Product Lead Time Guidelines Explanation

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

AP Tech provides product lead time guidelines for the entire range of AP Tech products in a single time span.  This delivery guideline can be useful for overall awareness, but is often imprecise for specific requirements .  It simply is not possible to definitively state lead time guidelines with any precision due to all the variables.  For this reason, AP Tech recommends requesting a quoted lead time for any requirements that are urgent or needing an accurate delivery date. The following is an explanation of the limitations of AP Tech’s delivery lead time guidelines, such as those given in our COVID-19 updates on AP Tech’s homepage.

Lead time guidelines are exactly what the term implies – a general time frame (estimate) which may or may not apply to a given order. A 16 to 20 week lead time guideline does not guarantee that a given order will be able to be produced in that time frame, for a variety of reasons.

Standard product configurations are defined by AP Tech’s product catalog AND the historical demand volume and order frequency.  There are many model numbers which can be defined by the data sheet which have never been sold before, which can mean parts need to be produced resulting in a longer delivery. It must also be noted that even if a product has been ordered previously, required parts might not be stocked due to low volume. Stated differently, just because one has ordered a model before, it does not mean that it is considered a ‘standard product’.

AP Tech’s lead time guideline is also a function of available parts and manufacturing time. If a previous order consumes the available parts required for a subsequently received order, lead time for the latter order is longer. If manufacturing time for the type of product being ordered is already fully loaded (booked) within the general lead time, lead time will be quoted longer.

Quantity has an impact on delivery lead time.  AP Tech’s guidelines are for unit volumes in the range of 50 units rather than 100 plus units. The total number varies a bit by product type, but larger orders have longer lead times.

Despite significant planning, including purchasing in advance and a large parts inventory (both at the factory and with suppliers), a part’s supply chain is also a factor in delivery time. Shortages or delays in parts from AP Tech’s suppliers can cause delivery lead times of related products to increase or change without any forewarning. An example of this are the recent ocean freight delays where ships waited weeks to either depart a harbor or offload cargo. Increasing lead times for parts from suppliers, as we see in periods of high demand, also can adversely impact a quoted delivery lead time while inventory is ramped to accommodate the longer lead time for parts.

If the general delivery guideline is utilized for a submitted purchase order, be prepared for the promised delivery date to change once the order is submitted. The confirmation of the order will be sent with the actual delivery date commitment.

AP Tech endeavors to convey delivery guidelines earnestly. We do our best to provide a basic delivery rule of thumb (general guideline). Realistically, in periods of high demand such as we face today, delivery varies day to day. If a more precise delivery lead time is required, the best solution is to contact your local distributor for a delivery quotation of the exact product configuration and volume desired.  AP Tech quotations are valid, meaning they will be honored, for 30 days for both price and delivery, and are subject to change thereafter.

If you have any questions about AP Tech current delivery lead times, please contact your source for AP Tech products.