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Ordering and "The System"...Part I

Discussion in 'Prospective Raptor Owners' started by TheJEPs, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. TheJEPs

    TheJEPs Full Access Member

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    Feb 4, 2012
    I was perusing the WWW and came across this story somewhere, written by an insider at Ford supposedly. Most of it is probably already known here, but I've been seeing a lot of questions about ordering, waiting, allocation, how and when Ford actually pulls the orders, so thought it may help someone here that doesn't know all about it. Please chime in if you can clarify any of it for me.

    Thought it was pretty interesting, but a few years old, so not sure how accurate it all is now. Oh, and it is very long, but here it goes...Part I

    Order Types

    There are 3 basic order types; Stock, Retail, Fleet. There are others, but I'm just going to use these three for this.

    Stock- Unsold orders for dealer inventory. Order Type 2.

    Retail- Sold orders; have a customer name assigned to them in the system. These also usually have price protection in case of an increase, whereas Stock units don't. Order Type 1. (Also known as 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 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 dealers allocation. Order Type 0.

    Order Number

    Next on an order is an order number; it’s just a way of tracking. Its a 4 digit number (or letters) and is assigned by the dealer. I use the order date for mine. This is one of the items you need in order to check the status of an order.

    Body Type

    Identifies 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
    F-150 a 0 is a flareside, 1 is a styleside. The third 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 applies to F-Series trucks, cars can be different.

    Dealer Code

    This is a set of 2 numbers, a letter, and 3 more numbers. The first two corespond to the region, letter tells the zone in that region, and last 3 identify the dealer. Example is 53W544 (53=KC region, Zone W, dealer 544). This is also needed to check the status of an order.

    The Order Number and Dealer Code 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. It is a printout issued from Ford after ordering. You should get one from your dealer after ordering, and is a good way to verify what has been ordered.

    Priority Codes

    Priority codes are listed on the far right upper portion of a DORA. They are also on the dealer’s printout of order status. This only applies until a unit is scheduled. Once assigned a VIN the priority codes no longer apply.

    The codes start at 1 and run through 99. A dealer can only assign between 10 and 99. A 99 order can't be scheduled, but are used for people that want a unit on a date (later than normal orders take). A 99 order is used to hold an order in the system without getting lost, and can then be changed to a buildable priority when the customer is ready for the truck.

    The region (or other Ford divisions) can prioritize 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 it’s something that’s urgent (first order destroyed in shipping, etc). 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).

    It is believed 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, etc., regardless of what the number actually is. If 50 is the lowest at dealer A and 10 is the lowest at dealer B, 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. Retail orders take priority over Stock orders, and oldest takes priority.

    For example:

    Order 1234 Retail order date 9/3/03, priority 20
    Order 4321 Retail order date 5/5/03, priority 20
    Order 5555 Stock order date 4/4/03, priority 20

    The Retail orders take priority, then the oldest of the Retail orders comes first. So the system would look at these in this order:

    Order 4321 1st, because it’s the oldest retail at this priority.
    Order 1234 2nd, as it is a retail order, which comes before…
    Order 5555 3rd, being as it is a stock order.

    Priority can override stock, retail or order date. If a retail order is priority 20 and a stock order is priority 19, the stock tries to schedule first since the order type and date only applies to orders with the same priority number.

    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.
    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 dealers allocation.


    MATL HOLD - unit can't schedule, something is not available.

    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 – Order has been pulled, unit assigned a VIN and assembly plant, plant is assigning build date.

    SCHEDULED - has a build date.

    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, it’s my understanding that this means the frame is on a buck that is used to roll it down the line.

    PRODUCED - Unit is built.

    REL FROM PLANT – Unit is through inspection, available to ship. May also say REL TO RAIL or REL TO CONVOY depending on location.

    TTGxx7837934 - or some similar number sequence means unit is on a rail car and that is the number.

    ARRIVED AT RAMP xx – UNIT has arrived at the rail head and been unloaded, the xx is a usually a number and letter depending on destination, ie. 6P (Kansas City) or 4T (Joliet, IL).


    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 likes 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 that 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 Duties were hard to get, but we had plenty of them as in a rural community we've always sold lots of HD trucks. The sales history helped us and hurt the city dealers. This will hurt us the other way when the new 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 not every dealer is earning exact allocation. The leftovers are used to get allocation to dealers that have retail orders and didn't earn (or earn enough) allocation to schedule them.


    There are 2 classifications of dealers, Select (smaller dealers) and Contact (large dealers), for scheduling there are sometimes some differences. In the past for F150s, both worked in the same allocation system, but currently on most models 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 doesn't go through the allocation system. Fleet gets a percentage of the weeks production and schedules by order date so this eliminates any time differences between dealers and also allows them to sell to fleets without using an allocation that should go to a normal customer. Fleet unit sales don't count to earn allocation either.


    A list of controlled commodities is usually distributed on Wednesdays. These are the items that are not available (not material hold, but short term supply shortage) and items that aren't going to be "free demand".

    Free demand items are those that are readily available, supply outdoes demand. Other items may have a restriction.

    For example let me give a list of controls (not actual amounts, just for example based on things seen in the past.

    Two tone paint (Supercab/Regular cab) 30%
    Two tone paint (SuperCrew) 18%
    Total SuperCrew 35%
    5.4L V-8 80%

    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 one 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.

    Keep reading part II in the next post...
  2. TheJEPs

    TheJEPs Full Access Member

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    Feb 4, 2012
    And here is Part II...


    Scheduling usually occurs Thursday night (allocation happens Wednesday night and we get the results sometime Thursday).

    Basically it’s 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 dealer’s unit scheduled, second dealer’s, third dealer’s, 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 those with a third, and so on. Now that’s 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 one or two commodities so it’s not as big of deal. At times there might be ten different commodities that are all separate and different and can make things difficult.

    When scheduling gets to a dealer’s 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.

    An example for Super Duty F-Series commodities:

    5% Crew Cab
    30% Two Tone
    50% Power Stroke
    25% V-10

    We're going to use dealer A and dealer B. Lets say they both got three allocations.

    Dealer A
    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

    Dealer B
    F-250 V-10 Crew Cab priority 10
    F-250 V-10 Crew Cab priorty 11
    F-250 Supercab Two tone V-10 Priority 12
    F-250 Regular cab PowerStroke priorty 13
    F-250 Supercab 5.4L priority 17
    F250 Regular cab 5.4L priority 18
    F350 Supercab 5.4L priority 20

    Lets 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 third order is still okay so it also gets scheduled and uses up his final allocation.

    6. Dealer B's third order isn't a Crew Cab, but after 2 ½ passes two 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 scheduled.

    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 its said and done Dealer A got two V-10's, one 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.

    This example was a little extreme, but it shows how the system works.

    This information doesn't really help the customer as there isn't much you can do to affect this, but I thought people would find it interesting on how the system works.

    With these example commodities, there isn't a lot of risk because after they run out of the only major commodities (not holds) of two tone and SuperCrew there are still some decent vehicles. 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 though, 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 past, V-6 F-150's were excluded and 6 speed diesels didn't count against you.

    Other points of interest

    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 changed, nor can body style (4x4, 4x2, Crew Cab, Regular cab, etc). But color and options can be modified until the truck is locked in for production. If the change takes, you'll get a new DORA.​
  3. wac45

    wac45 Full Access Member

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    Jul 26, 2011
    Clearwater, Fl
    Thanks for posting, that was very informative. I ordered on 09-02-11 and my truck is now on the train headed to the dealer.
  4. mrmitchell

    mrmitchell Member

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    Jan 13, 2012
    One helluva informative post. Kudos to you sir.
  5. Rango

    Rango Full Access Member

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Great post, thanks for taking the time to remove some of the mystery around ordering! :)
  6. HoldenTX

    HoldenTX Full Access Member

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    Dec 28, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Very Interesting! I *think* I get it now.

    So my order is currently in the status where I guess my dealer did not get one allocated last Thursday so now we wait until next Thursday to see if it makes it this time.

    Does anyone know if the dealer misses out getting an order, does that order/dealer move higher up the list for the following weeks allocations?

    If not, then I can see how some places may have to wait many months before getting anything in high-demand since whoever is higher on the list always gets whatever is available.
  7. Black Lab

    Black Lab Full Access Member

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    Jul 1, 2013
    That's a lot of detail. Thanks for taking the time to put that together.

    M3LELENA Full Access Member

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    Jan 30, 2018
    thanks for sharing all the infos.
    has anyone got an old DORA to share even in private? i just placed an order and would like to show it to my local (outside us) dealer
  9. Amantay

    Amantay Member

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    Jun 29, 2019
    Is it possible to find out build date or approximate schedule based on DORA without having a VIN number available?

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