Business Unit Analysis
Directions: Create a Feasibility Study for Harley-Davidson using the following outline:
Part I: Differentiation Strategies
The analysis of current strategy and competitor analysis you conducted last module impressed the senior vice president. She now needs you to delve into the brands and analyze them by conducting a business unit analysis and presenting your findings in a three-part PowerPoint presentation.
Research the Harley-Davidson (H-D) Web site for each brand, and review the annual report for relevant details of the size, scope, target market, services and amenities, and other salient points of differentiation. Include these details in Part I of your PowerPoint presentation.
From the research and analysis of the business units, identify:
- A description of each brand that provides a clear picture of the brand and its place in the overall portfolio of Harley-Davidson.
- The target market of each brand.
- How the brands are alike and how they differ.
- A preliminary analysis of any gaps that exist in the portfolio that might lead to opportunities to add to the brands.
- Your analysis of possible merger/acquisition/joint venture possibilities and what would be achieved or accomplished through the merger/acquisition/joint venture.
Part II: SWOT Analysis
Perform a SWOT analysis for Harley-Davidson and include this information in Part II of your PowerPoint presentation.
Based on the internal analyses of the SWOT analysis, assess the functional areas, resources, capabilities, and strengths H-D possesses. Please be sure to cover the following functional areas in your assessment:
- Marketing: New product development, integrated marketing planning, marketing communications, and building customer loyalty.
- Operations: Quality, service, and consistent execution.
- Human Resources: Hiring, training, developing talent, and performance planning. Avoided lawsuits and bad PR due to its hiring practices. Is ethical in its HR practices.
- Executive Leadership: Industry knowledge and experience, vision about where the industry is heading, and strategy execution.
- Supply Chain Optimization: Strategic sourcing of input, vendor management, integrated IS, and joint forecasting with suppliers.
- Corporate Responsibility and Ethics: Concern for corporate citizenship and the environment. Present any potential ethical concerns as well.
- Safety and Quality: How the motorcycle industry is dealing with safety and quality issues.
Part III: Growth and Profitability Strategies
In addition, the executive board is interested in your ideas about bold strategies for the future. The strategies you recommend will have to contribute to growth and profitability, as outlined in the Annual Report.
You will want to pay special attention to exploring vertical integration, strategic alliances, and the internal growth of new brands entering new geographic markets, and/or additional acquisitions.
Consider the following:
- Is Harley-Davidson, Inc., (H-D) competing in the right businesses, given the opportunities and threats present in the external environment? If not, how can H-D realign its diversification strategy to achieve a competitive advantage? This may include additional diversification to take advantage of opportunities such as further vertical integration.
- Is the corporation managing its portfolio in a way that creates synergy among its businesses? If so, what additional businesses should it consider adding to its portfolio?
After you have reviewed the growth and profitability strategies, create a list of possible strategies to present a full range of ideas.
Part III of your presentation should include your complete list—all potential ideas—for the senior vice president. This is your chance to be creative.
Next, rank your ideas from best to worst. To do this, keep in mind several things such as fit with current strategy, resources and capabilities, and difficulty of execution.
For each of your top five ideas, add the following:
- Briefly describe the strategy.
- Why you picked it as one of the top five.
Think about such things as:
- Does the strategy build on current competencies and foster horizontal relationships among brands? In other words, what can be leveraged or shared? What are the pros and cons of this strategy?
Your PowerPoint Feasibility Study presentation will also include slides pertaining to the following assessments:
- Part I: Identification of size, scope, target market, services, amenities, and points of differentiation.
- Part II: SWOT analysis that includes marketing, operations, human resources, executive leadership, supply chain optimization, corporate responsibility, ethics, safety, and quality.
- Part III: Growth and profitability strategies, including your top five strategic ideas and support.
- Submit the PowerPoint Feasibility Study presentation to the senior vice president so that she can review the alternatives and provide you with feedback about your ideas.