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Customer perspective (order to delivery cycle)

The customer’s perspective – which is the order to delivery cycle – is divided into sub-stages.

These sub-stages are commercial, materials, assembly, distribution and installation lead times, as represented in the following diagram:

Diagram displays all sub-stages and elements within these. For commercial and planning lead times, this includes order reception lead time, processing lead time, planning lead time, and material planning and purchasing lead time. For materials lead times, this includes supplier lead time, transport lead time, reception and inspection lead time, and assembly release and order picking. For assembly lead times, this includes waiting times, processing times, and transport time to next stage. For distribution lead times, this includes despatch preparation time, which relates to documents and packages, and transport time to customer.

Click to expand image – adapted from Christopher (2016: 141)

The following figure shows the ordering lead time, and the time between the order and when it’s received.

A graph demonstrating the decrease and increase in inventory levels over a period of time. The lead time is represented by a fall in inventory level and the arrival of an order, which also coincides with the increase in inventory level.

Click to expand image – adapted from Mangan and Lalwani (2016: 172)

Suppose that the lead time for each stage has a distribution between one and five days: the cumulative lead time will have a distribution between five and 25 days for product delivery to customer.

Your task

Once again using your selected product from previous tasks, what is your expected lead time for this product from a customer perspective? Discuss why you think this is.


Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics and supply chain management (5th ed.). Pearson.

Mangan, J. & Lalwani, C. (2016). Global logistics and supply chain management (3rd ed.). Wiley.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to International Logistics

Coventry University