, clothing, medical items, food and anything else the Services need to operate effectively. This catalogue is designed to provide DE&S procurement staff with the necessary reference information to ‘buy once and use many times’ in different scenarios and applications wherever this is possible, thus ensuring that specialist and costly items are not procured unless absolutely necessary, and then only by exception. Consequently it’s important that we take the time to educate and to support DE&S staff on all aspects of NATO codification as its correct usage is critical in maintaining an optimized defence supply chain. Whilst the day-to-day responsibility for codification policy and advice rests with UKNCB staff, we also have a four year enabling contract in place with CMCA (UK) who operates as our single source partner for the creation and maintenance of the NSN library. CMCA (UK) is also ideally placed to assist the DE&S Project Teams and the supply chain with all aspects of codification e-tasking prior to an NSN being assigned to new inventory items.”
UKNCB and CMCA (UK) will shortly be embarking on a series of educational activities at Abbey Wood that will run throughout the year. Events that are planned will include a codification roadshow to encourage DE&S staff to learn more about NATO codification, codification presentations in the lecture theatre, and weekly codification clinics to assist with all technical and administrative queries relating to codification. Dates and locations for the initial roadshow are:
• Monday 22nd February 2016 – Neighbourhood 1 Atrium
• Tuesday 23rd February 2016 – Neighbourhood 3 Atrium
• Wednesday 24th February 2016 – Neighbourhood 2 Atrium
• Thursday 25th February 2016 – Neighbourhood 4 Atrium