The principal objectives of the System are :

  • To facilitate interoperability between user nations.
  • To increase the effectiveness of user nations logistics systems. 
  • To facilitate data handling.
  • To minimise logistics costs of user nations.
  • To increase efficiency in user nations logistics operations.

To achieve these objectives the System provides for each "Item of Supply" (see Paragraph 1.5) to be assigned with :

  • A unique Item Name.
  • A unique classification.
  • A unique identification.
  • A unique NATO Stock Number.

These concepts are further described in Paragraph 1.6.

The data so collected is stored in national databases for immediate retrieval. Additional Technical Characteristics Data of Items of Supply is also held for use as a reference library against which all new Items of Supply may be screened to reveal those which have already had a NATO Stock Number assigned, thus avoiding IoS duplication in NATO inventories.