Harley-Davidson Success Story

In 1903, when William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson sold their first motorcycle, they probably had no idea of what they were starting. From this modest beginning in a 10' x 15' wooden shed in Milwaukee, not just a mode of transportation, but a national pastime has evolved. In 2005, Harley-Davidson sold a record 329,000 units, plus another billion dollars worth of accessories and merchandise.

One of the major reasons for the firm's success has been its unwavering focus on their dealer and customer relationships. The company has placed special emphasis on having the latest model motorcycles in dealer showrooms when they are needed, and to accomplish this, showroom shipments must arrive at the requested times. New motorcycles must not arrive before there is room for them or after existing stock has been sold. Simply stated, they must be there when customers want to buy them.

In 2003, Harley-Davidson transportation management turned to CTSI-Global for help in managing their freight bill payment function.

While the audit and payment of freight bills is an important activity, the real value of the CTSI-Global program lies in the information that can be developed from this payment database. Trend reporting, aging reports, accruals and general ledger accounting all can be accomplished with the data accumulated by CTSI-Global. This data also provides Harley-Davidson with the tools it needs to identify and manage unusual or unplanned charges, and to negotiate with its carrier base.

Most important to Harley-Davidson, however, was the ability to maintain carrier compliance records. Using reports generated by CTSI-Global, the company can identify carriers that do not arrive at dealers during the prescribed delivery window and take necessary corrective action.

This goes a long way toward assisting Harley-Davidson in its stated objective to "create the ultimate customer-friendly retail experience."