Harley-Davidson Revs up JIT Manufacturing Performance

New system assists 100-year-old motorcycle manufacturer with parts supplier integration program

New system assists 100-year-old motorcycle manufacturer with parts supplier integration program

Columbus, OH — December 8, 2003 — Harley-Davidson, the maker of famous street, custom and touring motorcycles, said it has employed Sterling Commerce's Web Forms and bar code technology in its just-in-time parts supply and manufacturing performance.

Harley-Davidson officials said the company chose the hybrid application to reach its non-electronic data interchange (EDI) parts suppliers and now has approximately 200 partners on board.

In order to keep pace with its supply chain initiatives, Harley-Davidson said it went a step further and created a real-time system with bar coding for all parts. Sterling Commerce was able to design a custom solution that leveraged Harley-Davidson's existing Web Forms system and provided the ability to deal with even the smallest suppliers using bar code technology.

"We enhanced Sterling Web Forms to meet the challenge of 'bar code-enabling' smaller suppliers that were using Web Forms but previously incapable of generating codes," said Sam Starr, president and CEO, Sterling Commerce.

Harley-Davidson's supply chain improvement initiatives created off-site "Material Velocity Centers" that replaced in-factory receiving areas. The move is designed to centralize parts supplies, improve logistics, free up factory floor space and create a more efficient supply chain and manufacturing operation.

An implementation that began earlier this year is now available to all of Harley-Davidson's Web Forms partners. Starr noted that partner compliance was improved by the E-Community Development services that aided in the task of bringing suppliers on board to the new system.

All of Harley-Davidson's Web Forms-capable suppliers can now print bar codes off the Sterling Web Forms system, and all factory-destined inventory now displays a bar code as part of the advanced shipping notice process. "We're pleased to partner with Sterling Commerce and Harley-Davidson to achieve this milestone," said Wayne Metcalf, president, Bar Code Solutions Inc, which helped Sterling Commerce bar-code enable Harley-Davidson's smaller suppliers.