How to establish a National Codification Bureau (NCB)
A. Study and Develop an Understanding of the NATO Codification System (NCS)
Step 1: Familiarization – A core study team needs to establish a thorough understanding of the NCS so they may be able to articulate the basic process and champion the benefits both nationally and internationally with Defense decision-makers.
A core team needs to be established to carry through the analysis, planning and implementation steps. The key personnel involved in the initial actions should be supplemented with team members having broad experience in the existing defense logistics operations (to include corporate purchasing and field level operations) as well as individuals well versed in Information Technology.
A good way to begin the process is to have a team from one of the NATO National Codification Bureaus (NCB), or through BASELOG a combined team, visit the country and provide an extensive workshop on the NCS. A sample agenda for such a workshop is shown below in part. The agenda is developed for a visit of 8 days. The agenda can be shortened or altered to meet the needs of each country. As a result, the country should be able to refine its requirements for establishing an NCB. There are various funds available in some of the NATO countries and AC/135 to fund this type of visit.
Step 2: Concept approval and national support - The use of the NCS needs to be approved “in concept” by national authorities, and support given for detailed planning.
It is very important to have senior defense decision-makers support for NCS implementation. This is essential to insure you will receive the acceptance and cooperation of individual military services. Therefore, you must obtain approval of the concept and support for the detailed study phases. Appropriate “Concept Papers” or briefings, on the merits of introducing a standardized materiel management language for use by the armed forces, need to be given to obtain high-level approvals for further action. This paper should also include a forecast of anticipated cost benefits.
To assist the core team it might be useful to visit a country that operates the NATO Codification System.
The core team must study the various concepts for establishing an NCB, what coverage it should have and whether is should be centralized or decentralized. An introduction to these concepts can be found in part K.
At this point you should obtain senior command’s approval to proceed with the detailed studies. You may wish to have a formal “charter” for the study developed and approved. This initial approval provides the cornerstone for subsequent political, budgetary, and legislative support, which will be necessary for subsequent implementation.
Step 3: Develop a detailed understanding of NCS concepts, technical requirements and the options for implementation.
Send a team of 2-3 to the training courses on offer in some of the NATO NCBs to learn about basic codification followed by a period of on-the-job-training. Those receiving the instruction can then instruct others in the country
The country should as far as possible familiarize themselves with the available documentation on the NCS. Some of the NATO documentation will not be officially available until the country has obtained sponsorship by AC/135 (Allied Committee 135 – The Group of National Directors on Codification), but most of the information they need at this stage will be freely available through workshops, consultations, brochures and Internet access. See part F