Harley-Davidson's Just-in-Time (JIT) Journey

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER098
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1981- 2011
Organization : Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Automobiles

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

The history of Harley-Davidson started way back in 1903 in Milwaukee when William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson developed a one cylinder motorcycle in a shed bearing the name board ‘Harley-Davidson Motor Company...

JIT at Harley-Davidson

Faced with tough competition from Japanese companies, Harley-Davidson decided it would make more sense to join the competition rather than try to beat it...

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Benefits Out of JIT

Harley-Davidson successfully adopted Japanese manufacturing principles which many considered were impossible for US manufacturers to achieve because of cultural and political reasons. After implementing these Japanese techniques, Harley-Davidson succeeded in manufacturing high quality motorcycles at lower cost.It witnessed the success of JIT in the late 1980s. Harley-Davidson achieved inventory turnover from 5 to 20, reduced the inventory by...

The Road Ahead

However, in 2007, Harley-Davidson again came under pressure due to recession. While the company was still the market leader, it failed to reach its projected sales of 400,000 bikes in 2007. The company's sales had peaked at 349,000 in 2006. In 2008, Harley-Davidson sold 313,769 bikes worldwide, a decline of 7.1% compared to 2007. Harley Davidson's financial performance too witnessed a decline...


Exhibit I: Adopted from the Annual Report of Harley-Davidson (2009)
Exhibit II: Harley-Davidson's Income from Continuing Operations (US$ in millions)
Exhibit III: Harley-Davidson, Inc. Consolidated Statements of Operations

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