Amazon is moving from managing lead time at a warehouse-level to managing it at an ASIN-level
Faster lead times typically result in higher conversion rates
It is now important to be monitoring lead time at an ASIN-level
Until October 23, 2018 drop-ship lead times were assigned based on the aggregate warehouse level performance and shipping speed. With the previous warehouse-level lead time program, ASINs in your warehouse were set at the same lead time regardless of their individual performance. The old warehouse lead time was beneficial in that it allowed one to set a longer lead time for products that required more prep or were made-to-order.
Setting lead times at an ASIN-level makes it possible for you to have ASINs at varied lead times, including Guaranteed Delivery, based on individual performance and shipping speed. It also means it will be more important to monitor the fast-track messaging on each of your drop-ship products so that it is correct and you can meet the time. Drop-ship lead times can be monitored in the Reports tab in Vendor Central, manually by checking the detail page, or by third-party software that monitors Fast-Track messaging.
Lead times are automatically updated based on vendor shipping performance. If you consistently exceed your performance targets and ship faster than your current lead time, your lead time will be eligible for upgrade. Upgrades are set automatically. However, downgrades can only be manually adjusted through a Contact Us case.
The following bullets were included in Amazon’s announcement:
Our lead time and Guaranteed Delivery metrics, targets, and upgrade/downgrade policies for Direct Fulfillment are not changing with this launch. We are only changing the level we measure, evaluate and take actions. The lead time for your products will still be assigned by Amazon based on their performance and shipping speed.
The Required Ship Date (RSD or ExSD) for a Direct Fulfillment order will be based on the lead time of the ASIN in that order. Shipping on or before ExSD (the earlier, the better) will help you retain your current lead time, and potentially get the lead time of that specific ASIN upgraded.