Lead time is the time between the start and end of a process. It is a general term that is used in a variety of situations to express the time consumed by a process or task. The following are illustrative examples.
Order Lead TimeThe time between placing an order for a product and receiving the order. For example, if you order a customized new car it might be delivered in 2-6 weeks. It is common for sales teams to track multiple lead times based on customer requests, commitments made to the customer, operational estimates and actual results.
Order Handling TimeThe time it takes a customer order to be processed to create an internal order such as a sales order.
ManufacturingLead time is used to measure a wide range of preprocessing, processing and post-processing manufacturing steps. For example, the lead time for quality control testing of a newly manufactured mobile device may be 2-7 hours.
Project ManagementProject managers use lead time to refer to the time to complete a task or a chain of dependent tasks.
MedicineLead time is used to describe the period of time between detection of a disease by screening and by symptoms. For example, a particular type of cancer may be detectable in tests years before it appears as symptoms.
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