Implementation of Lean Logistics in Harley Davidson

Topics: Lean manufacturing, Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson Pages: 3 (725 words) Published: July 19, 2013
Lean Logistics, simply put, can be described as a way to recognize and eliminate wasteful activities from the supply chain in order to increase product flow and speed.  In order to achieve Leaner Logistics; organizations need to implement leaner thinking. Lean production involves eliminating waste and using less labors, materials, time and space. That's why it is save production. This in turn reduces costs. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, is known for setting the world standard when it comes to the design and manufacture of heavyweight motorcycles. The company chose UPS Supply Chain Solutions to help set world standards with its logistics processes.

Before going lean, the company operated in a cluster of factories that could have been mistaken for an industrial park from the mid-20th century. The lack of automation and other new techniques kept it far behind in terms of operating productivity. But since adding lean to its operations, manufacturing that once comprised 41 buildings has been condensed into one well lit plant that employs more robots than laborers.

The company has shaved the number of hourly workers to about 1,000 from more than twice that only three years ago, with more than 100 of these employees on contracts that allow them to come and go as is needed by Harley.

Using historic data from the suppliers, the analysts calculated optimal shipping frequencies for each of the suppliers, enabling the company to reduce the rate of regular inbound shipments to three times a week, while also giving the manufacturing plant faster access to larger stocks of parts. UPS Supply Chain Solutions is gradually optimizing the entire Harley-Davidson inbound transportation network, by calculating optimal ship frequencies for all the suppliers and identifying cross-docking opportunities at the other manufacturing facilities. As a result, Harley-Davidson Motor Company is gaining efficiencies...
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