New management measures introduced by the Chairman and president which helped turn the Harley Davidson Company truly competitive here and abroad are described. This was mainly the result of a visit to Japanese motorcycle factories and led to such innovations as statistical process control and quality control circles. It was found that the secret lay not in robotics or high-tech systems but in the intelligent, efficient organization of the company's employees and production systems. Diversification was another new emphasis: the company now manufactures rocket engines for target drones and casings for artillery shells. Replacement parts and licensed gear also contribute to the bottom line. The company has trained 800 of its 2,400 workers to sample and analyze data they observe on the job. Programs have been initiated that vary from plant to plant, involve 30 to 40 hours of classes, and are related to problem-solving skills learned in quality circles throughout the organization. One of the biggest changes was in plant management structure: the traditional hierarchy of responsibilities was replaced with a system in which each employee from the line up has "ownership" in running an efficient operation. Staff functions were eliminated to obtain a shallower organizational chart and huge savings. A Materials As Needed (NAN) pilot program has been started after the success of similar programs in Japan. The human resources department's attempts to develop a participative and more humane environment are also described.

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    1601 BROADWAY
    NEW YORK, NY  United States  10019
  • Authors:
    • Willis, R
  • Publication Date: 1986-3

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 20-27
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00454826
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1996 12:00AM