"Lead time is the time taken between the initiations of production process to the completion of the process". Lead time is not constraint to any process or sector. In each sector lead time plays its role. Most of the industries try to minimize the lead time, if it is done then there will be good time for the product to reach the market. The majority of the Industries take lead time in consideration. Lead time is mostly applicable in Manufacturing Industries. It is mostly keeps in line with Supply chain management and project management.

Lead time is there with everyone. For ex: if a student needs to submit an assignment then it will be from the time of getting topic to submitting the assignment is the lead time. Hence it is applicable everywhere. Lead time in journalism can be defined as the time between the receiving a writing assignment to the publishing of that. It varies depending upon the publications. It may be for two- three hours to couple of months.

Lead time in Supply chain can be defined "As the time between the customer places an order to the time customer receives it". If there is no inventory or the channel partners are not available then the time may increase. Here the lead time varies. Therefore in the lead time of supply chain channel partners play a vital role.

Lead time in manufacturing has the same kind of meaning but it includes the shipping too. The shipping of the material from the manufacturer point to the purchaser point. The shipping is included in this because material plays an important role in the manufacturing industry. To have a better lead time companies need to check with their internal processes. Hence to maintain a perfect lead time the companies can implement just in time policies.

In project management it is defined as the time taken to finish or complete a task. The lead time can be the overall duration of the total project. Therefore for the completion of the total project it matters a lot.

The lead time is important in each industry. Starting of the work to the completion of the work lead time is important. To maintain a better lead time most of the companies implement concepts like just in time. To give a quality in their product with competitive lead time is a tough task for the companies. Industries work to reduce the lead time. There are different ways to reduce the lead time.

• Change from functional orientation to product orientation.
• Improvement targets for the present lead time.
• Reducing batch sizes between work centers.
• Training employee for the flexibility in the operations.

Hence, by doing all these the lead time can be decreased and can make a better quality of production with competitive environment.

About Author / Additional Info:
An MBA from GITAM University,India.

Reference: Wikipedia ,elsmar.com , wisegeek.com