NATO Services


NATO Codification is the Global Language of Logistics. It is the primary means of Item Identification and Management used by over 60 NATO and non-NATO nations worldwide.


– Establishes a common supply language throughout all logistics operations.

– Enables interoperability of materiel between Armed Forces.

– Optimises resource management by avoiding duplication within inventories.

– Facilitates Master Data Management and optimal Data Quality.

Allan Webb’s ‘CODIFICATION PLUS‘ service offers an Assured Support Solution covering 12 key areas of activity related to the successful introduction, and exploitation of the NCS for any equipment, programme or project.


– Codification PLUS

– Codification Preparation

– Inventory Codification

Advantages of using the NATO Codification System

  • Operational Advantages
  • Economic Advantages
  • Better tracking of vendors
  • History of commercial sources
  • Aid domestic industrial base
  • StandardisationOrganisations
  • Environmental Agencies
Operational Advantages

The NATO Codification System contributes to equipment standardization efforts, which support interoperability where weapon systems spare parts can be identified as being fully interchangeable with others.

A national, NATO centric and international wide knowledge of all available military assets and resources allows for:

  • rationalisation of inventory management by sharing resources spare parts and maintenance activities
  • the minimum distribution of essential spare parts during the deployment of forces in a theatre of operation
  • cross service supply between the military branches
  • sharing of supply support between nations.

An accurate description of the items permits users to readily find equipment, which meets their requirements and accomplish replenishment without delay.

The use of a common language simplifies the technical dialogue between users. Maximum use of coded data allows language independent communications.

The use of computer technology allows the recording, processing, and transmitting of identification and management data through easily accessible databases.

Economic Advantages

The existence of a fully codified stockholding 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.

A widespread knowledge of spare parts used within the Armed Forces allows purchasing agencies to:

  • avoid unnecessary procurement for a specific user when another user has surplus stocks
  • combine orders from several users to benefit from price reductions on large purchases
  • access several potential sources of supply, thus generating significant savings by promoting competitiveness between suppliers
  • account for supply costs: senior managers are aided in managing budgets and tracking expenditures when the NCS is used within a supply budget system.
  • The 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. The cancellation of duplicates reduces the stock levels and generates savings in storage space, handling assets and personnel.

Descriptions 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.

Relations and understanding between governments (purchaser) and manufacturers (provider) are greatly enhanced by the use of a common language.

Better 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.

History 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.

Aid 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 and their level of Business intelligence can be increased.

Standardisation Organisations

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 standardisation agencies responsible for developing guidelines.

Environmental Agencies

The in-depth knowledge of the composition of materials, 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 demilitarisation 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.