TO TAG OR NOT TO TAG
In outward appearance, the UPIC identifiers and ASI numbers differ in an obvious fashion. UPIC allows for a company to choose its own identification using numbers and/or letters. Some companies like this freedom and the ability to identify their products with easy-to-remember tags. ASI takes the stance that this can cause confusion. Indeed, there is no obvious way to differentiate a supplier from a distributor using UPIC, whereas under the ASI system, distributors are denoted by a six-digit number while suppliers are denoted by a five-digit number.
In the end, both systems provide companies with more choices as they struggle to conduct business in an ever-changing and highly competitive market. Here, both Burger and Andrews agree. “In areas where [ASI and PPAI] do compete, each competitor is pushed to do its very best to support its customers and provide the most useful products and services,” stated Andrews. Burger had similar sentiments. “We believe that alternatives and options are really important in the industry,” he concluded.