Lead Time

So, I had gone to pick up a date. She stays in south Mumbai and we had plans to go to a club in Bandra. It is approximately a half an hour drive. On the way, after talking for a bit we figured out that we had a lot in common. After getting acquainted really well during the cab ride, we reached our destination. As clubs are quite noisy and we had established common ground; I asked her if she wanted to go back to her place instead. She promptly agreed and we went back to her place. The Uber driver though requested us to book another cab.

Anyway coming to the MBA concept of ‘Lead Time‘. It is taught in operations management and signifies the time between initiation and completion of the production process. For example, the lead time between the placement of an order and delivery of a new car from a manufacturer may be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Toyota came up with the system of Just in Time (JIT) production. This means the wait time is zero. JIT system would be a car manufacturer that operates with low inventory levels relying on its supply chain to deliver the parts it needs to build cars. The parts needed to manufacture the cars do not arrive before or after the manufacturer needs them; instead, they arrive just as the manufacturer needs them.


The concept of lead time can be used in the context of modern-day dating. It is the exclusive time duration between getting to know that a romantic interest exists and you achieving the final goal. So supposedly you meet someone whose LTV  is high and you want to date them for a substantial time, the lead time is bound to be more. You would like to know that person better before getting into a long-term commitment with them. Also in India, if one takes the setup of the arranged marriage setup, generally via the matrimonial apps, it generally takes a couple of years before you end up with the right person.

An important insight is if you are hoping to get into a meaningful relationship with someone, take a substantial lead time so that you can get to know them better as a person to gauge the potential compatibility. Basing such a decision on the tags or the filtered life on social or the aesthetic appeal isn’t advisable. Small acts like opening the door or the way they interact with someone who can’t give a rebuttal (eg. a waiter) tells a lot about the person. So take your time, there is no best deal which is running away.  And if it’s running away then it anyway won’t stick so it is better to let it run away now than later.

Although, in case you are seeking a casual encounter, JIT is the scenario. As highlighted in the dating matrix, if physical gratification is all you seek from someone, the lesser the small talk, the better. JITs can be the case of a one-night stand at a bar with someone you have just met. On dating apps that are inorganic by design and with easy ghosting, a number of guys express interest in a girl’s profile with the hope of a casual encounter. An insightful takeaway is that the aim in such a case should be to decrease the lead time and interact in person rather than over screens. Getting a kiss emoji in a text doesn’t mean much.

That brings me to the Uber story, it was quite close to JIT because both of us weren’t looking for anything serious. Another time, I got acquainted well with a co-passenger in an Uberpool ride, which was an ideal JIT. In the context of small talk, we don’t even know each others’ names.



5 thoughts on “Lead Time”

  1. Pingback: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – MBAInDating

  2. Pingback: KF4D – MBAInDating

  3. Pingback: Experience Economy – MBAInDating

  4. Pingback: Inbound & Outbound Marketing - MBAInDating

  5. Pingback: Marketing Funnel - MBAInDating

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *