The results are in - Automotive Fleet Magazine's fourth annual study on fleet vehicle order-to-delivery (OTD) times shows an 8.4 percent improvement industry-wide for the 2002-model year. Truck models improved the most, decreasing their OTD times by 9.6 percent. The Pontiac Grand Am had the fastest delivery time of all models, with an average of just 23 days. The results of this study were based on data given by five fleet management companies: ARI, CitiCapital Fleet, LeasePlan USA, PHH Arval, and Wheels. The survey tracked 169,086 new-vehicle deliveries for 74 models, for one model-year. The OTD average for cars is calculated from the day the order is placed with a factory up to the time it is delivered to the dealer (not driver pickup). OTD time for trucks is calculated from the day an order is placed with a factory to when the vehicle is shipped to an upfitter, if no upfitting is required, to a dealer. The industry-wide OTD time improvements can be attributed to various manufacturer initiatives. DaimlerChrysler's FAST (Forecasting, Allocation, and Scheduling Tool) will give control over fleet scheduling by automating weekly schedules, and its new IVP (Integrated Volume Planning) project will provide vehicle sales information earlier in the production planning process. New initiatives implemented by GM have reduced their order lead-time in its production plants. GM now designates all commercial vehicle orders with its highest priority build, a key reason for improvements. The Lansing Assembly plant, where the Pontiac Grand Am is produced, was one of the pilot plants for the shift to daily sequencing. Ford's strategic alliance with UPS Autogistics helped reduce its average OTD time. Ford and UPS Autogistics are currently working on a program that will allow fleet managers to track order status while a vehicle is at an upfitter, by updating the status of events each night on Ford's Web site � Ford has also implemented the Rapid Order Fulfillment Program to improve OTD for the Taurus. Using the Internet, fleet managers can view the inventory of several hundred Taurus models that are stored near the Atlanta assembly plant, to point-click-and-order a vehicle. The Rapid Order Fulfillment Program allows Taurus models to be delivered in about 13 days. For more information on order-to-delivery times, check out the August 2002 issue of Automotive Fleet.