Lead time is the period between a customer's order and delivery of the final product. A small order of a pre-existing item may only have a few hours' lead time, but a larger order of custom-made parts may have a lead time of weeks, months or even longer. It all depends on a number of factors, from the time it takes to create the machinery to the speed of the delivery system. Lead time may change according to seasons or holidays or overall demand for the product. Manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve the lead time on their products. Lead time can mean the difference between making the sale and watching a competitor sign the contract. If a company can deliver the product weeks ahead of the competition, it stands a better chance of receiving future orders. Because of this, management and labor teams routinely hold meetings to discuss lead time improvements.