The trouble with lead times is they sometimes get in the way of closing the deal. Think of that moment when the customer asks, ‘So, how long will it take?’ What do you say?
Customers don’t like waiting! Whether you run a restaurant chain or a Blinds, Curtains or Window Furnishings business, this rule stays the same. That is why companies do everything in their power to deliver their products and services on time.
Understanding the logistics related to supply chain management and how to reduce lead times is important to any business. Let’s take a brief look at lead times and supply chain management.
What is Lead Time?
Lead-time is the time between the initiation and completion of any process. When it comes to procurement, the lead time is estimated to be the time from when an order is placed to when the supplier makes the delivery. This is sometimes known as customer lead time. Lead time helps you gauge how long your customers have to wait before they receive your product or service and it’s essential that you manage you customer’s expectations. Most companies have various strategies in place to ensure that they stay in control of their lead times. Businesses often lean upon Lean and/or Six Sigma principles to improve this area of their operation.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Every process or operation associated with the regulation and management of the flow of goods, products, information or money between suppliers makes up the supply chain. Supply chain management refers to the management and regulation of these flows. The five major flows that form the basis of any supply chain are as follows:
- Product flow – Transfer or movement of goods from the supplier to the client
- Financial flow – All the payment schedules and consignment and ownership agreements which occurs due to the movement of cash or remuneration
- Information flow – The transfer of information by sharing product sheets, schedules and updating the status of deliveries and production schedules
- Value flow – A flow of how the supply chain adds value to the product or service, such as packaging and altering the product in any way to make it more useful to the customer
- Risk flow – A quick look at the various uncertainties and risks associated with a supply chain, such as a change in demand or supply, economic fluctuations or volatility.
How To Reduce Lead Time
Some of the ways businesses can manage their lead times more efficiently are:
- Automating processes and using software to help visualize Work In Progress.
- Acquiring goods from local suppliers to reduce long-distance shipping and transportation complications.
- Ordering smaller quantities more frequently.
- Using sales forecasts to maintain stock.
Why Lead Time and Supply Chain Management is Important to you
Managing lead times well and understanding how the supply chain works is key to keeping your customers happy. Poor management of your customers and orders leads to increased sales costs and reduced profits. You need to have management processes in place to reduce the lead time and so you can manage your customer’s expectations.
BlindMatrix can help you, whether you are a Blind’s surveyor, wholesaler, retailer or e-commerce seller.
Product Delivery Days
Within our application, there is a tool we call ‘Product Delivery Days’ and this can help you to manage your product lead times. For more information, check out the video below: