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Case Study_Harley-Davidson Online


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									                        Case Study
A Motorbike Manufacturing Company offering its Services Online

                   Harley Davidson

                        Submitted To
                 Mr. Farhan Azmat Mir

                        Submitted By
        Najam us Saqib                     (BT – 02 – 01)
        Shoaib Javed                       (BT – 02 – 24)
        Ghazal Zaheer                      (BT – 02 – 44)
        Syed Ahtasham Panjtan Rizvi        (BT – 02 – 47)

                     BBA – IT (Hons.)
                       6th Semester
                     28th November, 2005

             Institute of Management Sciences
              Bahauddin Zakariya University
                                                                       Harley Davidson .
                                                         The Two Wheeled Warriors

                                  HARLEY DAVIDSON
                 The Two Wheeled warriors
                                         Company Profile

Is there any another company in the world that works harder to build genuine relationships with
their customers than the Harley-Davidson Motor Company? Harley-Davidson is an outstanding
example of a company that has created loyalty through a pattern of steadfast interactions with its
customers. How easy is it for your customers to interact with you? Could you reinvent the
customer experience in ways that would strengthen the sense of affiliation that the customer has
with the products and services of your company?

Since going public in 1986, Harley has increased earnings at an average annual rate of 37
percent. Only one other company that went public that year, has done better. That other company
is Microsoft. Without the shadow of any doubt, HARLEY DAVIDSON is a brand that has achieved
cult status and outstanding financial performance. That's what makes the story of Harley-
Davidson so interesting. We want to know how they got there. And the answer is not in one story
but in three.

Beginnings and Survival
William Harley and Arthur Davidson, both in
their early twenties, built their first motorcycle
in 1903. During their first year, the company's
entire output was only 1 motorbike; however,
by 1910, the company had sold 3,200.
Movies such as Easy Rider made Harleys a
cultural icon and soon the company attracted
people who loved its bad-boy mystique,
powerfulness, rumbling voice, distinctive
roar, and toughness. It sounded like nothing
else on the road.

In 1909, the company introduced its trademark bike; a 2 cylinder, v-twin engine (the fastest
motorcycle at that time), able to reach speeds of 60 mph. However, a few years later the
competition was becoming stiffer. During World War I, the demand for United States motorcycles
overseas grew tremendously. As a result, Harley-Davidson became a leader in innovative
engineering in the 1920's. With the introduction of the front brake and "teardrop" gas tanks,
Harley was quickly developing its mystic appearance.

1917 brought World War I to the United States and Harley hardly skipped a beat. They sold
twenty thousand motorcycles to the U. S. Army and emerged from the War even stronger.

By 1920, the Depression hit everybody hard but it devastated motorcycle companies. By the end
of it there were only two companies, Harley-Davidson and Indian, manufacturing motorcycles in
the United States. At the bottom of the Depression only six thousand motorcycles were sold in
one year in the entire United States.

                                                                         Harley Davidson .
                                                          The Two Wheeled Warriors

But World War II [1939 - 1945] revitalized Harley's fortunes.
The company sold almost 100,000 of their WLA model to the
US military. After the war ended it took Harley just two and a
half months to resume civilian production.

That's the first story. As the post-War economic boom began
Harley was in good shape. They'd grown up, survived the
depression, and they were ready to grow even more.

In 1947 Harley-Davidson introduced the classic black
motorcycle jacket. It was the start of the Wild One Era and
Harley's second story.

The Wild One Era

That same year a gang of motorcyclists rode into the town of Hollister, California and simply took
it over. The police lost control and the motorcyclists ran amok. Even the law could not stop the
two-wheeled warriors.

In 1962, when Honda began importing its motorcycles into the United States, they took the
position that motorcycles in general, and their smaller motorcycles in particular, were for nice
people, not outlaws. They told their story in one of the most effective advertising campaigns of all
time, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda."

In 1969 a conglomerate named American Machine and Foundry (AMF) bought Harley. Those
days, managers believed that they could manage any kind of company even without knowing
much about the business. That's where third story begins.

The Near Death Experience [ That changed Harley’s Fate ]

Things just seemed to keep getting worse. Competition was hurting sales and the Harley was in
hands of immature management. Harley faced bad quality management.

In 1981 thirteen senior executives of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company signed a letter of
intent to buy the company from AMF. Production quality started to improve and the company
worked to improve profitability.

The company then put in a restructured plan, incorporating
management principles adopted from the Japanese, new
marketing strategies, and manufacturing techniques.

In 1983 Harley introduced the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
In 1986 the company went public. In 1987, it made it to the
New York Stock Exchange. In 2000, the company re-
established its independence from AMF.

Today, Harley has not only improved quality and won the long battle to regain its market share
but has also achieved cult status with customers. Their customers simply think it is not only the
greatest motorcycle in the World but the greatest vehicle.

                                                                         Harley Davidson .
                                                          The Two Wheeled Warriors

                                 The New Business Model

Minutes away from bankruptcy in 1985, CEO Richard Teerlink convinced lenders to accept a
restructuring plan, which incorporated management principles adopted from the Japanese, new
marketing strategies, and manufacturing techniques.

Transformation can be the only word to describe what this firm has gone through, not only to
recover but to become a market leader. They had developed a huge transformation program for
the organization, which affected everything in their current business. If we scan the list of
companies that delivered the greatest returns on investment during the 1990s, we would discover
Harley-Davidson. Only a few companies have been successful in inventing entirely new business
models, or profoundly reinventing existing ones.

                                Making it into E - Business

As they say “Sky is the limit” while Richard‟s plan was proving to be fruitful and had geared HD
into the growth, management envisioned more. During mid „90s when internet was growing
rapidly HD decided to grasp its pace. Getting into the E – Business, not only enhanced the
marketing campaigns of the company but it also helped the company to refine its manufacturing
process and gained company good will by fulfilling customers‟ warranty claims.

                            Brick & Mortar to Click & Mortar

The company initially developed a website for marketing its ultimate consumers [Beginning of the
“Direct Marketing Era” in Harley-Davidson] but soon it got transformed into a full fledge online
business conducting tool. Now, the company‟s whole sole website is facilitating Business to
Consumers and Business to Business operations of the company.

All this helped cut down the operating cost significantly. Moreover, Harley-Davidson had a
competitive edge over its rivals to be first to step into E-market and quickly roofed the niche. And
all this contributed to pull through the leader position of Harley-Davidson in Bikes industry.

To become the most successful Click-and-Mortar businesses, the company wants to leverage its
brand and get more of the financial transactions form its clients. Harley Davidson adopts some E-
business Practices that hit the sky. It has enabled purchase round the globe round the clock. It
has come up with diverse features and services on its Website that aims to provide users with the
necessary tools for efficient on-line purchase.

Briefly, the objectives that management thought of, for getting into E –Business are:

  –   Solving warranty claims problems

  –   Employ Direct Marketing Strategy

  –   Gathering 1300 dealers on a single platform [ B2B ]

  –   Moving with time: Adopting new technologies [ Proactive EC ]

  –   Customer Relationship Management

                                                                         Harley Davidson .
                                                          The Two Wheeled Warriors

                                  Business to Consumers
As said in the first few lines of the pages, the company always wanted to owe its consumers.
They always wanted riders feel like if they are completely themselves. Every Harley bike is
extensively designed keeping in view the ideas, requirements and enthusiasm shown by the
consumer that is the only reason that rarely we find any two Harleys alike.

Having done a lot of fruitful efforts on Brand, company now aims at a strong culture - the deep
roots of a binding force among Harley Davidson riders. Company is working on the shared culture
among its consumers that grow into a family - the involvement that gives consumers a sense of
pride and proximity. And website is the useful tool guiding them how to express their proximity.

Customer Relationship Management

Harley Davidson always wanted to have loyal customers. It
wanted its customers to feel proud biking on a Harley two
wheeled piece of art warrior. The company wanted to change
the manner its products are configured, based on the
individual needs of individual customers and that‟s what CRM
basically is. That’s what fulfilled by the E – Business. It
enabled the company to grasp the individuality of customer in
much more easy and efficient manner.

Tours & Rentals

Harley Davidson is committed to provide its riders carry out
their passion to ride on the specially designed heavy bikes.
For this purpose, the company has facilitated its customers to
have a different kind of Harley on rent and have a tour to the
place where they can‟t go on the ordinary bikes.

This strategy works in two ways; keeping the sense of
adventure alive and increasing the temptation for Harley
Davidson and giving Harley Riders an opportunity to get
closer to each other share experiences and thoughts.

Riders Education

The Harley site has a lot for their visitor. “Traffic is not getting any smarter… so the riders have
be…” says the company‟s official. “Riding on a Harley is not really simple as it is on lightweight
bikes manufactured by others… Riding the Harley is totally a different experience. The way
people looks at the person riding on the Harley
may get riders attention diverted!”

Harley has dedicated a section for its customers,
to provide them tactics of safe ride on a bike like

Events & Racing
To make its customers feel superior to riders of
the other bikes, Harley conducts several events
where people could come up with their
specialized Harley machines and show themselves a part of a community that owe them.

                                                                          Harley Davidson .
                                                           The Two Wheeled Warriors

The site has a section devoted to list any updates regarding any such events. Also it has archived
the past events photo shots and reviews.

Racing tournaments are also organized by the company, where Harley fights Harley, which no
doubt is a thrill.

                 Career Opportunities

                 Harley is an equal opportunity provider for all. Up to date information is available
                 regarding vacant positions and eligibility criteria for those jobs. Other than
                 eligibility criteria, complete job description is also provided.

                 The website provides the facility to search the job by i) Job Category
                 (Administrative, Engineering, Finance etc.) and, ii) By Location (your preferred

                 The website provides an online job application form which may be filled at
                 applicant‟s convenience.

Media Relation

Latest news regarding company‟s performance, strategies, decisions, events, tours,
achievements etc. are updated on the website daily. This could be of much importance for the
news agencies and for those who are somehow associated with Print, TV or Radio media.

Investors Relations

Harley has provided everything which could be of investors‟ interest
from its current stock price (UPDATES everyday) to the complete
company analysis. The information provided on the page is organized
into four categories. Detail of two important categories is provided
here in.

       Stock                         Financials
    -   Stock Price                 - Annual Reports
    -   Stock Split Info            - Financial Statements
    -   H-D vs. S&P 500             - SEC Filings
    -   Stock Tracker               - Capital Expenditures
    -   Stock Lookup                - Financial Factbook
Student’s Desk

Harley Davidson provides sufficient resources that students may need in their academics. This
way students access certain real world variables to match and compare with the literature being
taught at various institutes. The company has provided much information about us such as
Company Mission & Vision Statements, Company‟s history timeline, financial data, tit bits of their
management strategies.

Well, this may not be sufficient for people who want to have an in depth analysis of the company
and have to go through extensive search for good quality articles and contact company officials

                                                                       Harley Davidson .
                                                        The Two Wheeled Warriors

                                  Business to Business
HD Authorized Dealers

The core B2B activity is conducted with the dealers. HD provides the virtual interface of dealers
while dealers provide the physical interface of the company.

HD has gathered 1300 dealers from 60 countries all over the world under the umbrella of one HD
site facilitating them with the single integrated marketing tool.

The website features how to become an HD Authorized Dealer
and for customers, how to reach their nearest dealer. Thus the
relationship of HD and its dealers is symbiotic in nature. On
one hand HD performs marketing services of the dealers and
on the other hand dealer performs sales and after sales
services of the company‟s dream bikes which really builds up
the customer satisfaction.

Website also advertises the services offered by the dealers i.e. Repair and Maintenance, motor
clothes merchandise, new and used motorbikes, genuine motor parts,

Website also advertises for the events at a dealer‟s premises, posts vacant at any dealership
point and used goods available for resale.

best thing about Harley is, it always cares about people associated with it. The Harley Davidson
has dedicated a full fledge segment of its website for its allies.

The website provides complete guide to become a Harley Dealer.

HD Major Business Consumers: POLICE & Fire

The sectors who buy HD fully loaded bikes in bulks
customized    according  to     their  operational

Special POLICE and Fire Fighter accessories are
manufactured and bikes are equipped with them.
Commonly used accessories are like Speed Guns,
Sirens, Special Lights, Speed Boosters – A real need while on an emergency mission, Fire

                                                                          Harley Davidson .
                                                         The Two Wheeled Warriors

                                         Product Line

                 Sportster                     Dyna                      VRSC
             Length: 88 inches          Length: 94 inches          Length: 94 inches
              Weight: 500 lbs            Weight: 630 lbs            Weight: 600 lbs
            Price: $ 10,000 app.        Price: $ 13,000 to        Price: $ 19,000 app.
                                          $18,000 app.

                    Softail                                              Touring
              Length: 95 inches                                     Length: 94 inches
                Weight: 650 lbs                                      Weight: 800 lbs
        Price: $ 14,000 – 19,000 app.                        Price: $ 19,000 - $ 24,000 app.

Genuine Parts & Accessories

-   Genuine Parts

    o   Cassettes & CD Players, Tires, Special Heating
        Seats for long traveling in chilled season,
        Electrical & Lighting, Chrome Covers, AND
        MUCH MORE…

-   Wearing Merchandise (For Men, Women & Kids)

    o Jackets, Helmets, Belts, Glasses, Bracelets,
        Lighters, Long Boots, Gloves, Key Chains,
        Trousers, T – Shirt.

                                                                          Harley Davidson .
                                                           The Two Wheeled Warriors

                              Purchasing a Harley Davidson
People just don‟t buy a Harley… They buy “The Harley Experience”. The company‟s website has
lot to help its customer in their purchase related activities. The site offers various tools like bike
comparator, financial help and online help desk.

The site provides a guideline to purchase a bike. Steps involved are:

Analyze bikes

Analysis of the bikes can be done by going into the Products  Motorcycles  Category of Bike
(Sportster, Dyna, VRSC, Softail, Touring). After selecting a bike you can view various pictures of
it. The site also offers 360o view of bike that enables to get a realistic look of the bike. The site
offers the facility to get an in-depth knowledge of the features and specifications of the bike.


The site also helps in selecting a bike by providing user the facility to compare three his/her
selected bikes. Comparison can be made for many variables (e.g. pricing, engine power, road
grip, comfort, accessories offered etc.). Make a final choice and proceed with it.


When you have chosen a bike, you can customize it. Just like people enjoy customizing their
cars, people enjoy customizing their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The customizations can be
simple, like putting on a different exhaust system, or they can be radical, like putting on chopper-
style forks which further enhances the Harley experience.

The supply of parts for customization is called the Aftermarket. There are thousands of
companies producing aftermarket Harley-Davidson parts. Over time, the Harley aftermarket has
grown. Harley-Davidson has helped customers reach the aftermarket by listing down the
products/parts available accompanying a picture and a price tag. The online Shopping!

Calculate your Budget

The site offers customers the facility to calculate his/her disposable income. The site provides
customer a form where he/she is asked about his/her monthly incomes and expenses.


For those who can‟t afford a Harley-Davidson on their own, soft loans and easy installment plans
are available to make them ride on their dream bad boy warrior.

EagleMark Financial Services, a majority-owned subsidiary, provides private label financial
services programs, including Harley-Davidson Credit. Harley-Davidson Credit, Eagelmark's
largest division provides wholesale financing and insurance programs.

It also provides the private Harley Card, an exclusive credit card for use in Harley-Davidson
dealerships. In addition, Harley-Davidson offers its domestic dealers from time to time quarterly
special discounts and/or 120 day delayed billing terms through Eagelmark in order to carry
sufficient parts and accessories inventories and to counteract the seasonality of the parts and
accessories business. For easy access to the financing services the credit application form is
available on the Harley‟s site.

                                                                          Harley Davidson .
                                                               The Two Wheeled Warriors

Find Dealer

Where to meet the perfect machine? HD provides a form where one can enter his/her zip code
and could know which HD dealer is nearest to him/her.

Place Order

Once you know your dealer just get there and define your customized order. Pay in installments
or make a lump sum payment and get your dream bike with in 6 months.

                               Purchasing A Motorbike
                                   (Process Flow)

                                           Various Queries

                Customer                                            Website
                                         Various Information



                              Shopping Accessories Online
Find an E – Dealer

The procedure is same as finding a normal dealer.
Almost every dealer sales products online.

Select the Product

The procedure is same as selecting a motor bike and
doing an analysis of it.

Add to Shopping Cart

When you have made mind about a particular thing, just
add it to the shopping cart and checkout.

Provide Billing Information

Provide your personal information and the visa, master
or HD Credit card number and your item will get off the
dealer‟s doorstep.

                                                                                Harley Davidson .
                                                               The Two Wheeled Warriors

                             Purchasing Accessories Online
                                    (Process Flow)
                                                               Email to notify order
                  Product Info. &
                  Credit Card Info                          Order forwarded
Customer                                 Website                                       Dealer

                             Email for Order Received Notification



We find Harley a classic success story that captured the markets by the virtue of E – Business.
But what makes HD case special is that the company was struggling for recovery from its bad era
and E-business shored them up. HD management has shown a great deal of determination to let
the company hit the sky right from the bottom line.

While we can‟t neglect that E-business was just one dimension of Richard‟s RECONSTRUCTION
PLAN (1985), it is interesting to find that although plan worked well right from the implementation
and business started growing on financial charts in the first decade (1985 – 1995) but that the
real pace was gained during the second decade (1995 – 2005) when the company moved to E –
Business. So, we can see how E – commerce infuses the speed of internet into a business.


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