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Ford Vehicle Ordering & Scheduling Process

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Does Ford make mistakes on this tracking process? I have a window sticker, and the Ford tracker says in production with the date of 8/8. It actually changed to in production a week before that which is when I got the window sticker. Today I receive an email from Ford saying that they are giving me an update as promised, and would keep me updated every 45 days. What the heck?! How can it go from being in production with a window sticker, a blend date of 8/2, and now an apologetic email from Ford about how they will keep communicating with me in these lengthy intervals. Any thoughts? FYI, yes I called my dealer with no call back today.

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37 minutes ago, MyGreatEscape said:

Does Ford make mistakes on this tracking process? I have a window sticker, and the Ford tracker says in production with the date of 8/8. It actually changed to in production a week before that which is when I got the window sticker. Today I receive an email from Ford saying that they are giving me an update as promised, and would keep me updated every 45 days. What the heck?! How can it go from being in production with a window sticker, a blend date of 8/2, and now an apologetic email from Ford about how they will keep communicating with me in these lengthy intervals. Any thoughts? FYI, yes I called my dealer with no call back today.


The window sticker being generated and the tracker updating to In Production happens when the order is sent to the plant for production, generally a week before it actually begins production.  So that's all fine.


As for the "here's the update that says we have no update that we promised every 45 days" email, I wouldn't put much stock in that.  The whole point of it is that people were complaining about a lack of updates, so now they're just sending an email to say there are no updates.  Since your status shows in production, they probably erred in including you on that list.


Don't really see anything to worry about here, though I would of course follow up with the dealer and have them double check the status in Vehicle Visibility.  The salesperson may need to see their manager to access it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, jflottawa said:

Silly question and I did admittedly only do a quick search. 

what does it mean when the secondary status is “produced”. Does it mean 100% done or could it also be placed on chip hold?


The vehicle has been produced but could still be placed on the microchip hold. Your Dealer has 24/7 access to the Vehicle Visibility reporting system which includes the entire order history, current status including microchip hold if applicable and all scheduling, production and shipping information through final delivery to the dealership. The Vehicle Visibility report also includes rail carrier and rail car number information. 

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  • 2 months later...
  • After nearly 37 years, I no longer have access to the FMCDealer.com portal. As such, I will no longer be able to post information on any changes made to the Ford ordering and scheduling processes.
    • I will continue to provide assistance and support for any issues or questions related to my experience. 
Edited by ice-capades
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This is sad news. We have allways benefited from your informations.


But times are changing. We have lost Cyberdman and his service, now we loose your service.


I don't believe, that this is good for the community and at least not good for Ford. I'm not sure they know what they're losing.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Job 1 is start of production, period.  They build stock orders at first until they go 5 consecutive days without an error, then ok to buy is given and they start building retail orders (sold customer orders) and shipping directly from the line.  Then they go back and I spect/repair and ship the early builds. 

Fleet scheduling is a totally separate process and probably occurs well after ok to buy.

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Ahh... very good information you sent.   Can you tell, if you know,  what is the date 1st Job is for the explorer 2023 to start blend??   This way I can figure 5 days after that according to your info.


I have ordered a Timberline with only Moonroof 17 Oct at the dealer ( Im in Quebec, Canada).


I'm just planning the turnaround to find out if I need to order winter wheels and tire because the date to drive with winter tire is from Dec 1 until Mar 15.



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This post is a complete, updated summary of the vehicle ordering and scheduling process. 




Ford Dealers can submit vehicle orders via either the traditional CONCEPS ordering system or the newer WBDO (Web Based Dealer Ordering) system. Fleet orders and/or specification changes must be made via CONCEPS. The WBDO system only accepts stock (Dealer Stock, Demonstrator) orders and all variations of retail orders (Retail, A/X/D Plan, Etc.). Both ordering systems generate error notices and will not display pricing information until any errors are corrected.

The CONCEPS ordering system requires the Dealer to manually enter all the order codes… Year, Body Code, Priority Code, Option Codes, etc. The newer WBDO system uses plain language descriptions, etc. and only displays options available for that vehicle’s Model Year, Body Code & Order Code. Retail orders using the WBDO system default to Priority Code “19”.
Dealers assign priority codes to each order based on the Order Type. Stock orders are assigned priority codes 20-80, retail orders are assigned priority codes 10-19. Fleet orders are assigned special alpha numeric codes that represent a requested production week. The priority codes determine the order for which vehicle orders are to be selected and/or considered for scheduling. This overview doesn’t consider commodity issues (model, powertrain or option scheduling restrictions) that may be in place for a scheduling week. Commodity issues and/or restrictions can apply at either or both the regional and national levels.


The highest priority that a Dealer can use for a retail order is 10. An order with a “10” priority code will schedule ahead of an order with an “11” priority code,
etc. This allows Dealers to prioritize the order in which vehicles are scheduled, especially when a Dealer may have multiple retail orders in the USOB (Unscheduled Order Bank). With the WBDO ordering system, retail orders default to priority code “19” so it’s important that a Dealer change the priority code to a lower number if they want the order to be considered for scheduling earlier compared to other orders.


Ford provides Dealers with a schedule for vehicle allocation each week on Monday mornings which shows how many vehicles of each model line that the Dealer has allocation for scheduling that week. That same weekly allocation report also includes information on any regional commodity issues or restrictions. On Monday afternoons, the Scheduling Toolbox Report is released which provides more detailed information on commodity issues and scheduling availability on a national basis. On Tuesday mornings, the AM Scheduling Preview Report is available to show Dealers which vehicle orders have been selected or previewed, on an initial basis, to be selected for scheduling that week. The same report is updated and available on Wednesday morning to show any changes based on commodity issues that may have changed.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Regional Scheduler issues a notice informing Dealers of the vehicle specifications available for scheduling for orders not already showing on the AM Preview Report. This provides Dealers with information on what vehicle specifications are available for scheduling should they have orders showing on the AM Preview Report that are not what the Dealer wants.

Ford generates what are called “SIMS Orders” each week which are Ford’s suggested orders based on commodity information available at the time. If a Dealer has vehicle allocation for scheduling that week and has no Dealer orders in the USOB or orders that don’t meet the commodity restrictions in place for that week, the scheduling system will default to trying to schedule SIMS (Smart Inventory Management System) orders if they meet any commodity restrictions in place. The SIMS orders are available to Dealers online Monday mornings and in print form on Tuesday mornings. Dealers can enter their own vehicle orders or change the Ford generated SIMS orders.

Ford Dealers earn vehicle scheduling allocation each month based on reported vehicle sales, current inventory, projected sales, etc. Each month, Dealers usually meet with their Ford Zone Manager to review the allocation offered for scheduling the following month. A Dealer can accept the suggested allocation per vehicle line or change their commitment. Should a Dealer want more allocation than offered for a vehicle line, they can submit a request for supplemental allocation which will be considered based on total allocation available and commitments from other Dealers in their Zone. There are times when Dealers accept less allocation than offered for a vehicle line which makes that allocation available to other Dealers that may be looking for additional inventory. At other times, a Dealer may want more allocation for a vehicle line than Ford has offered. A supplemental allocation request is how Dealers can get allocation for extra inventory.

A Dealer needs allocation each week for scheduling for each vehicle line. Even without allocation for a vehicle line, Ford is pretty good at trying to schedule retail orders even when a Dealer doesn’t have allocation that week. When a Dealer knows that they don’t have scheduling allocation, it’s always a good idea for them to provide the retail order information (Body Code & Order Number) to their Ford Zone Manager and the Regional Scheduler. The Regional Scheduler can reprioritize the retail order to priority code “01” which basically forces the Ford scheduling system to schedule the unit ASAP unless extreme commodity restrictions prevent the scheduling. When a Dealer doesn’t have allocation, the Ford Zone Manager may try to get the allocation from another Dealer that is willing to give up their allocation.

Ford scheduling is done on Thursday’s but at times scheduling may be carried over to Friday’s due to scheduling, commodity or other issues. Vehicle
scheduling confirmations are available on Friday mornings for allocation scheduled on Thursday.


With only a few exceptions (Focus RS, EcoSport, Transit Connect) VIN numbers are generated at the time that an order is “Submitted to Plant” for scheduling. The initial scheduling information will show an order scheduled for a production week. Afterwards, the information will be updated to show production for a particular date. Along the process, the vehicle order status information will be updated along with the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) at the dealership.

Years ago, the ordering process was much easier, with few or limited commodity issues to deal with. Ford’s vehicle scheduling was mostly driven by scheduling and building vehicles based on Dealer orders to meet Market demands. For a number of years now, the ordering process has become more complex and time consuming based on the constantly changing commodity issues and restrictions. It is now not uncommon for allocation to roll over to the following week because manufacturing can’t accurately forecast how many vehicles can be scheduled for production. In many cases, it seems that either because of vendor supply issues or other factors that Ford skews vehicle scheduling to higher content models in order to maximize corporate profits rather than scheduling vehicle production to meet Dealers orders or Market demand.

The overall vehicle order process, scheduling and status updates is listed below for reference.

  • Dealer places order into the USOB (Unscheduled Order Bank)
  • When Dealer has vehicle allocation for scheduling, orders are scheduled based on Order Type, Priority Code and commodity restrictions.
    • Scheduled vehicle orders display as “Submitted to Plant” on the Dealer’s daily schedule status report.
    • Vehicle orders are assigned a VIN number when scheduled except for certain vehicle lines (EcoSport, Focus RS, Transit Connect)
    • The initial vehicle scheduling notice will include information for the scheduled week of production. The initial ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) is usually provided within a few days of the scheduling notice.
    • Dealers can change vehicle specifications for a scheduled vehicle up until the vehicle is “locked in” for production or about two weeks prior to the scheduled build date. Specifications for certain vehicle lines (EcoSport, Focus RS, etc.) cannot be changed once scheduled.
  • Dealers are limited to making 6 changes to scheduled orders.
  • Dealers cannot change Order Type, Body Code, Order Code (Package/Trim Level)
  • Vehicle order is next updated with a scheduled production date.
  • Vehicle goes into production and shows as “Sent to Plant” on the Dealer’s daily status report.
    • Vehicle invoices and window stickers are generated and available to Dealers at about this time.
  • Dealer’s daily status report shows updates on production status.
  • Vehicle status updated to “Produced”
  • Vehicle status updated to “Released” meaning that the vehicle has been released for shipment.
  • Vehicle is loaded on rail car. Dealer is provided with carrier information (Canadian National, Norfolk Sothern, etc.) along with the actual rail car number.
  • Vehicle status is updated to show arrival at the final rail destination (Ramp 41/Newark, NJ)
  • Vehicle is received by the car carrier (Fleet Car, Diversified Automotive, etc.) for delivery to the dealership.
  • Vehicle is delivered to the dealership.

Dealers have access to the “Vehicle Visibility” application which provides status updates on a 24/7 basis for any vehicle order.


A DORA (Dealer Order Receipt Confirmation) is sent to the Dealer’s terminal the following morning and can only be printed out at the dealership level. There is no way for it to be captured digitally other than being scanned by the dealership. The DORA confirmations have been out-of-date for years and go back to when all orders were submitted via the old CONCEPS ordering system.

All Stock, Retail & Plan (A/X/Z/D) orders are submitted to the USOB (Unscheduled Order Bank) via the WBDO (Web Based Dealer Ordering) system which has been in place for years. Dealers can display and print a “Preview” in the WBDO system showing the order details and pricing, but it is not an order confirmation. The WBDO “Orders” page will show all the orders for a vehicle line that are in the USOB but selecting an individual order will not provide a confirmation.

Dealers can make changes to scheduled orders up until the time the order is “Locked In” for production which is approximately 2 weeks before the scheduled production date. Doing so causes the order to be re-sequenced and usually causes the production date to be pushed back at least a week or longer.

Dealers have 24/7 access to the Vehicle Visibility system which provides all information for order status, scheduling and shipping updates through final delivery at the dealership. Vehicle Visibility shows the order status (Clean/Unscheduled, VIN Number, Scheduled to Week, Scheduled to Day, In Production, Etc.) and all related updates until the vehicle is delivered to the dealership.

Unfortunately, not all dealerships are good at managing their order banks, know what tools are available or communicate with their retail customers. And all too often, Ford enthusiasts rely on what they’re told by Sales Representatives that don’t know either. And you would be surprised to know how many Sales Managers don’t know either! It depends on the size of the dealership, the size of the market the dealership is in and a few other factors.

It is extremely, extremely rare for an order to be cancelled unless someone with access to the ordering system selects a particular order and cancels it. It could be someone at the dealership with access to WBDO trying to clean up their USOB and making a mistake but cancelling an order still prompts a confirmation to confirm the order being deleted from the USOB.

Once an order is deleted it will not show as such in the Vehicle Visibility system.


The ordering and scheduling process has worked very well for decades. Things changed with the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on supply chain issues and the long used "Just-in-Time" inventory management system.

The COVP (Customer Order Verification Program) was initiated to verify retail orders and grant incremental allocation to expedite scheduling of those retail orders. The COVP system should be able to identify customers with orders at multiple dealerships, but I have no way of knowing to what degree Ford audits the USOB's (Unscheduled Order Banks) for compliance and identification of multiple retail orders at multiple dealerships.

While Ford created and implemented an e-mail notification for direct contact with retail order customers, the system and e-mail content is still generic at best, leaving the best source for order status updates being at the dealership level which has access to multiple resources that are updated constantly.

Each dealership’s USOB is totally independent of any other Dealer’s USOB and USOB management is the responsibility of each dealership.

Dealers earn regular allocation based on their sales history at several history levels. The allocation is disclosed as part of the monthly “Wholesale” allocation with the exception of the “System Fill” allocation at the beginning of the Model Year and the “Balance Out” allocation at the end of the Model Year which are two-month allocation numbers. The allocation is based on the numbers and no preference is granted to favored dealerships. A dealership with a strong sales history cannot receive more than its earned proportional share of its zone’s total allocation. It’s a “Turn & Earn” system at all levels.

Ford Dearborn determines available production and allocation nationwide which is then distributed to the regional, zone and dealership level. When incremental allocation is available and granted, that allocation is still included in the total allocation and production available.

The primary responsibility for retail order scheduling is at the dealership level. Orders need to be configured correctly with vehicle specifications confirmed with the customer prior to being submitted to the USOB and time being lost due to errors or other factors. Order priority codes are a major factor with retail order priority codes defaulting to priority code 19. Dealers must manually assign a lower (10-18) priority code.

If not done automatically by Ford, Dealers can request, through their Ford Zone Manager, a lower (01, 02) priority code that can be assigned by the Regional Scheduler when and where appropriate. Afterwards, if the order specifications are changed, the priority code will revert back to the code assigned by the dealership, requiring the dealership to request that the Regional Scheduler re-prioritize the order again.

Supply chain, commodity and plant construction constraints change on a daily basis but Dealers have access to multiple resources available for information including the weekly FDNB (Fleet Distribution News Bulletin) and the AM Preview Scheduling Report which provides applicable constraints information for specific unscheduled orders. It is the Dealer’s responsibility to access these resources in order to properly manage their USOB and communicate the appropriate information with their retail customers.

When there are multiple orders in the USOB with the same priority codes, the scheduling system will schedule the order with no commodity constraints, or the order with the fewest exceptions that can be made regardless of the original order date.

Unfortunately, there are far too few dealerships that have qualified, experienced staff with time available to monitor the resources available, monitor their USOB’s and communicate directly with their retail order customers on a timely basis. Effective reputation management requires Dealers to be pro-active with retail order communications. Customers should not have to constantly contact their
Dealer for status updates. Unfortunately, customers accept what their sales representatives tell them, but most sales representatives don’t have the experience or knowledge about the retail order and scheduling process and tend to tell the customer what they want to hear. Customers should talk directly to the sales manager or the individual responsible for managing the USOB.


FIFO retail order scheduling is an ideal that is nearly impossible to implement based on the supply chain, commodity and plant production constraints that change constantly. F-Series order specifications include tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of configurations. One seemingly minor difference in an order can trigger multiple constraints based on compliance requirements, etc.

With the introduction of BEV’s (Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning), Ford has introduced new online ordering processes. The process includes new pricing policies (MSRP only) to maximize Ford profits with commissions paid to dealerships, dealership assignment by the customer, advertising compliance requirements, etc. The order management still lies at the dealership level with mostly the same responsibilities as any other retail order. There are also potential compliance issues related to franchise agreements, etc. A BEV comprehensive sales and pricing process that satisfies Ford, dealerships and consumers will not happen overnight.

The relationship between Ford and its Dealers has been difficult for years, with the priorities of each often being I conflict. Multiple management layers at Ford frequently implement policies and procedures that increasingly burden Ford Dealers with additional labor and time-consuming responsibilities to ensure compliance.

As it has been for decades, the ultimate responsibility for USOB management and scheduling is at the dealership level. 

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