DaimlerChrysler says it is now using a new global ordering process for all Mercedes-Benz vehicle models produced in Germany.

The new system allows dealers to send customer orders directly to the production plant and receive immediate confirmation of the delivery date.

Based on internet technology, the system operates 24 hours a day to increase order processing speed, ensuring on-time deliveries and increased flexibility.

"Customer satisfaction with regard to ordering and delivery is very important to us. This is the reason why the customer ordering process is part of our passenger car strategy and the company's second core process along with product development," said DaimlerChrysler executive vice president for Mercedes-Benz and Smart cars Jürgen Hubbert.

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"The global ordering project has enabled us to revamp the process which takes place between the ordering of a vehicle and its delivery to the customer, making it significantly quicker and more transparent."

An important advantage for Mercedes-Benz customers is that order processing times will drop from the previous 40 to 50 days to only 12 to 15.

If manufactured in a German factory, the (left-hand drive) C-Class already has an order processing time of 12 days when delivered to a customer at the factory-run Mercedes-Benz Customer Centre.

However, the number of unfilled orders currently determines actual delivery times.

The new system makes the entire process more transparent and understandable to the customer, Mercedes-Benz says.

The dealer can check the status of the order at any time and can enter any equipment changes requested by the customer up to six days before production begins in Germany.

However, the company has not yet said when or if the system would be extended to major plants outside Germany such as the M-class facilities in Alabama, USA, and Austria or the right-hand drive C-class factory in South Africa.

Mercedes-Benz spokespersons could not be reached for comment.


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"Our goal for 2002 is to further reduce order processing times to only 10 days," the divisional board member for passenger car sales and marketing, Dr. Joachim Schmidt, said.

"We continually monitor the process to ensure that the stated delivery date is maintained. This is part of the goal agreement between sales and production."

The global ordering project began in October 1997 with the A-Class serving as the pilot model. All vehicle series have now been switched over to the new ordering process.

Mercedes says global ordering brings substantial advantages in both Germany and export markets. Previously, individual country subsidiaries or independent distributors and M-B headquarters in Stuttgart acted as intermediary agents between the dealerships and production plants.

Today, a joint sales and production database ensures that direct contact can be maintained between dealers and the plants.

"In redesigning the customer ordering process we have not only improved communication between dealers and plants," says Schmidt.

"The level we have now reached has also created the basis for a stronger integration of e-commerce into the customer ordering process."

To read more on the German market, click here.

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