Harley Davidson Supply Chain Management

Topics: Manufacturing, Supply chain management, Inventory Pages: 9 (2039 words) Published: November 14, 2010
MANAGING THE SUPPLY CHAIH

SHASHANK BHOJE
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION 3

2. SUMMARY 4

3. MAJOR CHALLENGES 6

4. STEPS TAKEN TO ENCOUNTER CHALLENGES 8

5. CONCLUSION 15

6. REFERENCE 16

INTRODUCTION
Harley Davidson is one of the oldest and one of the iconic motorcycle manufacturing companies of this era. Harley Davidson has a niche market, it manufactures motorcycles for customers who love cursing highways. Harley Davidson is the last surviving motorcycle company since the great depression. It was in the year 1901, Milwaukee when William Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davison started to work towards making motor-cycles and in the year 1903 with the help of Arthur’s brother Walter Davidson they successfully developed single cylinder motorcycle. In 1910 the designed their famous “Bar and Shield” logo. It became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles globally in 1920. The company went through many major changes like design of cycles, working ways and manufacturing. The company rose to become a leader and a brand name recognized globally with domination in heavy weight motorcycles.

SUMMARY
In 1970’s Harley Davidson dominated the market of heavy weight motorcycles. The company’s corporate partner AMF wanted to take advantage of this situation and thus increased the production rate of cycles. Corporate parent AMF only focused mostly on short term return hence quantity and not quality at the time, due to which there was drop in sales and the company’s reputation was shattered with little chance of recovering. H-D then soon went public, but the chairman himself regained the company with a new local management in place it made a new start. But the management had tough task at hand to gain back the lost reputation, with financial problems at one hand and stiff competition from new Japanese motorcycle manufacturers on the other the company had to take huge risks. H-D made many changes inside and outside the system. It employed the Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing with higher number inventory turns and entered the supply chain managing mode of manufacturing which proved efficient and the quality of their product reached new heights. H-D introduced Statistical Operators Control (SOC) to improve quality control. They also initiated a system to involve their employees to reduce the communication gap. Optimized their supplier base and benchmarked them, started side business, educated their suppliers were some of the steps that H-D took in order to put them back on track and went head on to face the competition.

MAJOR CHALLENGES
The major challenges that Harley had to face in order to gain back their market share: * Quality of product
* Competition
* Scheduling & Inventory management
* Optimizing supplier base
* Lean manufacturing
* Agile manufacturing

STEPS TAKEN TO ENCOUNTER CHALLENGES
Harley Davidson made many changes in both internal and external environment they are as follows: * Higher Inventory turns
* Supply Chain Management system
* Just In Time Manufacturing (J.I.T.)
* Lean Manufacturing
* Agile Manufacturing
* Statistical Operator Control (S.O.C.)
* Employee involvement
* Optimizing supplier base
* Continuous Improvement
* Flexibility in business
* Benchmarking suppliers
* Sole sourcing
* Being competitive
* Being a world class customer and supplier

MAJOR CHALLENGES
QUALITY OF PRODUCT...

References: Anon. 2007. Just In Time Production. [ONLINE] Available at: http://tutor2u.net/business/production/just-in-time.html. [Accessed 07 November 10].
Anon. 2006. Agile Manufacturing. [ONLINE] Available at: http://rockfordconsulting.com/agile-manufacturing.htm. [Accessed 07 November 10].
Chiu, Randy. K, 1999. Managerial Auditing Journal. Employee involvement in a total quality management programme: problems in Chinese firms in Hong Kong, [Online]. 14, 8. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=868403&show=html& [Accessed 02 November 2010].
Lean Manufacturing Guide;Increasing production. 2010. Lean Manufacturing Guide;Increasing production. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.leanmanufacturingguide.com/. [Accessed 04 November 2010].
Porter, Michael.E, 2008. On competition. 5th ed. U.S.A: Harverd Business School Publishing Corporation.
Supplier Development. 2010. Supplier Development. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nist.gov/mep/manufacturers/supplier-development.cfm. [Accessed 05 November 2010].
Wu, Yen Chun, 2003. Lean manufacturing. A perspective of lean suppliers, [Online]. 1, 1352,1353. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0144-3577&volume=23&issue=11&articleid=849511&show= [Accessed 05 November 2010].
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