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How to Calculate Lead Time: 3 Ways to Reduce Lead Time in the Textile Industry in 2024

how to calculate lead time


You must maintain a proper lead time to run your factory. For that, you need to know how to calculate lead time…

In the clothing export sector, garment exporters receive lead time for exporting finished garments from the buyer’s end. Sometimes the customer specifies a specific lead time for their purchases. Sometimes, the buyer requests that suppliers determine the best feasible lead time for their orders. And they mutually agree on a shipment date. The length of time it takes to ship an order varies depending on the volume of the order and the product line. In this article, we will explain how to calculate lead time and three ways to reduce lead time. 

What is the Meaning of Lead Time in an Export Order?

It is the period of time between receiving an order and shipping it to the buyer. Typically, the ex-factory date is the shipping date. The length of the lead time is measured in days.

For example, suppose a factory got an order on January 1, 2016, and the buyer requested that the order be shipped on March 31, 2016. The order lead time is 30 days in January, 29 days in February, and 31 days in March.

The ex-factory date (lead time) may not be mentioned to a supplier prior to order confirmation. Instead, they request that the supplier calculate and offer a lead time based on the order amount, processing time, and supplier manufacturing capability, as well as product development and material sourcing time. How do you calculate the lead time of an export order if this is the case? 

How to calculate lead time?

Below is a step-by-step procedure for calculating lead time:

1. Making The Lists Of Processes and Events for Completing the Order

Preparing a time and action calendar is the best method to do this (TNA). The TNA template can assist you in swiftly creating an activity list and calculating the lead time. While calculating lead time, keep in mind your country’s holiday calendar as well as the buyer’s holiday schedule.

2. Mapping The Processing Time For All The Processes

You must know the duration of the process for the background work. For example, sourcing material for sampling and bulk, approvals, production, and finishing, among other things. After that, calculate each process’s production capacity for the given order. Next, determine the lead time of individual processes based on process time. Don’t forget to include the number of days required for each procedure while calculating the number of days required. 

  • Start-up time of the process

  • every week off and

  • In between processing times, there are holidays.

You may need to take process time from the buyer or supplier for specific events (such as lap-dip and sample approval) that are external processes.

3. Checking the Sourcing Lead time from the Supplier

Firstly, get a material delivery commitment from the supplier. Secondly, plan your PCD date based on the sourcing timeline. After that, you’ll need to wait a few days for fabric approval before you start bulk cutting

4. Identifying Critical Processes for Orders

Develop a critical pathway for all processes and events. It’s critical to understand which processes can run in parallel and which activities can’t begin until the previous one is completed. Consider the possibility of many processes overlapping. You can shorten the lead time this way.

5. Writing the Starting Date and Completing Date of all Processes on the TNA Calendar

As a result, you will receive the order’s completion and packing completion dates. It’s possible to combine industrial methods. For example, if the cutting process will take 5 days, you can begin loading products the same day or the next day after the cutting begins. Similarly, stitching takes 10 days, but you can begin the finishing process as soon as production components start coming off the line. Rather than waiting for the entire order to be finished, you can shorten the time it takes for a product to reach the market this way.

6. Calculating the Lead Time

You can see the order receipt date, production completion date, and finishing completion date from the list above.

  • Count the days it takes to get from one event to the next and mark the dates for each one.

  • Write the start and end dates of all processes that follow the critical path.

  • To calculate the entire time between order receipt and shipment, add the days from order receipt to the shipment date. For the supplied order, you were allocated a lead time.

Now let’s talk about three ways to reduce lead time in the textile industry.

1. Choose a Reliable Partner for Paper Cone and Tube

In many cases, inefficiencies with your chosen textile packaging partner are at the root of long lead times. That is why it is critical to investigate this point. Choosing the wrong vendor for Paper cones and tubes can result in not only extended lead times for what you need for your operations, but also poor final products.

Whether you need a single-size cone or tube or ten different sizes, a dependable textile packaging partner will have a factory set up to accommodate your needs. The proper partner will have a proven method in place to get you the exact size and specification you require for your textile yarn carrier application.

how to calculate lead time with paper cone and tubre

It all starts with a thorough understanding of the customer’s requirements, which brings us to our next method for reducing textile packaging lead times.

2. Make the Packaging Vendor Understand Your Needs

how to calculate lead time

Your partner for paper cones and tubes is not expecting your recurring needs, and that is one of the most common oversights that can lead to longer lead times for textile packaging.  Customers make orders every two weeks, while others place orders every two months. It’s important that we take a proactive approach and anticipate those upcoming orders, so that when we receive them, we can begin processing them right away. This ultimately reduces the lead time for our customers. 

Being proactive doesn’t just mean having paper cones and tubes on hand, it also means maintaining the machines so that each one is ready when our customers place their orders. So let’s move forward. 

3. Maintenance of the Equipment of Vendor 

Vendor Equipment Maintenance

If your vendor’s equipment isn’t maintained properly, the biggest delay can occur in the textile industry. Machinery is never a question of “will it break? It’s a question of “when will it break?” When the equipment fails, orders are delayed, causing longer lead times. That’s why you should make equipment maintenance such a high priority. 

As a result, you never want to hear your textile packaging partner say, “Our equipment is out of commission for the moment, but we will start processing your order right away.” However, don’t be shy about asking your vendor partner how they maintain their equipment.

Alright, now you know how to calculate lead time and ways to reduce lead time in the textile industry. 

Well, Beautiful Connection Group will be the most reliable clothing manufacturer for you. This manufacturing company is especially suitable for new fashion business owners. They know very well how to calculate lead time and how to maintain it properly. So, you can work with them without having any headaches regarding the lead time issues. They provide the best quality products within a budget. They offer the lowest MOQ as well. So, you can check their website for any further information.