Harley Davidson Erp Vendor Selection
Supply Management Strategy
Software Vendor Finalists
Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer with a rich history and cultural tradition. Founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, WI, Harley just celebrated its 100th anniversary with a series of events around the world that culminated in hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists rallying last summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1929, there were 241 motorcycle manufacturers in the US. After the Depression, only two remained: Harley and Indian. By 1953, Indian went out of business, leaving Harley-Davidson as the only American motorcycle manufacturer. Financial difficulties in the 1970’s led to the parent company, AMF putting the motorcycle division up for sale. Without a buyer, a group of Harley managers bought out the company and rescued it with a business turnaround that included brand extensions into licensed goods, such as apparel and related accessories. Now a publicly owned company, Harley has scored double digit growth for eighteen consecutive years. Harley transformed itself into a strong marketing company with a focus on lifestyle image and product quality.
The case took place in retrospect from 1997-1999. The purpose of the case was to critique the process of selecting a modular 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