Lead Time - Operations Management
Estimated time from release of an order requesting the manufacture or procurement of any item until the time it is available. The lead time (LT) includes the provision of time to prepare for the release of the order; processing duration and anticipation of queue times that might be encountered during processing and transportation times.
The estimation of the lead time value is usually based on previous experience, current work load and general rules of thumb, such as one week or two shifts per operation. LT values are usually expressed in hours or days or weeks.