Specifier ID#:

Company Name:


1. What does the SIS Look-Up do?

Equipment manufacturers and their agents need this Look-Up to "decode" SIS numbers. The numbers will soon be appearing on specifications much more frequently. That’s because articles in industry publications and other bulletins are urging facilities designers and specifiers to attach their unique identifier to every model number in their documents as a suffix, using an asterisk to separate the two numbers.

Example: Item 102 - One Widget model K4568*S123 (or any other style the specifier currently uses), and then the description as usual.

2. Why is the industry getting behind SIS?

By helping manufacturers and their independent representatives "connect" to the specifying office, they can quickly resolve questions about specifications, deliver better customer service, and clarify rep compensation issues.

3. Why was SIS developed?

The FCSI/NAFEM Liaison Committee in conjunction with MAFSI developed SIS to address a long-standing set of problems within our industry:
  • Manufacturers are often given a partial specification on which to quote, which does not identify the specifier, project or details.
  • No means of contacting the original specification writer is provided.
  • Often, the specifying company has included special accessories or modifications that the manufacturer is aware of, but must still match them to the correct project.
  • Manufacturers and dealers must respond to the owner when accessories or modifications are not included as expected, resulting in frustration and additional costs to many.
  • Manufacturers’ representatives working with the specifying company are not identified with the sale and may lose earned income.
  • Historical data is unavailable to the manufacturers to understand client preferences and improve products.

4. How do SIS numbers work?

Through the NAFEM office, a unique identification number is issued to each known specifier. This is an alphanumeric identifier. All specifiers of foodservice equipment should use this identifier.

In this example: K4568*S123
  • K4568 represents a manufacturer’s model number
  • The asterisk represents a break between the model and SIS identifier
  • S123 represents the alphanumeric identifier

5. What purpose do the numbers serve?

The identifier serves the following purposes:
  • Identifies the origin of the specifying office
  • Connects the specifying office with manufacturer
  • Connects the manufacturers' representative with the specifying office

6. Who will have an SIS number?

All companies that specify commercial equipment within the foodservice industry, including consultants, specifying dealers, architects and multi-unit operators, worldwide.

7. I’m a specifier. How do I get a number?

First, use the "SIS Look-Up" feature to see if your company is already in the database. If your company is missing, contact NAFEM; +1.312.821.0201) and tell us you’re a specifier and need to be assigned an SIS number.

8. To whom, exactly, is the number assigned?

The alphanumeric identifiers are assigned to each industry specifier office location on a first-come, first-served basis. Multiple offices will each have their own SIS identifier.

9. What does the alphanumeric code stand for?

The letter code is the first name of the specifier’s company, not including the word "The." The three numerical digits are the "next available." Company names that begin with the first name of an individual will be assigned an SIS identifier using the first letter of the first name. The "SIS Look-Up" feature also allows searching by last name or any other word in a company’s name.

10. How do I use our SIS number?

Simply attach it to every model number in your specification as a suffix, using an asterisk to separate the two numbers. Example: "Item 102 - One Widget model K4568*S123" (or any other style you currently use), and then the description as usual.

11. Is there any cost?

There are no charges to any party. NAFEM has borne ongoing administrative expenses.

12. What industry organizations support SIS?

NAFEM, MAFSI and FCSI endorse the SIS system. In addition, health departments nationwide are being advised of this system to create awareness of the identifiers and their meaning.

13. Where do I send address corrections?

It’s important to let us know if your location or company name changes so we may update the database. Simply email NAFEM and tell us you have a correction to the SIS database. If you prefer to fax or mail a correction, please write to:

NAFEM Headquarters
161 N. Clark, Suite 2020
Chicago, IL 60601
+1.312.821.0201 (phone)
+1.312.821.0202 (fax)

14. What if our company changes its name?

The assigned SIS identifier will be permanent to the named company. When a company changes names due to new ownership, application must be made for a new SIS identifier. Each specifying office can hold only one SIS identifier. When a company ceases business, the number will not be reissued for a minimum of five years. NAFEM reserves the right to rule under any abnormal situations.

15. What about liability?

No liability is assumed by NAFEM, FCSI or MAFSI with the issuance of the SIS identifier listing, reproduction or issuance, thereof.

16. What should I write in the "General Conditions?"

It is suggested that each specifier include a description of the SIS system in their General Conditions. A sample follows that can be modified as needed:

Each model number includes the code *S123 (insert your own here) as a suffix. This code is known as the Specifier Identification System. It is not to be removed by the bidders. Its purpose is to identify the specifier to the vendors providing equipment in the event it is necessary to communicate questions, clarifications and comments, from prior to bid award through the final purchase. It is to be used on all correspondence including fax and email when communicating with manufacturer representatives and factories. For more information, contact NAFEM Headquarters.

Sample: Item #102, Quantity 2 each, Manufacturer Name, Model K4568*S123

17. How about a note to health department examiners?

It is suggested that each specifier include the following paragraph in their General Conditions:

NOTE TO HEALTH DEPARTMENT EXAMINERS: The SIS identifier is a suffix to NSF's nationally recognized model numbers. It will be attached to the model number by an asterisk and then the identifier code. Sample using fictitious model number: K4568*S123, where K4568 represents the model number and S123 represents the SIS identifier. It does not modify the approved model number.

18. How is the industry promoting SIS?

All segments of the industry need to help implement this system. The boards of FCSI, NAFEM and MAFSI have endorsed the system, and these groups are promoting SIS in publications, press releases and at conferences. It was developed by the FCSI/NAFEM Liaison Committee with the cooperation of each of the three groups to address long-standing problems. NAFEM has agreed to underwrite the entire cost of implementing this program, including database development and administration.

You can help. If you’re a specifier, use your SIS number on every specification! Make it part of your numbering and documentation systems or practices. Require that suppliers quoting or bidding on your project keep the SIS identifier intact in all documentation. If you’re an equipment marketer, talk about SIS to your customers and ask them to use SIS consistently.