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Take, for example, a 1 KΩ, 1/4 W, 5%, leaded resistor.
Various manufacturers make such resistors.
Each resistor manufacturer uses its own part number for it.
Each vendors of those resistors may use the manufacturer's part number, or its own part number.
Component manufactures use their part numbers, vendors use theirs, but the product manufacturer needs only one part number
But to you, a developer or manufacturer of electronic products, all of these part numbers refer to just a 1 Kohm resistor. You only need 1 part number for it, regardless of which manufacturer or vendor you happen to use at any given time.
This system will generate such a part number for you.