Background

The
Harley Davidson motor company is one of the oldest motor cycle manufacturer,
not only in the United States of America, but also throughout the world. The
company was founded by William Harley and Arthur Davidson in 1903. Like many
other innovative organizations who started small and later-on gained world
class fame, Harley Davidson motor company also was founded in a garage shed in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.  In a span of
18 years, i.e., by 1920, the company gained wide spread fame and attention and
became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles throughout the world by
producing over 28,000 motorcycles on an annual basis with the company’s dealers
located in 67 countries. The primary speciality of these motor cycles is the
45-degree air-cooled V-Twin engine (Samsun, 2015). The company had been widely
known as one of the two companies -Indian & Harley Davidson- that overcame
the great economic depression as well as survived numerous ownership and
subsidiary arrangements during the periods of poor economic health and product
quality apart from severe global competition. Its key competitors are the various
heavyweight manufacturers in the >651cc segment such as Honda, Yamaha,
Kawasaki and Suzuki. During the first world war in 1917, the company served the
United States army with over 20,000 motorcycles as a military issue rather than
regular use motorcycle. Apart from Harley Davidson, the US army is known to
have used only Triumph motorcycles manufactured by the British. Later on, in
the second world war, the company supplied the US Army with army specific
customised version of its 45 cubic inches WL line motorcycles. During that
time, over 90,000 motorcycles have been sold to the US army and its allied
forces, subsequently resulting in being awarded the Army-Navy ‘E’ Awards in
1943 and 1945 for the company’s excellence in production of motorcycles in a very
short time. These motorcycles gained wide spread fame throughout the world,
that they have been used also in the Korean war of 1950. The motorcycle has
created an image to the company as well as the country of United States of
America, that it came to be known as the “Classic American Icon”. The company
started its retail market overseas with its first branch being opened in Brazil
in the year 1998. As of the present day the company owns 1400 independently
owned dealerships in over 100 countries throughout the world. Harley Davidson
has become a pioneer in the world of motor cycles by focusing its products on
customer satisfaction and they have strived through the ages to make their
motor cycles better and faster. Apart from designing bikes for military segment
and cruiser segment, the company also manufactures bikes in the racing segment
since 1987 when the company started their association with Buell Motorcycle
company by supplying them with XR1000 engines used in racing bikes. As of
October 2015, the company discontinued its association with Buell motorcycles
and began to concentrate on its own brand of motor cycles in the racing
segment.

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Major Enterprise architectural issues

·        
Verge of going
bankrupt

·        
Formation of
project team

·        
Ineffective Supply
Chain Management strategy

Analysis

Verge of going bankrupt

Early,
in the 1970’s, the company had faced several issues and went to the brink of
bankruptcy. Prior to 1970’s, the company was quite successful and had been
running in profits. It had a lot of demand and at one point, the customers had
to wait for nearly two years to get themselves a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It
is result of the excellence in the quality of the product delivered to the
customer, that the company gained wide spread recognition and fame in a short
period of time. Post the change of ownership to American Machine and Foundry
(AMF) in 1969, the production has been streamlined and the workforce has been
decreased. This move of the company led to several labour strikes resulting in
deteriorated performance of the bikes resulting in inferior performance and
consequently, a reduction in sales. These events led the company to being on
the verge of bankruptcy. Due to the severe decline in sales, the company was
submerged with a debt of $100 million and the lack of funds and financial
practices made running the company, a huge burden. Prior to the merger with
American Machine and Foundry, the company is in good hands and profits flowed.
But due to inadequate restructuring of the organization followed by
underprivileged practices, the company ran into losses. Post that phase, the
company of Harley Davidson, under the supervision of new CEO Richard F.
Teerlink regained its recognition with several drastic changes which led to a
twist in the providence of the organization.

Formation of project team

The
formation of project teams is a very important aspect in an organization.
Having effective managers to work under a team has high impact on the success
of the projects as well as the organization. But, un-effective teams and their
management is one of the biggest mishaps, the organization dealt with for a
very long time. It is only after a long time, with the depreciating results of
the company, that it came to know about the lack of efficiency of its managers
who are failing to give the company, its expected results. Post this situation,
the company had to develop specialized project teams which comprised of the
company’s stakeholders and various other business management units. Although
several vital people had been part of the company’s project teams, they lacked
inter departmental communications as well as with other departments. In order
to deal with this issue, it had been assigned to the business integration team
whose primary task is to facilitate effective communication between several
departments and lead to co-ordinated efforts among all the team members of the
projects and departments. The integration unit has been widely successful in
its efforts and ensured that the organization’s hybrid structure remained
stable. Post survival from the brink of being bankrupt, the company underwent a
restructuring and organization of its essential assets which also included its
managers. Under the new policies of restructuring in the company, it
implemented Supply chain management along with Just in Time initiatives, since
the demand for efficient project teams is quite high. As a part of these new
initiatives, teams of 3 are created to assigned specific tasks in which the
entire responsibility of the work progress and its result is dependent of the
team. It’s only after then, that the company started to experience real-time
results and high-performance outputs from its business ventures. Inside the
newly brought up Supply chain management teams, the personnel, standards,
procedures, and the level of creativity is maintained on-par with the
organization such that they meet the Harley Davidson motor company policies and
their effectiveness. The whole operation has been dependent of the
correspondence needs of the operating procedures which can be further
streamlined, thereby giving rise to showcasing of important issues that needs
the management’s attention.

Ineffective Supply Chain Management
strategy

            Supply chain management can be termed
as the management of flow of goods and services, which can involve the storage and
processing of raw materials from their source to destination till they reach the
consumer. It can comprise of series of interconnections between businesses, organizations
and distributors. Supply chain management comprises of several advantages which
are high efficiency rates, increase in resultant outputs, and surge in profit levels.
The advantages are numerous in number when a company follows the structure of Supply
chain management. But the company of Harley Davidson motor cycles lacked this feature
until the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. It is only post that phase that
the company took initiatives into re-structuring their organization which turned
around the fate of the organization.

            The primary focus of Just in Time management
is the reduction of wastage produced in the manufacturing of the company’s products.
It can also include the goods deficit in quality or even broken products. It also
requires less capital with the less working space and its proprietary conditions.
This concept plays a huge role in the success of organizations throughout the world.
But, the company of Harley Davidson lacked any measures to ensure the reduction
in wastage of its products or recycle them.