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I.

CURRENT SITUATION 3
A. CURRENT PERFORMANCE 3
B. STRATEGIC POSTURE 3
1. Mission & Objectives 3
2. Strategies 4
3. Policies 4
4. Summary 4
II. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 4
A. BOARD OF DIRECTORS 4
B. TOP MANAGEMENT 5
III. EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS (SWOT) 6
A. SOCIETAL ENVIRONMENT 6
1. Economic 6
2. Technological 6
3. Political-legal 6
4. Sociocultural 7
B. TASK ENVIRONMENT 7
1. Threat of new entrants 7
2. Bargaining power of buyers 7
3. Threat of substitute of products or services 7
4. Bargaining power of suppliers 7
5. Rivalry among competing firms 8
6. Relative power of unions, governments, special interest group, etc. 8
C. SUMMARY OF EXTERNAL FACTORS 8
IV. INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT: STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS (SWOT) 10
A. CORPORATE STRUCTURE 10
B. CORPORATE CULTURE 10
C. CORPORATE RESOURCES 10
1. Marketing 10
a. Product: 10
b. Price: 11
c. Place: 11
d. Promotion: 11
2. Finance 12
3. Research and Development (R & D) 13
4. Operations and Logistics 13
5. Human Resources Management (HRM) 14
6. Information Systems (IS) 14
D. SUMMARY OF INTERNAL FACTORS 15
VI. ANALYSIS OF STRATEGIC FACTORS 16
A. SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS 16
B. REVIEW OF MISSION AND OBJECTIVES 17
1. Are They Appropriate & How Should They Be Changed? 17
2. Damage Control 17
VI. STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES & RECOMMENDED STRATEGY 18
A. STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES 18
1. Revision of Objectives 18
2. Alternative Strategies 18
B. RECOMMENDED STRATEGY 18
1. Selected Strategic Alternatives 18
VII. IMPLEMENTATION 19
A. PROGRAMS 19
B. FINANCIALLY FEASIBLE 19
VIII. EVALUATION & CONTROL 20
A. CURRENT INFORMATION SYSTEM 20
B. CONTROL MEASURES 20
BIBLIOGRAPHY 21
Strategic Audit of Harley Davidson Inc.
I. Current Situation
A. Current Performance
In 2007, GDP ended at 3.1% in America and 2.1% in Eurozone; and is expected to d
rop further during 2008. According to Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer of Ha
rley-Davidson, Inc., these are challenging times in the U.S., our international d
ealer network delivered double digit retail sales growth in the fourth quarter a
nd for the full year of 2007. Our customers around the world have a lot to look
forward to this year with the new motorcycles we are bringing to market, the op
ening of the Harley-Davidson Museum, and hundreds of rides and events leading up
to our 105th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee this summer. (PR NewsWire, 20
08). With these additions to Harley-Davidson s current situation, Jim Ziemer is p
lanning to increase sales to make up for lost revenue last year.
Harley-Davidson s sales decreased from $5.8 billion in 2006 to $5.73 billion in 20
07. When measured in sales units, Harley-Davidson s sales decreased by 34,981 in
2007, bringing overall sales to 337,774 units. In the first quarter of 2008, H
arley-Davidson is expecting to ship between 68,000 to 72,000 motorcycles, approx
imately four thousands units less than the first quarter in 2007. On the other
hand, according to the 2007 annual report obtained at Harley-Davidson s web site,
the company has 48% of the North America market share compare to its competitors
: Honda 14.3%, Suzuki 14.7%, Yamaha 9.2%, Kawasaki 7.5%, 8.3% for the other moto
rcycles companies which make up the rest of the market share. The significant a
mount of market shares Harley-Davidson owns in the North American market helped
the company generate the highest net revenues of $4,208 million in 2007.
Beginning 2000, the company has successfully maintained a ROI above 20 every yea
r. In 2007, Harley-Davidson s return on investment (ROI) resulted in 31.85 percen
t; which has slightly decreased in the first quarter of 2008 which resulted in 2
4.29 percent. Although these figures are quite well when compared to the indust
rial average of 17.31 percent, there is always room for improvement when one con
siders the progress of Harley-Davidson throughout history.
B. Strategic Posture
1. Mission & Objectives
Harley-Davidson s mission statement is to fulfill dreams through the experience of
motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expandi
ng line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segm
ents. (Harley-Davidson web site, 2008) Their objective is to have happy and sati
sfied stakeholders, which includes their customers, employees, suppliers, invest
ors, government, and the society. Then in return, these stakeholders will conti
nue purchasing their products throughout their life time due to their unforgetta
ble experience they have doing business with Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson b
elieves the backbone in their business is their strong brand name and their loya
lty with customers.
2. Strategies
The first strategy Harley-Davidson uses is customer focus. Harley-Davids
on offers a wide range of products and services, from children s tricycles, clothin
g accessories, and affordable motorcycles to more higher-ended luxury motorcycle
s targeting customers in all age groups. By allowing their customers to personal
ize and customize their motorcycles, this strategy helps build their second stra
tegy, which is brand loyalty. Other strategies that help build brand loyalty and
selling dreams are to have groups, such as the Harley Owners Group (HOG) and th
e Buell Riders Adventure Group (BRAG), so they can emphasize to their customers
that everyone is welcome to join its large extended family for riders,. Their va
lue is: Tell the truth. Be fair. Keep your promises. Respect the individual. Enco
urage intellectual Curiosity. (Harley-Davidson web site, 2008) These represent t
heir way of running their businesses and how they treat their stakeholders. To b
e successful, Harley-Davidson recognizes the importance of the employees passions
and their attitudes toward the company. Hence, there are diverse employees to p
rovide different perspectives in planning and implementing their products. This
is also one of their competitive advantages. In 2008, Harley-Davidson will be he
avily investing in three areas: marketing, product development and their people.
3. Policies
Harley-Davidson minimized the traditional approach in management and enc
ouraged the Open Door policy throughout the company in order to maximize and encou
rage overall employee involvement. Hence, they allow their employees to particip
ate in the company s key business decisions. They also have employee recognition p
rograms to encourage and reward them for outstanding work.
4. Summary
Harley-Davidson believes in sharing their success to the community for a
better society. Besides the company supporting the community, they also encoura
ge their employees to perform volunteer work with society through programs such
as Dollars for Hours which the company will contribute the dollar amount equival
ent to the total amount of hours their employees volunteer for.
II. Corporate Governance
A. Board of Directors
Harley-Davidson s board members are all independent directors who met the independ
ence requirements of the New York Stock Exchange ( NYSE ) and all other applicable l
aws, regulations, and rules. The company has a total of eleven board members, i
ncluding the Chairman, Jeffrey L. Bleustein; the Directors: Barry K. Allen, Rich
ard I. Beattie, George H. Conrades, Judson C. Green, Donald A. James, Sara L. Le
vinson, George L. Miles Jr., James A. Norling, Jochen Zeitz; and the President,
CEO, and Director; CEO, Motor Company, James L. Ziemer. Further analysis of the
employers list showed board members, Jeffrey L. Bleustein, James L. Ziemer, and
Donald James, are internal and the others are presumed to be external. Their s
hares of stock will be discussed below in the Top Management section.
For every stock owner that retains 15% of the outstanding common stock they are
entitled to purchase preferred stock at the rate of one ten-thousandth of a shar
e per common stock unless they have announced their intentions to acquire 25% or
more of the outstanding common stock. This preferred stock will have an exercis
e price of $175 before August 20, 2010.
B. Top Management
Harley-Davidson s team has a total of 41 top management personnel. Eleven of the
most important personnel seem to be: Chairman, Jeffrey L. Bleustein, 67 years ol
d; the President, CEO, and Director; CEO, Motor Company, James L. Ziemer, 58 yea
rs old; the EVP and CFO, Thomas E. (Tom) Bergmann, 40 years old; VP and Treasure
r, James M. Brostowitz, 54 years old; EVP, General Counsel, Secretary, and Chief
Compliance Officer, Gail A. Lione, 58 years old; VP, Strategic Planning and New
Business Development, Motor Company, John A. Hevey, 49 years old; President and
COO, Harley Davidson Motor Company, James A. McCaslin, 59 years old; VP Human R
esources, Harley Davidson Motor Company, Harold A. Scott, 59 years old; SVP and
Chief Marketing Officer, Harley Davidson Motor Company, Mark Hans Richer, 41 yea
rs old; President, Harley Davidson Financial Services, Saiyid T. Naqvi, 58 years
old; SVP Product Development, Harley Davidson Motor, Ronald M. Hutchinson, 60 y
ears old.
Harley-Davidson stocks are privately-held because the company does not sell shar
es directly to individuals. There are a total of 25 insiders who own Harley-Dav
idson s stock, which results in a total of 1,749,961 direct shares and a total of
1,283,523 indirect shares. However, all the insiders only own 0.73% of shares.
Jeffery L. Bleustein, who is the Chairman, owns 41.74 percent of total stocks, w
hich includes 730,500 direct shares and 636,200 indirect shares. James M Brosto
witz who is the VP and Treasurer owns 18.01 percent, which includes 315,137 dire
ct shares and 39,272 indirect shares. James L. Ziemer who is the President, CEO
, and Director, owns 11.44 percent, which includes 200,195 direct shares and 132
,906 indirect shares. James A. McCaslin who is the President and Chief Operatin
g Officer of Harley Davidson Motor Company, owns 11.11 percent, which includes 1
94,417 direct shares and 12,238 indirect shares. Gail A. Lione who is the Execu
tive VP, General Counsel and Security, owns 3.29 percent, which includes 57,595
direct shares and 4,716 indirect shares. Ronald M. Hutchinson who is the Senior
VP of Product Development, owns 2.21 percent, which includes 38,599 direct shar
es and 10,985 indirect shares. Thomas E. Bergmann who is the Executive and Chie
f Financial Officer, owns 2.07 percent, which includes 36,223 direct shares and
97 indirect shares. And the other 18 people within the company own the reaming
10.13 percent of shares.
III. External environment: Opportunities and threats (SWOT)
A. Societal Environment
1. Economic
As mentioned above, the economy downtime in the United States has affected the s
ales of Harley-Davidson s motorcycles in 2007. With low interest rates, increases
in the price of gas, and increases in unemployment; these economic uncertaintie
s have led the company to make a decision of reducing their production and shipm
ent until the economy recovers. On the other hand, the international retail sal
es of Harley-Davidson have increased 13.7 percent in 2007. Compared to the figu
res in 2006, Harley-Davidson s production sales have increased 15.0 percent in Eur
ope, retail sales have increased 3.6 percent in Japan, retail sales have increa
sed 9.4 percent in Canada, and 23.7 percent from the combination of the rest of
the international markets.
2. Technological
Due to fast-pace speed in the world of technology, consumers expectations have in
creased drastically. In order to be built and maintained Harley-Davidson s brand
loyalty and reputation, Harley-Davidson utilized information technology to striv
e to build higher quality and more reliable traditional motorcycles. Through th
e increase in convenience with e-commerce, consumers can obtain different models
information about its products, compare the functionality of those models befor
e they make a decision to purchase, and obtain finance information assisting buy
ers to make decisions like the amount to finance and its down payment. Harley-D
avidson satisfied consumers shopping needs during anytime of the day at their con
venience. However, with the limited ability Harley-Davidson has to develop non-
traditional motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has a disadvantage when compared to its
competitors.
3. Political-legal
Due to Environmental authorities in Federal, State, and Local levels of governme
nt, environmental laws to monitor and control air, water, noise, and fuel pollut
ion have forced Harley-Davidson to implement environmental practices throughout
their company. It is certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency to com
ply with applicable emission and noise stands in manufacturing motorcycles. Har
ley-Davidson is also complying with the State of California Air Resources Board
(CARB) to meet the requirements for emission standards. Therefore, investing in
Harley-Davidson s Research and Development Team enables the company to develop pr
oducts to minimize air pollution and reduce the generation of wastewater and sol
id waste throughout the manufacturing process. In addition, Harley-Davidson emp
hasizes a paperless environment , minimizing paper usage within the company.
According to the safety helmet law of 1966 and complying with the universal helm
et law of 1992, Harley-Davidson requires motorcycle renters and their passengers
to sign an agreement promising to wear a country-approved helmet when riding mo
torcycles.
4. Sociocultural
Traditionally, Harley-Davidson targeted to higher income males. As time changes
, the demand of motorcycles have increased for women; therefore, the company cha
nged their direction and appointed Leslie Prevish, a women s outreach manager, to
target female markets in an effort to increase sales to at least 300 million dol
lars if successful. One way is to host garage parties to teach women how to pic
k up a 750-pound motorcycle and other appropriate skills.
B. Task environment
1. Threat of new entrants
Harley-Davidson has to devise new strategies in order to sustain their market sh
are in America if they don t want their competitors, such as BMW, Honda, Yamaha, S
uzuki, and Kawasaki, to take the market share away.
2. Bargaining power of buyers
Prices of motorcycles are currently being forced down due to buyers demanding an
d expecting more quality and different services. With the intense competition f
rom its competitors such as Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and BMW, buyers now have mo
re choices. Since Harley-Davidson is not competing with its competitors on pric
e, customers are more willing to pay for the superior and unforgettable experien
ces when purchasing Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
3. Threat of substitute of products or services
Harley-Davidson is facing intense competition from other competitors, especially
Japanese motorcycles companies. If a larger portion of consumers are currently
changing in what they want a motorcycle for, i.e. commuting purposes, then Harl
ey-Davidson s motorcycles may be easier to be substituted by its Japanese competit
ors due to lighter weight, better gas mileage, and lower cost.
4. Bargaining power of suppliers
According to Harley-Davidson code of business conduct, suppliers are considered p
art of our team and should be treated in a manner consistent with our values. (Ha
rley-Davidson Inc., 2003) It is inappropriate and unfair to suggest to any suppli
er that we will not buy from them unless they purchase from us (Harley-Davidson I
nc., 2003). Hence, once Harley-Davidson has selected their suppliers, it seldom
changes and switches. Due to the high switching costs among suppliers, it decr
eases their bargaining power in certain ways. For example, if their suppliers t
hreatened to raise the price of products, this will led to lower margin in profi
t. If Harley-Davidson refuses to pay the higher price, the suppliers can then t
hreaten to lower the quality of their product, thus leading to unsatisfied custo
mers. Therefore, it is vital to negotiate beforehand and maintain a good relatio
nship with suppliers to ensure a higher profit margin and a higher quality of th
e ending products.
5. Rivalry among competing firms
As the Japanese (e.g. Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki) and European (e.g. BMW) motorcycl
e manufacturers expand rapidly in America, the rivalry became high and tense.
6. Relative power of unions, governments, special interest group, etc.
The most critical issue a motorcycle manufacturer should emphasis is saf
ety. There is a special interest motorcycle rider groups are demanding, which i
s for a motorcycle to include an airbag. Due to this increase in concerns, Hond
a Motor Co. had developed a fully loaded motorcycle, including air bags, named G
old Wing in 2006. Its airbag system has crash sensors located in the front of t
he motorcycle, which are capable of detecting rapid deceleration and send the da
ta to the onboard computer in order to analyze whether a situation of crash is o
ccurring or not. Yamaha followed and added airbag systems to some of their moto
rcycles for their riders safety. However, Harley-Davidson has taken a different
approach. The company put their emphasis in motorcycles education and training.
Since 2000, Harley-Davidson has opened many motorcycle academy classes to trai
n and educate both new and experienced motorcycle riders.
Additionally, there were numerous negative news stories since 2006, rega
rding motorcycle noise that has increased approximately 400 percent over the pas
t ten years. Globally, there are a lot of countries that have very strict laws r
estricting motorcycle noise. For instance, the noise level standard requirement
measured in db(A) in both Europe and Japan are low when compared to the United
States standards. In Australia, a permanent label must be affixed to signify th
e used of legal pipes after the motorcycle s annual inspection.
These requirements are important issues to Harley-Davidson s manufacturers worldwi
de, especially the db(A) control. According to Jim McCaslin, the President and
Chief Operating Officer in Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the high db(A) level s
ignify and is a symbol of Harley-Davidson. He also noted that the loud engine s
ound of the engine triggering emphasize that our motorcycle has been brought to
life which led Our soul goes hungry. (Harley-Davidson web site, 2006)
C. Summary of External Factors
External Factors Analysis Summary (EFAS) Table
External Weight Rating Weighted Comments
Strategic Factors Scores
Opportunities
Develop environmental friendly products 0.05 1.00 0.05 Trend to protec
t the environment
Increase female buyers 0.15 4.00 0.60 Trend for women motorcycles rid
ers
Increase motorcycle buyers due to high gas price 0.04 1.50 0.06
Trend to commute by motorcycles to save gas compare to automobiles
Increase new market shares in international markets 0.13 3.00 0.39
Trend to globalization among businesses
Bargaining power of buyers 0.07 2.50 0.18 Provide unforgettable e
xperience for their buyers in order to build up their brand loyalty
1.28
Threats
Economy Downtime 0.09 3.00 0.27 Need to be prepare and ready for
any opportunities when the economy comes back up eventually
Unable to develop distinguish motorcycle from their traditional products
0.08 2.50 0.20 Need to development more distinguish products
Intense competition brought by new entrants to the market 0.15 4.00
0.60 Response to competitors in order to maintain their market share
Loosing loyal customers due to substitute products currently in the market
0.10 3.50 0.35 Lower price, lighter weight, and better gas mileage mot
orcycles produced by Japanese manufacturers in the market
Bargaining power of suppliers 0.06 2.00 0.12 Insufficient flexibilit
y to switch suppliers due to treating suppliers as their team members. Price con
trol by suppliers.
Rivalry among competing firm 0.07 3.00 0.21 Loosing market share due
to foreign manufacturers able to expand their market shares in the US market ra
pidly
Relative power of safety concerns of interest groups 0.01 1.50 0.02
Unable to implement an airbag system for riders' safety
1.77
TOTAL SCORES 1 3.05
These forces can be very different or similar in different countries. It mainly
depends on the economic, political, technological, and sociocultural practices i
n the other countries. For example, in China and India citizens are upgrading t
heir main commuter vehicles from bicycles to motorcycles due to an increase in t
heir personal income. By 2010, the estimate demand for motorcycles in China wil
l exceed 15 million dollars. This will be a similar case in India. These risin
g demand for motorcycles in China and India introduces new larger opportunities
to Harley-Davidson to expand their businesses globally.
IV. Internal Environment: Strengths and weakness (SWOT)
A. Corporate Structure
According to the information on the Harley-Davidson s web site, the company s corpor
ate structure is represented by three overlapping functional circles, named the
Leadership and Strategy Council (LSC) model. The create demand circle represent
s the marketing and sales functions. The produce products circle represents the
entire engineering functions such as manufacturing, material and cost managemen
t, and quality functions and lastly, the support circle represents many of the b
ack office functions such as human resources, finance, information services, and
strategic planning. Therefore, the decision-making procedure within Harley-Dav
idson is decentralized according to which department is the most appropriate to
address certain issues or to make the decisions.
B. Corporate Culture
Since Harley-Davidson believes the key to success is to balance their stakeholder
s interests through empowerment of all employees, (Harley-Davidson web site, 2001-
2008), the company strongly believes in the philosophy of people building relati
onships. Their corporate culture is promoting stronger bonding between the top
management and the non-management workers by implementing the FISH philosophy th
roughout the entire company. This principle includes: give others your undivid
ed attention; play, lighten up; brighten someone s day; and choose your attitude.
In result, this way of loosening up the daily routine means more commitment from
managers and employees in creating a corporation of an energized workforce.
C. Corporate Resources
1. Marketing
a. Product:
Harley-Davidson is the major US maker of motorcycles and the nation's #1 seller
of heavyweight motorcycles. The company offers 35 models of touring and custom
Harleys through a worldwide network of more than 1,500 dealers. Harley s 2008 lin
e of motorcycles include Sportster, DYNA (Super Glide), Softail (Night Train), V
RSC (Night Rod), and Touring (Electra Glide). The company s strong brand image an
d loyalty is considered the main strength of their product. Harley-Davidson pri
des themselves on the development of these traditional products they offer to bu
yers.
b. Price:
The price ranges from $6,695 for an affordable Sportster to $16,545 for an Elect
ra Glide touring bike. It definitely cannot compete with the Japanese motorcycl
e manufacturers on cost because Japanese motorcycles tend to sell at a much lowe
r cost. As a result, Harley-Davidson s products tend to sell base on the mini-nic
he differences when compared to their competitors. The niche might include bein
g able to have customized audio systems and allowing personalized adjustments to
the Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
c. Place:
The worldwide network enables Harley-Davidson to sell motorcycles and it
s products through the 1,500 dealers located in 20 countries. In the US market
Harley-Davidson has indicated a trend of a decrease in their market share in the
motorcycle market. However, Harley-Davidson is still a market leader which hol
ding close to 50 percent of the market share when compared to its competitors an
d their market share is increasing globally.
d. Promotion:
Riding on a heavyweight Harley-Davidson motorcycle symbolizes freedom. Harley-D
avidson is an American icon which utilizes minimal advertising. Since they cann
ot put their product sample in a handy-size shopping bag, the company uses a ver
y different approach to market their brand loyalty such as the customer s unforget
table experience, passion of the stakeholders, target marketing, a Harley lifest
yle, extended lines of apparel, accessories, and children tricycles.
One way to promote a Harley lifestyle and image is through a series of HOG activ
ities, which is a significant promotion tool. It builds stronger bonding betwee
n Harley riders by allowing HOG members to view and communicate to the other mem
bers regarding their motorcycles. Additional benefits of being a HOG member ar
e the travel benefits. For example, Best Western hotel chain throughout United
States and Canada are committed to offer a rider-friendly environment which provid
e services such as wipe-down towels at check in, and access to wash station with
out any extra charge.
Harley-Davidson s line of apparel and accessories is another way to advertise and
promote. Besides promoting customers brand loyalty, this also lets other people
recognize that Harley-Davidson offers a broad of line of products and is not jus
t selling motorcycles. By selling tricycles to children, this business strategy
will expose children to the brand and unconsciously build in them to buy the sa
me brand when they grow older.
According to the 2007 Annual Report obtained from the Harley-Davidson web site,
Harley-Davidson s flexibility tailored to their customers needs differently in diff
erent countries around the world by enabling adjustments in marketing strategies
. For example, in Japan, the roles of women have changed from required to stay
home and care for their families to being able to work and live freely to pursue
their dreams. The Ladies Debut Ride event targeting women and have their female
employees led the entire events, made Japanese women felt more connected to the
brand, therefore increasing their confidence in purchasing their product.
On the other hand, in Russia, the Muscovites have solid spending power, their li
festyles include: dining at fine restaurants and shopping for high-end products.
Harley-Davidson located its store in a suburban luxury shopping village, aroun
d high-end autos, jewelries, and apparel dealers. This shopping village has a l
uxuriously furnished VIP waiting area, which includes: food, beverages and a ful
l wait staff to satisfy and create the customers unforgettable experiences.
2. Finance
Harley-Davidson did very well in dealing with the fragile U.S. economy during 200
7, said Jim Ziemer, the Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. (PR NewsW
ire, 2008). In 2008, Ziemer expects a moderate revenue growth mainly through in
ternational sales and lowering operations in the United States. During 2008 and
2009, the forecast in earnings per share will grow between 11 percent and 17 pe
rcent compared to 2007 at 4 percent and 6 percent.
Overall, in the United States, Harley-Davidson s 2007 annual result compar
ed to its figures generated in 2006 indicated a slowdown on growth. Harley-Davi
dson had reported a 0.7 percent increase in revenue resulting in a total of 868.
3 million dollars in parts and accessories; and a 10.1 percent increase in reven
ue resulting in a total of 305.4 million dollars in merchandise. Harley-Davidso
n s main business, which is though selling motorcycles throughout the whole year o
f 2007, had reported decreased revenue of 106.9 million dollars, which resulted
in 4.45 billion dollars. Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS) has reported
a 0.7 percent increase in revenue which results in 212.2 million dollars. Some
finance figures highlighted included: cash and marketable securities results in
a totaled of 405.3 million dollars; 798.1 dollars million in cash flow from ope
rations, and 242.1 million dollars in capital expenditures which the company exp
ects to grow to 260 million dollars in 2008. Finance information highlighted in
cluded: Harley-Davidson repurchased 153.3 million dollars of their common stock
, a total of 3.2 million shares during the forth-quarter in 2007. Throughout 200
7, it has repurchased 1.15 billion dollars, a total of 20.4 million shares. Add
itionally, the company has a total of 23.1 million shares waiting for board s auth
orization for repurchase. Currently, Harley-Davidson had over 238.5 million sha
res of common stock outstanding.
The three main important ratios had also decreased in 2007. The Return
on Assets (ROA) ratio which resulted in 16.51 percent, the Return on Equity (ROE
) ratio which resulted in 39.31 percent, and the Return on Investment (ROI) whic
h resulted in 31.85 percent indicates the company still has a positive return on
its overall investment. Many finance ratios mentioned below indicate a trend o
f decrease by the end of 2008. For instance, a 0.41 decreased of current ratio
which results in 1.82 compared to 2.23 at the end of 2006. This indicated the c
ompany has approximately 1.82 times of current assets if needed to satisfy oblig
ation due in the near future; therefore, the higher number is preferred. Its qu
ick ratio although had decreased which results in 1.54, indicate the company has
a positive capability to satisfy current liabilities with its most liquid asset
s. Its gross margin of 0.038 indicates the ratio of profit to sales. This figu
re indicates the leftover dollar amount in sales after the cost of goods sold is
deducted. The net profit margin of 15.2 indicates the leftover dollar amount a
fter all expenses and each dollar of sales. Both of these margins indicate a lo
w profit margin in Harley-Davidson s products. The positive figure in the total d
ebt to equity ratio which results in 0.88, used to measure the company s capital s
tructure; indicate that the company has a higher amount of total debt compare to
its total shareholders equity, which is considered as sources of capital to fina
nce the company s assets. And the positive figure in the long-term debt to assets
ratio which results in 0.17, indicates that the company has more long-term debt
when compared to its total assets. These debt ratios indicate the need for Har
ley-Davidson to monitor their debt in order to ensure the company has the suffic
ient ability to pay them off.
3. Research and Development (R & D)
Harley-Davidson s image is about reliability and predictability. As a resu
lt of research and development, it has developed a system to minimize breakdowns
, and downtime. For instance, the machine oil analysis program helps Harley-Dav
idson to manufacture heavy-weighted motorcycles that consume less oil and at a l
ower cost. By using infrared in the assembly line, using cameras to find things
before they break down, the thermograph program enables the company to reduce a
significant amount of troubleshooting time, from hours to minutes, and hence, s
aves labor costs. With the vibration analysis program, it identifies the above-
baseline conditions on motor spindles. As a result, the technician can save tim
e by knowing exactly what to repair or replace in regard to the inboard bearing.
In Harley-Davidson s 2007 models, its Research and Development helped stri
ve for an increase in capacity and minimize noise pollution as improved performa
nces. Increased in capacity is achieved by incorporating engine management syst
ems and fuel injection. These features included a more precise fuel metering in
their 800cc capacity in order to increase performance and obtain better fuel eco
nomy. In order to minimize noise pollution, Harley-Davidson utilized 1800 rpm f
or 100km/h in top gear compare to 2000 rpm in the previous years. At cruising s
peed limit, the capacity increases from 1450cc to 1584cc for better fuel consump
tion. Additionally, Harley-Davidson has adopted REAL D Scientific Visualization
technology to aid their motorcycle design beginning in 2007. Its long-term goal
for the Research and Development program is to develop a completely refined Stere
o 3D system for use in their entire motorcycle design.
4. Operations and Logistics
Recently, Harley-Davidson is pushing to a lean and modern philosophy down the co
mpany s supply chain. As a win-win strategy, Harley-Davidson has promoted this ph
ilosophy throughout the entire company and has provided their suppliers with inc
entives to invest in lean manufacturing and continuous quality improvement.
The main part of the logistics is the supply chain management and its most criti
cal part is transportation. As we all know, customer satisfaction led to a succ
essful business. Therefore, it is very important to deliver all products to the
ir customers in a timely manner as promised. Previously, Harley-Davidson had a
process of first shipping all parts and accessories to its distribution center i
n Wisconsin before they were delivered to dealerships around the country. This
is an inefficient distribution system. As a solution for a lean production syst
em, Harley-Davidson has chosen a third-party provider, the United Parcel Service
of America to handle the company s entire logistic distribution functions. By ou
tsourcing the entire distribution process, UPS Supply Chain Solutions effectivel
y streamlines the inbound process through consolidating all the components befor
e delivery in order to reduce Harley-Davidson s transportation costs and help the
company to gain efficiency throughout its manufacturing operations.
5. Human Resources Management (HRM)
Harley-Davidson strongly believes people power is the key to success in
business. One of their competitive advantages is having an energized workforce.
As mentioned in the Corporate Culture section above, Harley-Davidson uses a FIS
H philosophy to promote a fun and happy work environment. The mandatory FISH Cam
p training program demonstrates how employees can implement this philosophy at wo
rk. According to Boam, the communication manager at the California Harley-David
son facility, If the employees are not satisfied, it s hard to have satisfied custo
mers. (Dealernews, 2006) As a result, this FISH Camp program has raised their emp
loyee retention rate by 15 percent.
Additionally, due to Harley-Davidson always valuing their employees, the
company strives to provide their employees with the top-tier health care benefi
ts. According to Harold Scott, the Vice President of Human Resources in Harley-
Davidson, Harley-Davidson has a long history of working with our union partners t
o manage the business. We thank our employees and the union leaders for their im
portant contributions to the success of these negotiations and to the success of
Harley-Davidson. (PR Newwire, 2008) Therefore, in April 2008, Harley-Davidson s
igned a new labor agreement. The new contracts include an improvement in wages
and health benefits such as an establishment of Health Reimbursement Arrangement
s (HRA) for bargaining unit employees which can help employees pay for their out
of pocket health care costs.
6. Information Systems (IS)
After the two-year implementation of the Intelligent Maintenance Systems
(IMS) in 1999, Harley-Davidson had developed a condition-based sensing program
that could help predict and forecast equipment performance in order to achieve t
heir goal of near-zero breakdown. In 2005, the company had purchased the entire w
ireless sensing equipment systems from Techknor Instrumentation in order to init
iate and capture data by constantly monitoring the triggering events before an i
ssue such as a break down occurred. Although better technologies help Harley-Da
vidson to sustain its competitive advantage by lowering its production costs, it
does not help Harley-Davidson to achieve Cost Leadership.
Another business solution implemented by Harley-Davidson is the SumTotal Systems
. This software provides flexible, mission-critical solutions to Harley-Davidso
n in through learning, talent management, and business performances technology a
nd services. For instance, with the learning and business solutions this softwa
re provides, it helps Harley-Davidson to develop a talent supply chain to meet t
heir business demands for now and the future. This software also provides resul
ting reports to aid management in managing their employees performance. In resul
t, Harley-Davidson increased employees productivity and skills.
In 2006, the Harley-Davidson Human Resource Department had a transforma
tion that impacted their strategic growth majorly. Harley-Davidson implemented A
ccenture Human Capital Development Framework allowed Human Resource executives to
discuss human resource issues with senior level management in the language they
both can understand. This web-based tool also allowed Harley-Davidson to facili
tate multiple learning and knowledge sharing environments. By allowing access f
rom multiple locations instead of a single source, this improved Human Resources
Information System became a major benefit for the company because it increased
employee engagement and workforce adaptability.
On the other hand, navigating through the Harley-Davidson website was easy and h
elpful for buyers. Buyers can now view the motorcycles and a description of a p
articular model. Just a click away provides a detailed comparison between model
s without visiting a dealership. The finance calculator enables buyers to calcu
late their payments conveniently to understand what they can afford which produc
es higher sales due to customer awareness.
D. Summary of Internal Factors
Internal Factors Analysis Summary (IFAS) Table
External Weight Rating Weighted Comments
Strategic Factors Scores
Strengths
Leadership and Strategy Council corporate structure model 0.04 3.00
0.12 Decentralization decision making process
Employees focus corporate culture 0.18 4.00 0.72 Create an energ
ized workforce
Target marketing 0.11 2.50 0.275 Target customers who mainly pre
fer hearweight motorcycles
Affordable price for customization and personalization 0.10 1.50 0.15
Affordable price to accommodate different customers requests
Increase business locations in different countries around the world 0.09
2.00 0.18 Able to reach more customers around the world
Operations and logistics 0.08 3.50 0.28 Delegated the shipment
distributions to United Parcel Services Supply Chain (Specialization)
Human Resources Management (FISH philosophy) 0.14 4.50 0.63 Result
in an energized workforce
2.355
Weakness
Need to increase its sale to maintain market shares in the United States during
the economy downtime 0.10 3.50 0.35 Loosing market shares in the Un
ited States due to economy downtime
Research and Development need to produce more environment friendly product
0.07 1.00 0.07 Need to come up with products that is more environmenta
l friendly
Information Systems 0.09 2.50 0.225 Didn't utilized their informati
on systems efficiently to produces more energy efficient motorcycles
0.645
TOTAL SCORES 1 3
VI. Analysis of Strategic Factors
A. Situational Analysis

B. Review of Mission and Objectives


1. Are They Appropriate & How Should They Be Changed?
To reiterate, Harley-Davidson s mission statement is to fulfill dreams thro
ugh the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the gen
eral public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services i
n selected market segments (Harley-Davidson web site, 2008). This is not broad e
nough when one considers what Harley-Davidson is currently facing. Harley-David
son might want to consider introducing the notion of target marketing to everyon
e as a potential buyer. This mission statement implies consumers of Harley-Davi
dson s products are going to be motorcycle riders, when they could focus on their
other products as well. Other products in which Harley-Davidson is now offering
suggests that a large area of revenue is not included in this mission statement
. Harley-Davidson might want to consider rewording their mission statement in o
rder to exclude directly motorcycling but indirectly give that same feeling.
To include this growing segment of their current market, Harley-Davidson s
objectives need to become clearer. The general public is becoming dependent on
brand names. Their objective now is to have happy and satisfied stakeholders,
which includes their customers, employees, suppliers, investors, government, an
d the society. This would work, but Harley-Davidson might want to consider doin
g the opposite with their objectives in regard to their mission statement.
Harley-Davidson s objectives are much too broad. In order to highlight wh
at the task at hand includes Harley-Davidson might want to consider the entire S
AFS table. In doing this Harley-Davidson will be able to target what needs to b
e done in order to capture more of the market share that is currently at risk du
e to a changing society around the entire world. For example, women are a large
part of the market in which Harley-Davidson is trying to capture. By introduci
ng the family aspect to their objectives, Harley-Davidson can focus not only on
women, but children as well.
2. Damage Control
Harley-Davidson needs to keep in touch with their current customer base.
When implementing these changes Harley-Davidson will need to consider what the
ir current customers who do not fall into certain categories such as the family
aspect of the equation. If Harley-Davidson starts making changes to their way o
f doing business too rapidly, their customer loyalty may fall.
The goal is to implement the changes and only improve what Harley-Davids
on has worked so hard to obtain. If the proper precautions are taken success is
the only outcome. If these changes take place they will only show positive res
ults if it is done right.
VI. Strategic Alternatives & Recommended Strategy
A. Strategic Alternatives
1. Revision of Objectives
Reference V. Analysis of Strategic Factors, part B.
2. Alternative Strategies
There are other ways to improve Harley-Davidson. These other improvemen
ts can be found in the IFAS, EFAS tables. The strategic alternatives that one w
ould want to use come from the SFAS table. In this table we have developed stra
tegies that will allow Harley Davidson to improve greatly over the next five yea
rs.
The pros and cons of the strategies are as follows. Employees will need
to focus on corporate structure. Harley-Davidson will benefit by having an ener
gized workforce but my not due to a loss of focus. Another area is target marke
ting. This would allow Harley-Davidson to capture market share which does not e
xist in their market yet. By introducing new products to different segments Har
ley-Davidson will make the market larger and have a larger ratio when compared t
o their competitors. The next area Harley-Davidson should really put a lot more
energy into is female buyers. This market segment is growing at an alarming rat
e when you consider the possibility of missing out on this market share. The do
wn side to this may be the loss of focus when it comes to the standard Harley-Da
vidson customer. Lastly Harley-Davidson should really consider looking at loosi
ng loyal customer simply due to price and economy. If Harley-Davidson could mee
t their competitors on these levels they would be able to insure a large segment
of the lower budget market. The downfall once again would be the issue of loos
ing focus on their high quality that they are known for.
B. Recommended Strategy
1. Selected Strategic Alternatives
The selected strategic alternatives are going to be increasing the femal
e customer base for the corporate strategy, lowering the price of the motorcycle
and making it more economical in terms of fuel economy for the business strateg
y, and creating energy by having employees focus on corporate culture
By increasing the female customer base, Harley-Davidson will be able to
capture a market that is growing around the world. It has shown to be a growing
trend in other countries with women due to the fact that women are becoming emp
owered with financial responsibility and overall freedom in their lives. If Har
ley-Davidson can show these women and convince them that the only way to be trul
y free is to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the results will be unbelievable
. This is a market which has not even been scratched on the surface when one co
nsiders the numbers of men riders compared to women riders. This will help Harl
ey-Davidson s goals, mission, and objectives overall if you consider what women ri
ders will do for the company. Now what riders can do for the company has been d
iscussed, a more important issue arises, what can Harley-Davidson do for their r
iders.
Reducing the cost and increasing the economy of Harley-Davidson motor cycles see
ms inevitable in today s market. Consumers now pay closer attention to price and
efficiency rates when compared to the beginning years of Harley-Davidson. Consu
mers now are worried about economy due to fuel prices rising at an alarming rate
. This is the business strategy that Harley-Davidson needs to implement before
they fall to far behind. This will allow them to gain advantage on other motorc
ycle producers when price of fuel reach even higher prices. They can advertise
these new advantages with promotions that will excite motorcycle enthusiasts.
The last important alternative is creating excitement within Harley-Davidson com
pany by creating energy with the focus of employee culture. By having employees
focus on culture and energizing them with this tool, Harley-Davidson will have
better employees which will cause a rise in quality and efficiency if managed co
rrectly. This will help in every aspect of the company and should never have a
time limit on it. Harley-Davidson can effectively introduce this and it could s
ingle handedly improve the company with outstanding results.
VII. Implementation
A. Programs
Most of the programs are already in place for Harley-Davidson to use. The only
issue would be to shift the focus of the company in order to improve these progr
ams. Another issue is going to be funding and how these programs are going to t
ake a larger piece of the pie that before. Leslie Prevish s women s outreach progra
m will need some special attention paid to it with new market studies and advert
ising campaigns. The FISH program is already there to create employee culture.
If this can be expanded upon and create more events and opportunities for emplo
yees to participate, Harley-Davidson will receive all of the previous benefits m
entioned. Every manager in the company is going to need to participate more hea
vily in this activity. In doing this, the managers will create a positive work
environment and it will continue down the corporate ladder to the employees. Th
e new research and development is going to be the most expensive when it comes t
o financial backing. This is going to cost a lot of money, however, if Harley-D
avidson does not act soon in this area they will lose grip on a fast growing mar
ket segment .
B. Financially Feasible
All of the programs listed above are very feasible. Due to the past returns on
investments Harley-Davidson has shown the ability to increase revenue even with
their less successful decisions. Harley-Davidson needs to bite the bullet so to
speak when it comes to these three pressing issues and this will continuously p
ay off in the future. However, Harley-Davidson will need to keep a watchful eye
on all of these programs to insure their success. The programs will need to be
revamped and new time tables will follow shortly after.
VIII. Evaluation & Control
A. Current Information System
Harley-Davidson s current information system is more than capable of handling the
strategies previously discussed. One area which may need improvement is their re
search and development area. Due to nature of trying to capture market share us
ing a new product, this decision will rely on the information system more than a
ny other. There is a high demand for technology and thus there will mainly be a
lot of maintenance to the current system.
B. Control Measures
Harley-Davidson is not new to running a business and therefore is established in
controlling their changing company. In the past Harley-Davidson has shown to d
eal with change very well within their company. The only difference in the reco
mmended strategies would be to run a more intensive follow up with each of these
strategies due to their risky nature. If issues are not noticed right away, th
e objective at hand could be lost completely. If this happens to any of the str
ategies, a lot of money could be lost due to a loss of control. Yearly bonuses
should be given an increase if high performance is achieved. This will need to
be done after Harley-Davidson establishes bench marks during the beginning stage
s of implementation.
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