from Navy stock than you would pay through the GSA
Schedule. The GSA "government prices" are generally
20 percent or more below the retail selling price.
However, you must "buy Navy" first.
There are over four million types of supply items in
the Department of Defense Supply System. The Navy
Supply System alone stocks over one million items. So
you may have access to the entire resources of the
government, a common language has been
developed--the Federal Catalog System.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) administers
the Federal Catalog System that encompasses all items
carried by the Department of Defense and the civil
agencies of the Federal Government. Once an item is
cataloged properly, this information is used for all
supply functions related to the item from purchase to
final disposal. When an item is placed in the Federal
Catalog System, it is given a Federal Supply
Classification (FSC) number.
Each item is classified in one, and only one,
four-digit FSC number. The first two digits indicate the
group or major division of commodities; the last two
digits are the class or subdivision of commodities within
a group. Presently, the FSC has 90 groups established
(some are unassigned). These stock groups cover rather
broad categories of material. The second two numbers,
designating the class within the group, allow more
specific identification. Class numbers may identify the
commodities according to their physical or
performance characteristics or may be based on other
items in the class that are requisitioned or issued
together. Classes are used to divide types of material
within a stock group and create the FSC number as
6710-Cameras, Motion Picture
6720-Cameras, Still Picture
6730-Projection Equipment
Group 67
6740-Photographic Developing and
Finishing Equipment
6750-Photographic Supplies
6760-Photographic Accessories
6770-Film, Processed
6780-Photographic Sets, Kits, and
As you can imagine, the FSC number is not
enough to identify a specific supply item. After
additional identification is added, a National Stock
Number (NSN) is created. Figure 5-2 shows each
element of an NSN in proper sequential order.
An NSN is made up of nine digits. This
includes the National Codification Bureau (NCB)
code and the National Item Identification Number
(NIIN). These numbers identify supply items used
by DoD. They are used to identify items
independently, and most supply catalogs you use
are arranged in NIIN order.

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