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Case report on Harley-Davidson

1) Describe and evaluate Harley’s operations strategy (using the framework of Chapter 1).

2) Demand uncertainty is a major factor in strategic capacity decisions. How does Harley-Davidson take uncertainty into account in its planning processes? How does Harley-Davidson’s history affect its decision-making process?

3) What is your recommendation to Harley-Davidson? Complement your recommendation with an NPV analysis. Use a discount factor 12% and a marginal tax rate 37%. (Hint: You may start with forecasting future demand for Harley Davidson.)

4) What other qualitative factors should Harley-Davidson consider when analyzing the alternatives?

Sample Solution

perspective, Costco is currently able to thrive due to relatively strong economic conditions. As unemployment is low and consumers have adequate capacity to spend and consume, Costco is able to maintain a high level of. These memberships are the primary source of revenue for Costco and Costco performance is dependent quite heavily on membership acquisition and retention. In addition to membership prospects, the strong economy and employment seen today enables Costco to sell a great deal of merchandise which further indicates a healthy economic In addition to solid domestic economic conditions, Costco is also able to take advantage of profitable exchange rates. Because Costco merchandise consists of a large portion of items produced abroad, Costco is able to realize improved buying power based on the current strong dollar. The economic external influence on Costco could change dramatically if economic conditions change in the future. If unemployment were to rise and consumer spending decreases, Costco will likely face reduced memberships as well as reduced sales volume. Social: Socially, Costco is currently in good standing. Costco has a strong reputation for taking good care of its employees. In comparison to similar retail locations, Costco pays wages which are extremely competitive and often times significantly higher wages than similar positions are paid at other retail locations. In addition, Costco offers a comprehensive benefits package comprised of affordable health care for both full and part-time employees. In addition, Costco claims that, “Men and women who perform substantially similar work are paid within 99.9% of each other after adjusting for key factors such as job, company seniority and hours worked. We examined each component of compensation including base pay, bonus and equity.” [1] This treatment and compensation of employees can be deemed more than adequate by overall society due to the improved working conditions Costco employees enjoy relative to other retail businesses. Two of Costco’s largest competitors are Wal-Mart and Amazon. Both of these firms have been accused of treating workers poorly with regards to wages, benefits, and other treatments on the job. For example, many consumers voiced their opinion that Wal-Mart pays its employees too low of a wage. In addition, consumers viewed Amazon poorly for the harsh working conditions and low wages the employees are subject too. Costco seems to be an outlier when compared with competitors due to the higher wages

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