Lead time is the time required to complete a process from start to finish, including delivery. It is an important aspect of logistics, as it helps determine the time needed to complete an order and thus helps with planning and scheduling. Many factors, including the availability of raw materials, the production process, transportation, and delivery time, influence lead time.
In logistics, lead time is often measured in days, weeks, or months, depending on the complexity of the process. For example, the lead time for a simple order may be a few days. In contrast, the lead time for a complex order involving international transportation and customs clearance may be several weeks or months. Effective lead time management is essential for businesses to meet customer expectations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency in the supply chain.