Case#2 Harley Davidson Case Study
Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer with a rich history and cultural tradition. It was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, WI. Around mid-1980’s, the company was facing problems with product quality and enlarged global presence, hence the management realized the need for an integrated management system that will not only improve the company’s processes but also fit within its budget and enhance its profits. This caused the start of the process to identify the most appropriate information management system for Harley Davidson Motor Company.
The process was largely reliant on teamwork, which played a leading role in structuring of the IS function. The organization, rather than having a Chief Information Officer, had a team of three directors to offer leadership on information systems integration. The three officers were given the responsibility to play internal consultant roles to the team engaged in identification of the appropriate software to meet the needs of the organization. Additionally, they provided direction regarding how well the technology will fit into the organization’s undertaking to create efficient business practices. The group had liberty to make technological investment decisions for the benefit of the organization. The group was considered to have more exposure to the needs of the business considering their day to day interaction with it.
The case took place in the period from 1997-1999. The purpose of the case was to analyze the process of selecting a modular Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to support supply chain management for this large manufacturing company. Recognizing that the purchasing process for obtaining materials and parts was out of control, management coordinated a project to understand its purchasing process and activities, solicit feedback from the 800 people who would be affected by the new system, and create a complete transformation in thinking and action regarding the procurement and management of incoming supplies. In addition, management wanted to move the company from a short-term transaction purchasing basis to a long-term relationship with suppliers. Application of Information Technology helps in achieving better standardization and integration. Considering the technical aspect involved in integrating the software into business operations, purchasing team was structured to work closely with the engineering department .The case is a good example of an all-inclusive Purchasing operations groups, which operated on location at their manufacturing plants and facilities. It highlights the importance of having all stakeholders on board to ensure that the process is all-inclusive and addresses the needs of all the quarters of the organization’s operations. They also developed additional standards before commencing on the ERP selection process, as they disqualified one vendor’s product due to “architectural incompatibility” suggesting platform standardization. Scalability of the purchasing system must also be considered while making such decisions. They had a basis to work from for future growth and development. In addition to selecting an ERP system, Harley Davidson was interested in developing supplier relationships with key vendors. They wanted the new system to facilitate this development. The management understood importance of supply management across all the company’s production sites to enhance internal operating efficiency. They developed Supplier Information Link (SiL’K) to define their needs and extended requests for proposals (RFPs), for which they received eight responses. The SiL’K team already had determined that Harley Davidson was in need of modified ERP. ”The SiL’K team was explicit about not seeking a full ERP solution, ….. the we expected them to check us as well” P.G.9. The company’s architecture Integrations group reviewed all possibilities to ensure compatibility with existing system. Of the...
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