Faster Hogs

If ever a company needed to address supply chain issues, it's Harley-Davidson

ROCKVILLE, MD (PRNewswire)  February 21, 2001  Three years ago my uncle decided to buy a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Much to his chagrin, when he visited the local dealer he learned he had two options: He could either choose from a handful of new ones on the showroom floor with a 20 percent mark-up, or he could order the Hog he wanted and wait a year for delivery.  He opted for the latter, picking the bike and the options he wanted. Nearly two years later, it finally arrived, but in the wrong color! Of course, he kept it. After hearing this, I learned this process is typical for Harley. The American icon has gotten away with dastardly supply tactics for many years because their product is in such demand.

However, all that may be about to change. In an effort to streamline the supply chain, Harley-Davidson opted for Manugistics' NetWORKS, a Web-based private trading network, to improve collaboration between HD and its suppliers. The network will initially provide visibility and transaction execution capability to the company's supply chain. Suppliers will have the ability to send and receive transactions related to the order lifecycle, from planned orders through invoicing.

``One of our strategies is to create strategic, competency-based relationships with our suppliers, while focusing on technological advancements,'' said Garry Berryman, vice president of Material Management & Product Cost, Harley-Davidson Motor Co. ``To that end, the Internet is a key enabler for this relationship. Our investigation has shown that the Manugistics suite of collaborative products is well aligned with our strategy.''

Maybe now I can get that Fatboy I've been dreaming of before I retire.