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How to establish a National Codification Bureau (NCB)

infrastructure.  BASELOG can be a permanent setup or a temporary setup for a few years while a country establishes an independent codification capability. For more information and a complete BASELOG catalog, contact NAMSA.

If a country decides to develop an independent NATO codification capability, they may wish to hire a consultant. The consultant should be experienced in operating a National Codification Bureau and have a background, which includes both system design and logistics application of item data. His or her role should be to develop a business plan for implementation of an NCS compliant codification system based on the country's specific needs and funding availability.  The country may be able to obtain a consultant from another NATO NCB or hire an independent consultant. Some of the things that should be considered:

The plan should include data base construction and maintenance and both internal and external communications requirements, such as a possible link to the NATO Mailbox System (NMBS) system of telecommunications data exchange.

Of particular importance is establishing a means of distributing codification information to those within national forces who can benefit from it.  The medium of distribution may be either CD-ROM or telecommunications or both and ideally will utilize existing means of distribution and communication.

Consider whether it will be most beneficial to develop a national codification CD or to utilize an existing product, such as the NATO Mater Cross Reference List (NMCRL). Tier 1 Sponsored countries can have their data included into this product.

Determine how to integrate the new data elements added from the NCS with existing data elements, which are required for operational decision-making.

How to insure continued flow of proper information to national logistics systems.

Based on the business plan, develop milestones, with dates, to carry out the implementation plan.  The milestones should include interface testing with other NCBs and NAMSA to ensure compatibility.

Develop a national codification manual that reflects the unique application and usage of the NCS based system within the country.

Evaluate the extent to which NCS codification publications need to be translated into the national language.

Establish an NCB with sufficient staffing.  Initially a country may only require a small staff to carry out the planning duties specified in this paper.  Eventually the country may require a larger staff to fully implement the planned function of the NCB. This could include people to write and maintain item identifications, maintain codification publications, provide technical and ADP support, provide administrative support, and provide liaison support to national forces and other players in the NCS world, such as NATO AC/135 (see “A Sample NCB Organization" below).  An important element of the staffing process will be to determine the number of items in the national logistics system that will require codification.  The answer to that question will lead naturally to the central staffing question: How many codifiers will the country require?

The NCB should be in a single location.  Its location and the services it provides should be widely publicized throughout the national force structure.  Note: A central office for codification matters is required for NATO and NCS sponsored countries.

Evaluate the work to be done to provide a transition from the existing system of identification to the new NCS based system, considering the following criteria:

Evaluate and categorize existing items, with input from all branches of the national forces.

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