What is a National Stock Number? What is it for? National Stock Numbers are official labels that have been applied to items of supply that are repeatedly obtained, stocked, stored, issued, or used throughout the federal supply system. This is a unique item, whichis identified by a specific series of numbers. The US government, NATO and other governments in the world officially recognize these numbers. NSNвЂ™s are 13-Digit codes, (for example: 8010-01-380-2362). This example is for an epoxy-coating kit, 2 gallons. The first four numbers in an NSN are called the Federal Supply Classification. Each code (called an FSC Code) is created from the Federal Supply Groups (FSG). The FSG is the first two numbers of the FSC code. The next two digits in the number represent the country from with the request for the NSN assignment came from. This doesnвЂ™t always mean that is where the product was produced. Codes using 01 and 00 are both for identifying the United States. National Stock Number Search Cataloging using the NSN function began in 1914. At the end of World War II, the US Government was faced with a looming debt crisis that forced them to rethink the manner in which they were delegating government operations. A change was needed. In 1947, Congress created the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, with Herbert Hoover leading the group. In 1952, cataloging history saw the biggest change it would for the next few decades with the passing of the Defense Cataloging and Standardization Act. NSN numbers are assigned by submitting a request by the purchaser, not the manufacturer. When the manufacturer has submit their bid for the contract, they may be selected for the request. At this point, if the item requested does not have an NSN number for its current stock, it will be assigned one upon request. NSN labels exist for almost every imaginable item including gun barrels, crescent wrenches or light bulbs. However, all items that perform the same function, regardless of manufacturer, are given the same NSN number. This helps cut down on the number of NSNвЂ™s that have to be filed for individual objects. This service also makes it easy for contractors to put in bids without having to wonder who their competitors will be. If a bid is asking for a certain type of item based on the NSN number, you can determine who will be bidding on the contract as well. This helps keep company names and favoritism out of the bidding process when jobs become available. What is a National Stock Number Copyright @ 2013 AeroBase Group.