Ford Allocations, Priorities and Scheduling
The following information was extracted from a Ford truck forum link that explains how Priority codes, allocation and scheduling works.
1. Order types
There are 3 basic order types, Stock, Retail, and Fleet. There are
others, but I'm just going to use these 3. AXZD plan will fall under Retail in
my description. The other types are Dealer Demo; drivers ed loan out and lease
renewal order. Again I'm going to just use the 3 as the others basically fall
under those 3 also.
Stock- Unsold orders for dealer inventory. Order type 2
Retail- Sold orders; have a customer name assigned to them in the system. These also have price protection in case of an increase. Stock units don't. Itís an order type 1 in the system (or A, X, K for the weird order types)
Fleet- Sold orders for companies with a valid Fleet ID. (a fleet ID requires 15 units in service). This order type schedules differently and also gets different pricing. Rebates don't apply to fleets (but they do have a "Retail greater than Fleet" discount if rebates are bigger than fleet discounts. They also don't pay the FDAF fees and other things. Orders are scheduled out of a fleet pool and not the dealerís allocation, but more on that later. This is an order type 0.
Next on an order is an order number. This doesn't mean much itís just a way of tracking. Itís a 4 digit number (or letters) and is assigned by the dealer. I use the order date for mine. This is one of the 3 items you need to check the status of an order.
Body type- This just tells what the truck is, for example a X14 is a Supercab 4x4 styleside. The first letter is the cab style (F=Regular cab, X= Supercab, W=Crewcab) The second digit tells more. On the New F-150 a 0 is a flareside, 1 is a styleside (2 is a F-250, 3 F-350, etc). The 3rd digit tells whether 2 or 4 wheel drive (on New F-150 2 is 2wd, 4 is 4x4, old style was 7 and 8). This explanation applies to F-Series trucks, cars can be different. This item is also needed to check an order.
Dealer code- This is also on the order and is needed to check the status of an order (with Ford, dealer only gets listing of his units). This is a set of 2 numbers, a letter, and 3 more numbers. The first two correspond to the region, letter tells the zone in that region, and last 3 identify the dealer. Mine is 53W544 (53=KC region, Zone W, dealer 544). This is the 3rd thing needed to check the status of an order. All 3 are listed together on a DORA on the Upper portion far right a few blank lines below the priority code.
A DORA is a Dealer Order Receipt Acknowledgement. Itís a printout we get back from Ford after ordering. Usually comes next business day. You should get one from your dealer after ordering. Itís a good way to verify what's ordered is what you want.
\2. Priority Codes.
This is listed on the far right upper portion of a DORA. Itís also on
the dealers print outs of order status. This only applies until a unit is
scheduled. Once assigned a VIN this doesn't mean anything anymore.
The codes start at 1 and run to 99. A dealer can only assign between 10 and 99. A 99 order can't be scheduled. I use these for people that tell me to get them a unit on date (later than normal orders take). I put in a 99'd order so I have what they wanted in the system and don't forget about it and then change it to a buildable priority when time comes they're ready for the truck. The region (or other Ford divisions) can prioritize below 10; I've only seen a 01 priority below 10. They do this in the event of something unusual; most orders never see a priority 01. An example is if they're manually scheduling (like the First F-150 for each dealer, or first year T Birds) or if itís something that needs to be urgent (first order destroyed in shipping, etc). Again I normally only see this a few times a year. Also if you do get a priority 01, things usually get scheduled fast even if you have some hard to get commodities (but not hold items). More on commodities later. I believe that the under 10 priorities go first through the allocation system.
Other priorities are to organize what order the dealer wants the trucks in. These only affect that dealer and have no bearing on other dealers. If a dealer only uses 50 or higher, another dealer that starts at 10 won't get his trucks any sooner. This system is to organize the order so they are "in a row" for scheduling. That way in the first pass of scheduling they only look at 1 truck per dealer, then on second pass look at 2nd one. Regardless of what the number actually is. If 50's the lowest at dealer a and 10's my lowest, they are both in the first pass, and are equal to each other.
More than one order can have the same priority. If this happens the system looks at order types and then order date. Retails take priority over stock and oldest takes priority. For example:
order 1234 Retail order date 9/3/03
order 4321 Retail order date 5/5/03
order 5555 Stock order date 4/4/03
The Retail orders take priority. and then oldest order comes first. So the system would look at these in this order:
Order 4321 because itís the oldest retail at this priority
order 1234 2nd as itís a retail
order 5555 being a stock order its 2nd despite order date.
Also Priority can override stock, retail or order date. If a retail is priority 20 and a stock is 19, the stock tries to schedule first; the retail and date thing only applies to orders with the same priority number.
So the big thing I want everyone to know is don't get too worried if your not a priority 01 as this is very rare, also don't worry if your not at priority 10, I start my retail orders at 20 so I've got some room if something comes up that I need to prioritize under my current orders I can.
On Fleet orders, none of this priority stuff applies. The priority codes are to control build date and are a letter and a number that correspond to a build month and week. This isn't to get stuff quicker but actually slower. Often fleets will order in January and not want the units for a few months. I can order so it can't be built until later so it will arrive in time but not overly early. Fleet units don't compete with retail or stock at all for scheduling as fleet comes out of their own pool and not from a dealerís allocation.
Now that we've got orders in the bank they have to be Scheduled, oh
getting ahead of my self, I better list some terms that apply to order status.
These are on the dealer printouts so if you see these you'll know what they
Matl HOLD - unit can't schedule something is not available. for example, my Harley F-250 is in this status as production doesn't start until 11/3/03
unschd/clean- unit isn't scheduled (no VIN, no date, no guarantee to build), but is a buildable order once allocation and commodities allow.
Submitted to plant- Unit assigned a VIN and assy plant, plant is assigning build date.
Scheduled- has a build date and a vin
Locked in- Changes can no longer be made to this order, unit is either close to being built, or at the end of the year they lock in orders early so they don't have left over parts between model years.
Bucked- Unit is close to production, itís my understanding that this mean the frame is on a Buck thatís used to roll it down the line.
Produced- Unit is built
Rel from plant- Unit is built and through inspection, available to ship. May also say Rel to Rail, or rel to convoy depending on location
ttgxx7837934- or some weird number like this means itís on a rail car and thatís the number.
Arrived at ramp XX- has arrived at the rail head and been unloaded, the XX is a usually a number and letter. Mine go to 6P (Kansas City) or 4T (Joliet, IL)
Ok, now that we've got some terminology lets talk allocation. Allocation determines who gets the units for that build week. The way allocation is split is based on Sales and availability. They don't count equally; I think sales factor 60% and availability 40%. The region like to call it turn and earn. The more you sell and fewer you have, the more you get. So if you've got lots of units on the ground and haven't been selling them, you won't get many new allocations. If you have none because you sold them all you should get a good number allocated. This information doesn't help a customer much as you really can't tell what dealers will get allocation. Larger dealers will get more allocation, but will have more orders also so doesn't mean faster scheduling. Generally most dealers are in similar situations and wait times will be similar. There are exceptions to this, for example 1999 Super Duty's were hard to get, but we had plenty of them as in a rural community we've always sold lots of HD trucks and the sales history helped us and hurt the city dealers that were selling them because they were "hot", this will hurt us the other way when the 05 Mustang comes out as I don't sell many normally I'll have a harder time getting them. Now this system ends up with leftovers as it doesn't end up with every dealer earning exact allocation and its hard to schedule .44 of a truck, so the left overs are used to get allocation to dealers that have retail orders and didn't earn (or earn enough) allocation to schedule them.
Select and Contact dealers. There are 2 classifications of dealers Select (smaller dealers) and Contact (large dealers), for scheduling there are sometimes some differences. Right now on F-150 both work in the same allocation system, but on most other models (and F-150 starting in aprox December) the select dealers won't have to get allocation; they get every order they place automatically. So on most models, the smaller dealer will be able to get them quickly.
Fleet- Fleet doesn't go through the allocation system. Fleet gets a percentage of the weekís production and schedules by order date so this eliminates any time differences between dealers and also allows them to sell to fleets without using a allocation that should go to a normal customer. Fleet unit sales don't count to earn allocation either.
We usually get a list of controlled commodities on Wednesday these are
the items that are not available (not Material hold, just overscheduled from
past or supply issues, short term shortage, Material hold items Can't schedule,
IE DVD is currently Material hold) and items that aren't going to be "Free
demand". Free demand items are ones that you can get as many as you want,
supply outdoes demand. Other items may have a restriction. Currently two-tone
paint is a commodity. For example let me give a list of controls (not actual
amounts, just for example based on things I've seen in the last few weeks.
Two tone paint (supercab/Regular cab) 30%
two tone paint (SuperCrew) 18%
total SuperCrew 35%
5.4L V-8 80%
Other items can also control, this is just an example (and items that I've seen on control already for the 04's). What this means is the % of the trucks scheduled that can have this option. That isn't an individual dealer thing, but all dealers in the region (controls are often regional, but usually most regions are the same). That means that if 1 dealer doesn't use his share another may get a higher percentage, or if another doesn't prioritize right, he may miss all the controls and get the free demand items only.
Now were ready to go to the complicated part, Scheduling.
Scheduling usually happens Thursday night (allocation happens Wed
night and we get the results sometime Thursday). Basically itís all done by
computer (unless something like a priority 01
may be manually scheduled first to make sure it gets scheduled). It lines all
the dealers (that have allocation) in some sort of random order. If there are
no commodities, this is easy, first dealers unit scheduled, second dealers,
third dealers, etc, Once all dealers first allocation has been scheduled they
go to the next round and do the same for the dealers that have a second
allocation, once everyone's second is done they go through those with a 3rd and
so on. Now thatís in a perfect world where there aren't any commodities.
Here in the real world it works a little different. Commodities screw this all up. Right now most vehicles only have 1 or two commodities so itís not as big of deal. At times there might be 10 different commodities that are all separate and different and can make things difficult.
If when scheduling gets to a dealers allocation, and his order has a commodity that has already run out, they skip him for that pass. He doesn't loose his allocation, it gets used in the next pass, but it can cost him in other commodities. Let me do an example. This is PURELY SAMPLE, not actual numbers.
Lets say Super Duty F-Series commodities
5% Crew Cab
30% Two tone
50% Power Stroke
now we're going to use Dealer A and dealer B. Lets say they both got 3 allocations.
F-250 V-10 Supercab with 2 tone priority 20
F-350 V-10 Regular cab with 2 tone priority 25
F-250 PowerStroke priority 30
F-250 V-10 Crew Cab priority 10
F-250 V-10 Crew Cab priority 11
F-250 Supecab Two tone V-10 Priority 12
F-250 Regular cab PowerStroke priority 13
F-250 Supercab 5.4L priority 17
F250 Regular cab 5.4L priority 18
F350 supercab 5.4L priority 20
OK now to schedule. Letís say dealer A is toward the beginning of scheduling and dealer B is at the end (supposed to be a random order, but someone has to be first and someone last, but the dealer has no say in this).
1. System looks at dealer a's first order, Commodities still available
so it gets scheduled.
2. System gets do dealer b's first order and is out of Crew cabs before it gets there so dealer b doesn't get a unit scheduled
3. Dealer A's up again and gets his second scheduled as both are available.
4. Dealer B's second order is a crew cab again so nothing schedules again this pass
5. Dealer A's 3rd order is still OK so it also gets scheduled and uses up his final allocation.
6. Dealer B's 3rd order isn't a Crew cab, but after 2 and 1/2 passes 2 tone is exhausted so again nothing scheduled.
7. Dealer B's Power Stroke order doesn't schedule as they are used up in previous passes so he has yet to have a unit schedule.
8. Dealer B gets the next three units scheduled in the next three passes as the commodities ordered are still available (in this example).
So when itís said and done Dealer A got 2 V-10's 1 Power Stroke and 2
two tone orders where dealer B got nothing off of the control list. He gets his
three units that he was allocated, but doesn't get any of the hard to get stuff
due to the way his order bank was prioritized. This is why a dealer would want
to put some of the moderately difficult items in the middle instead of all the
hardest to get stuff at the first priority. If
I had set up my order bank (in this example) I would have had a crew cab 1st
and some a two tone second.
This example was a little extreme, but it shows how the system works.
This info doesn't really help you as a customer as there arenít much you can do to affect this, but I thought people would find it interesting on how the system works. With current commodities, there isn't a lot of risk because after the only major commodities (not holds) are two tone and SuperCrew so after they run out you can still get some decent vehicles. But in years passed, they tried to stick dealers with some stuff that wasn't worth ordering. If you don't want something you can pass on your allocation, but many dealers will take slow moving trucks instead of passing on allocation. This can hurt worse thought as now the system shows you with that truck in inventory so it can cost you future allocation (remember the turn and earn system). Sometimes vehicles are excluded to get dealers to take them. In years passed, V-6 F-150's were excluded and 6 speed diesels didn't count against you.
Now that your unit is scheduled, here are some other points of
Once scheduled some changes can be made. If an item is a commodity, it probably can't be added, but can be removed. Trim level (XLT, Lariat, etc) can't be change nor can body style (4x4, 4x2, Crew cab, Reg cab, etc). But color and options can be mounted until the truck is locked in for production. If the change takes, you'll get a new DORA the next day. If not nothing happens.
After Locked in status the truck gets "Bucked" and will be produced very soon.
Next step is produced. This means the truck is built but hasn't left the plant yet.
Rel from plant is next, self explanatory
then things change based on your location. It may be REL to convoy (truck); Rel to Rail (train) or it may have a long number like ttx198345, that is the rail car the truck is loaded on. There may be a space and then a 2 digit number after this. Thatís the Ramp (rail yard where loaded and unloaded) where the train is at.
Arrived at ramp XX (the XX is a 2 digit number) this is again the place where loaded and unload, unfortunately I don't have a list of them. This means the truck has been unloaded from the train and is waiting truck shipment.
Next step truck arrives at dealer!