Using 3D simulation, visual work instructions and other new techniques, Harley-Davidson Motor Corp. can now produce customized bikes — ready for delivery to the customer — in six hours, a process that used to take 21 days. Customers can configure their hogs in the morning and ride them home from the factory in the afternoon. This is the very definition of a productivity step change and should have a significant impact on Harley’s costs and profits going forward.
For too long, U.S. manufacturers have stayed within their comfort zone, using familiar productivity-improvement tools that no longer deliver the needed punch. If companies continue doing more of the same, they’ll pay a heavy price.
Read the full perspective on washingtontimes.com.