Toyota Motor Mfg. North America Inc. implements its plan to shave custom vehicle order lead time from 77 days down to just 12-16 days in the next two years.

An important component to the effort, www.toyotasupplier.com, launches this Monday (August 13), says James T. Bolte, general manager of information systems at TMMNA at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI.

The Web site will be public and at first will contain content pertinent to current and prospective Toyota suppliers. It also will have a password-protected private section for the automaker’s components suppliers. While initially it will be content-driven, it eventually will incorporate additional applications, Mr. Bolte says.

Among these are Toyota’s Worldwide Automotive Real-time Purchasing and Electronic Lead Time Survey applications, as well as warranty, documents and e-payment functions.

A one-stop supplier portal is just one way Toyota is working to increase order flexibility –something the ever-efficient automaker already has improved upon six-fold since 1986, Mr. Bolte says.

The automaker also is focusing on improving order management through eliminating restrictions.

Phase one of the lead-time reduction endeavor is well under way, and Mr. Bolte says that time for a custom-ordered vehicle to travel from the assembly plant to the customer will drop to 45 days this fall.