We use cookies to help us understand how our site is being used and to analyze site traffic. By clicking "Accept", you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

What are lead times?

A lead time is the time between placing an order from a supplier and receiving that order. Lead times can vary drastically based on the supplier, supply chain issues, your country's customs regulations, and more.

It's crucial to know lead times for all your vendors. Without knowing this, you can run into a myriad of problems, including:

  • Disappointing and losing customers because you are slow to fulfill orders
  • Missing out on sales because a popular item is not in stock or arrives passed its date of interest
  • Over ordering due to fear of running out, resulting in dead stock Missing out on the opportunity to work with better vendors because you haven't kept track of prices and lead times
Having insight into lead times and vendors has many advantages, including:
  • Knowing when to buy new stock so that it always arrives on time for busy seasons
  • Having a record of past lead times so you can buy from the vendor with the best rates
  • Being able to accommodate a variety of lead times better as you know the exact time frames for when products will be in your hands
  • More control and insight into cross-border delays

Integrated procurement and supply chain management tools are the best way to take control of lead times and improve product flow. Procurement tools will give you a comprehensive record of vendor lead times, prices, and other data. You'll be able to automatically calculate lead times and stay up to date on any changes. Supply chain management tools let you control international purchasing and help products move through custom and duty points quickly.

Helpful resources:

The better way to run your business