Logistics Operations
Products & Services
Non-NATO Nations



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bulletThis system contributes to equipment standardization efforts, which support interoperability, as several weapon systems spare parts can be used interchangeably with others.
bulletA national and NATO wide knowledge of all available military assets and resources allows for :
bulletrationalisation of inventory management by sharing resources spare parts and maintenance activities;
bulletthe minimum distribution of essential spare parts during the deployment of forces in a theatre of operation.
bulletcross service supply between the military branches
bulletsharing of supply support between nations
bulletAn accurate description of the items permits users to readily find equipment, which meets requirements and accomplish replenishment without delay.
bulletThe use of a common language simplifies the technical dialogue between users. Maximum use of coded data allows language independent communications.
bulletThe use of computer technology allows the recording, processing, and transmitting of identification and management data through easily accessible databases.

bulletThe database allows designers and project managers to screen for parts which are already stocked in the supply system and which could be used, rather than introducing a new item. This practice reduces the variety of items to be managed and eliminates unnecessary costs for experimentation, identification, storage and other related supply functions. Approximately 50% of the components used in the design of all new equipment are already codified.
bulletA widespread knowledge of spare parts used within the Armed Forces allows purchasing agencies to:
bulletavoid unnecessary procurement for a specific user when another user has surplus stocks;
bulletcombine orders from several users to benefit from price reductions on large purchases;
bulletaccess several potential sources of supply, thus generating significant savings by promoting competitiveness between suppliers.
bulletaccount for supply costs: senior managers are aided in managing budgets and tracking expenditures when the NCS is used within a supply budget system.
bulletThe system contributes to the standardization of the range of equipment performing the same functions, thus reducing the number of spare parts required to manage each weapon system.
bulletThe cancellation of duplicates reduces the stock levels and generates savings in storage space, handling assets and personnel.

The NATO Codification System and its item description patterns offer advantages even for participants outside the defence community.


bulletMany non-NATO nations have adopted the NATO codification system because of their requirement to codify equipment supplied by the manufacturers. The manufacturers having access to the NATO database can meet their customers' requirements at a lower price.
bulletDescriptions of items enable design engineers to accurately search for and select components or equipment meeting technical or functional characteristics more efficiently than with any commercial catalogue.
bulletRelations and understanding between governments (purchaser) and manufacturers (provider) are greatly enhanced by the use of a common language.
bulletBetter tracking of vendors: The NCS includes a system for identifying and tracking commercial vendors. Combined with procurement systems, managers can systematically track critical information such as past performance by the contractor, addresses and telephone numbers, and political/social data (such as geographical distribution of vendors and manufacturers within a nation. 
bulletHistory of commercial sources: Logisticians can use the NCS to determine past sources for purchases of the item of supply. This can be useful when items are difficult to obtain. 
bulletAid domestic industrial base: When a company's reference number is recorded on an item of supply in the NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics (NMCRL), it is visible to other nations as a potential source for that item. Thus, the company's opportunity for sales is improved.


The accurate descriptions (characteristics, specifications and drawings) found in the supply system disclosing varieties, types and dimensions for items of supply facilitate the work of standardization agencies responsible for developing guidelines.


The in-depth knowledge of the composition of materiels, through detailed descriptions, promotes proper hazardous materiel handling recycling activities that will ensure the protection of the environment and avoid prohibitive restoration costs of polluted sites. This information also ensures required demilitarization activities of military equipment.

Track important information: The system makes it easier for logisticians to recognise whether precious metals may be embedded in a supply item, whether it is hazardous to the environment, or of such high value that it requires special storage procedures. Data in the system can also alert users when supply items may be susceptible to harm during storage or transportation, thus requiring special handling.



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