Dynamic lead times guide

Learn how your shop can benefit from dynamic lead times and how to add them to quotes.


What are dynamic lead times?

Have you ever walked into a UPS store and asked the clerk to send a package overnight at the price of ground shipping? They would likely point you to their price list, where they have established the expectation that faster delivery is more expensive. In every industry (including manufacturing), the following equation is true: 

Time = Money

Dynamic lead times are a version of that price list, but for the parts your shop will make and deliver to your buyers. In Paperless Parts, you can offer dynamic lead time options on every quote item, allowing your buyers to communicate in their PO what they value most: time or money. 

How do I add dynamic lead time options to a quote?

There are two ways to apply dynamic lead times to a quote item in Paperless Parts. 

  1. Assign a standard set of dynamic lead times to all quote items in a quote. 
    1. From the top of a quote, you can apply a standard lead time and a relative Days Faster (plus the associated markup) to all quote items and quantities at once. Setting expedited pricing here will result in all quote items having the exact same delivery date options.
      1. To apply expedite options to all quote items without changing their base lead time, leave the Standard lead time field blank and only fill in the expedite options before clicking Apply to all. This can be useful if you're offering multiple quantity breaks to your buyer, each with its own lead time. 
  1. Assign dynamic lead times to individual quote items.
    1. Open the quote item and scroll down to the Lead times section. Select any of the lead times and markups in blue text and type to adjust them.

Setting default dynamic lead time options

If your shop typically offers the same set of expedited options on quotes, you can create a default set of dynamic lead times in your settings.

These will prefill the expedited pricing options at the top of the quote and can be applied to all quote items by clicking Apply to all. 

How will dynamic lead times appear to my buyer on the Digital Quote? 

Expedites are displayed on the Digital Quote as a set of lead times your buyer can select from, each with an associated unit and total price. Why?


Why should I offer dynamic lead time options?

When you include expedited lead time options on every quote, you establish the expectation with buyers that in your shop, time is money - and also that you have the ability to move faster or slower to meet their needs. A lot of shops immediately assume price is the culprit when they lose a job, but in reality, buyers don’t always clearly communicate when they will need parts. It is possible that the shop you lost to was offering your buyer a higher price, but faster delivery. 

Enabling buyers to tell you what they value is critical to increasing your win rate. Doing it in such a way that they don’t have to call you and ask for an updated quote will set you apart from the competition. 

Why are dynamic lead times presented as relative days and % markup, rather than a set delivery date and flat markup amount?

Buyers will sometimes sit on a quote for a week before sending a PO, dramatically affecting your ability to deliver on a specified date. We present lead times as a set of days rather than a delivery date so that your buyer knows that the parts will be delivered a relative number of days from when they place an order with you. This reduces back-and-forth communication, drives a sense of urgency for buyers to place an order, and prevents the scheduling headaches that can come from buyers sitting on POs for a while before flooding your shop with work. 

Expedite fees are calculated as a percentage increase so that you can easily apply dynamic lead times to multiple quote items at once. 

I can't make the parts any faster, so how would I offer an expedited lead time?

We hear this question from plenty of users who don't already offer expedites, and the response is simple. You can either push your base lead time out a little bit or ask yourself, “if the world depended on it, could I make the parts faster?” 

If the answer is yes, consider calculating what that price would look like. How much would it cost to bump other jobs, drive across your state to pick up the materials, or work a weekend to get it done? Including that cost in the expedited fee will likely result in a very expensive price, but it will also set the expectation that you can do it faster if your buyer needs you to - and sometimes, that's what's most important. 

We have also intentionally designed our quotes so that the highest price appears at the top, making longer lead times appear more attractive (and look like a steal!).

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