Harley Davidson Case
February 12, 2012
Since Harley Davison Motor Company started in 1903, they have been successfully “taking the work out of bicycling” better than any other motorcycle manufacturing company. They have experienced great success recently with growing numbers in their percentage of motorcycles shipped, up 14 percent from 1997, and their target market size, up 13.8 percent from 1997. Their brand has also grown so strong over the years that customers are willing to wait up to two years for a motorcycle. The problems that Harley Davison is faced with are how to improve their existing purchasing process, how to integrate their existing procurement methods together, and how to develop longer term relationships with suppliers. Since these issues are enterprise wide, they are looking into software that will allow them to manage their supply chain more efficiently and be more functional than their current system.
First, they went through the process of forming a project team of experts from each of the procurement organizations. They called this team the Supplier Information Link or SiL’K for short. The team then mapped the purchasing processes of the company and surveyed the stakeholders to see where most of their time was spent on procurement activities. The team was quite shocked when they found that their purchasing personnel was spending up to 85% of their time on non-strategic activities including reviewing inventory and data entry. The team had established an SMS goal of having personnel spending at least 70% of their time on supplier management activities, so there was a great deal of room for improvement in this area.
They were then able to map out where they would like the company to be after the new enterprise software was implemented. From that point, the team developed a Request for Quote (RFQ) to send out to potential software suppliers to see how they could meet Harley Davidson’s needs. This brought them to a provider selection process that the team analyzed and they then narrowed the field to their top three. Now that the three best software providers had been determined, it was necessary to make a decision that the company should pursue and implement across their whole organization. Software Selection and Decision Rationale
Based on the analysis listed in the table on the last page of this study and information in the case, the software provider that I would choose for Harley Davidson would be Provider1. The SiL’K team has done a very thorough analysis over the last two years of what they need in an enterprise-wide procurement and supplier management system. During that time, they developed the idea that Harley Davidson’s values and culture are very important factors in the overall decision. The qualitative criteria areas that looked at the values and culture the most were “long term relationship potential,” “understanding Harley Davidson’s requirements,” and “enabling the SMS.” This particular provider received very high marks in these sections. During the overall analysis of Provider1, it stated that, “the SiL’K team felt a natural affinity to its representatives who seemed to have a similar company culture.” This was also mentioned several times in the appendix of the case and would make the software integration more seamless and help them work together more efficiently in the future.
Another area that the team thought was very important to the success of the new software was the implementation process. This obviously encompassed the qualitative criteria area of “implementation/education/change management methodology,” but also encompassed the areas of “training approach”, and “architecture compatibility.” This particular provider scored very high in these areas as well. With any group support system, it is very important that all the different functions in the business are able to work together. It is equally important that all the employees...
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