Basic subcontracting lead times

In Odoo, lead times are used to predict how long it takes to complete a certain action. For example, a delivery lead time can be set for a purchased product, which specifies the number of days it usually takes for the product’s vendor to delivery the product to the purchasing company.

For subcontracted products specifically, delivery lead times can be configured to take into account the amount of time required for the subcontractor to manufacture a product. Doing so allows the contracting company to better predict the delivery dates of subcontracted products.


Like all lead times in Odoo, lead times for subcontracted products are only an estimate, and are based on how long actions are expected to take.

Unforeseen circumstances can impact the completion of these actions, which means that lead times should not be viewed as guarantees.


When using the basic subcontracting workflow to manufacture a product, a company is not responsible for supplying the subcontractor with the necessary components. This means that the only factors affecting the delivery date of a product are the amount of time it takes the subcontractor to manufacture and deliver it.

By assigning a product’s subcontractor a delivery lead time that considers both of these factors, the Expected Arrival date displayed on purchase orders (POs) for the product more accurately reflects the amount of time required for both manufacturing and delivery.

Product delivery lead time

To set a delivery lead time for a product’s subcontractor, navigate to Inventory app ‣ Products ‣ Products, and select a subcontracted product.

Then, select the Purchase tab on the product’s page. If the subcontractor has not already been added as a vendor, do so now by clicking Add a line, and selecting the subcontractor in the Vendor column.

Once the subcontractor has been added, enter the number of days it takes them to manufacture and deliver the product, in the Delivery Lead Time column.

The Delivery Lead Time field for a subcontractor, on the Purchase tab of a product page.


Multiple subcontractors can be added to the Purchase tab on a product’s page, and a different Delivery Lead Time can be set for each.

Lead time workflow

After setting a delivery lead time for a product’s vendor, create an RfQ by navigating to Purchase app ‣ Orders ‣ Purchase Orders, and clicking New.

Specify the subcontractor in the Vendor field. Then, add the product in the Products tab by clicking Add a product, selecting the product in the Product column, and adding a quantity in the Quantity column.

Once a product has been added, the Expected Arrival field on the RfQ auto-populates with a date that reflects the vendor’s delivery lead time, as specified on the product’s page.

If the date needs to be adjusted, click on the Expected Arrival field to open a calendar popover, and select the desired date. Make sure not to choose a date sooner than the one that was auto-populated, unless the subcontractor has confirmed that they are able to deliver the product by that date.

Finally, click Confirm Order on the RfQ to turn it into a PO. At this point, the subcontractor should begin manufacturing the subcontracted product, before delivering it to the contracting company.


Bike retailer Mike’s Bikes works with a subcontractor — Bike Friends — to produce units of their Tricycle product.

On average, Bike Friends requires three days to manufacture a tricycle, plus an additional two days to deliver it to Mike’s Bikes.

As a result, Mike’s Bikes sets a delivery lead time of five days for tricycles manufactured by Bike Friends: three days for manufacturing, plus two days for delivery.

On May 3rd, Mike’s Bikes confirms a PO to purchase one tricycle from Bike Friends.

The Expected Arrival date listed on the PO is May 8th, five days after the Confirmation Date.

The Expected Arrival date on a PO for a subcontracted product.

Bike Friends begins manufacturing the tricycle on May 3rd — the day that the PO is confirmed — and finishes on May 6th, three days later.

The tricycle is then shipped to Mike’s Bikes the same day, and they receive it on May 8th, two days later.