What is an NSN?
A National Stock Number (NSN) is a 13-digit numeric code assigned to every "standardized material item of supply" as recognized by the United States Department of Defense (as well as all NATO countries, and some non-NATO countries). NSNs are assigned to about 13 million products, materials, or components, each with defined specifications and descriptions.
Items assigned an NSN may be directly associated with military equipment such as uniforms, parachutes, vehicles and vehicle components, weapons and ammunition, etc.
NSNs also cover items more generic in use including electronic components, medical equipment, office furniture, food items, clothing, industrial goods (pumps, valves, motors), all kinds of fasteners (bolts, nails, rivets), and many, many more categories of product.
What does GovTribe do with NSNs?
NSNs frequently appear on Federal Contract Opportunity records, often in the title or synopsis of the opportunity, and sometimes buried in a file attachment. GovTribe has developed an algorithm for accurately identifying the NSN in unstructured sections of procurement documents in order to properly categorize the Opportunity.
We similarly extract NSNs from Federal Contract Award and IDV data, however this data has much lower fidelity for NSN matching. Simply put, the government quite frequently does not list the NSNs purchased on a contract award record.
How can you search by NSN?
The best way to do an NSN search is by the number itself. Most companies who do product sales work know the NSNs for the products they sell.
On the Federal Contract Opportunity search page, simply do a keyword search for an NSN in the main search bar. You can also do a pipe-delimited list of NSNs if you want to set up a search for multiple products at once.
Even easier, though, is using the NSN filter. When you use the filters you don't need to worry about formatting, and it includes a full catalog of all NSNs.