Strategic management for engineers and technologists

The differentiating factor of Harley Davidson had been its heavy customization offering to customers and its distinctive design (b). INDUSTRY Harley Davidson has been among the leading players in the motorbike industry. Two-wheeler plays significant role in leisure industry in addition to meeting transportation-needs. For instance, sporting bikes and high way cruising bikes are used for leisure and sporting purpose etc (Mason, 2012). Worldwide motorcycle industry accounts for around $63.5 billion in 2010 according to the Report Linker, (2012). The growth status of the industry has been none over the last four years as reported by aforementioned research (Report Linker, 2012). However, the report forecasts growth of around six percent in for 2010-2015 (Report Linker, 2012). KEY SUBSTITUTE PRODUCTS The close substitute of the motor bikes is car. Mintel research reports transportation expenses on the motor bikes, cars both used and new ones. The research reported significant rise old cars and two wheelers contribution in expenditure as compared to new cars as given below: 2001 2011 % change ?m ?m 2001-11 Consumer expenditure on new cars 32,200 26,895 -16.5 Consumer expenditure on used cars 25,400 38,165 50.3 Two-wheelers 1,774 2,226 25.5 Petrol, oil amp. antifreeze 19,391 34,582 78.3 Car amp. van hire 1,545 2,019 30.7 Other transport amp. motor vehicle running costs* 15,156 26,200 72.9 Total 95,466 130,087 36.3 (Mason, 2012) KEY COMPETENCIES Possession of key competencies is critical to remain among the dominant or even sustaining position in any industry. Key competencies that that motor bike firms require to develop include: Innovative expertise and research and development: Innovation capabilities have taken crucial role in the firm’s core competencies in every industry and same is the case with this industry. Innovation plays a significant role in motor bike industry as well. For instance, Japanese motor bikes invaded the US industry with innovative capability to develop smaller, faster, fuel efficient models of the motor bikes (b). HD with its capabilities innovated improved mechanism when European Laws mandated noise control. HD managed to change its core gear production competency that was giving noise output (Modern Machine Shop, 1996). Over the period of time motor bike industry has witnessed significant innovations in form of Razr Scooters, BMW C1, Segway etc (Keller, 2012). Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) being recent innovation is to take significant market in years to come (Report Linker, 2012). Technology, speed, engine, environmental compatibility, weight and design are areas of continuous innovation in the motor bike industry. Supplier and distributor relationship Management: Supplier relationship management is critical for such mechanical products. Components outsourced are required to be strictly in line with specification in order to ensure fine fitting of final product. Similarly distributor relationship management is also extremely important. Consumer’s purchase decision receives strong impact from the distributors’ recommendation as motor bikes require significant investment. Hence, well established distributors relationship management plays dominant role in firm’s position in the market. Information Technology Systems: Technological advancement has significantly impact different industries. Research and development, managing huge manufacturing plants, financials, marketing hence all areas are dependent on effective