Q1. How many different bike configurations do you think are possible? Could every customer have a different bike? What if HD had only two types of bikes, three handle bar choices, four saddlebag combinations, and two exhaust pipe choices? How many combinations are possible in this case? We can count different offered options :
Style :wheels – 8, paint-10, foot control – 2
Fit : seats – 17, handlebars – 3
Function – bags – 6, windshields – 2, recks&backrests -39 Performance : engine components – 2, exhaust – 10, intake – 7 To count the possible configuration number we have to multiply all the numbers : 8*10*2*17*3*6*2*39*2*10*7=534 643 200 It is a great number, so if needed, every customer could have a different bike. If we reduce the options to only two types of bikes, three handle bar choices, four saddlebag combinations, and two exhaust pipe, we will receive 2*3*4*2= 48 combinations.
Q2. What would be the tradeoff involved if HD installed these options at the factory instead of having the dealer install the options? They would be obliged to store the components, that means to build or to rent the warehouses, to hire the additional stuff, to train people. Then it would be necessary to organize the components flow to the assembling place (additional working facilities to have), to have additional stuff for assembling. This would trigger the order management issues, the systems that could process each individual order from final customer.
Q3. How important is this customization to HD's marketing strategy? Describe HD's operations and supply strategies. The mass customization is the milestone for HD's marketing strategy. HD operation and supply strategies :
1. distribution is made trough the dealerships
2. using of Internet to offer a very wide variety of customized configurations 3. make-to-order production strategy with the mass production of main body and production of components upon the orders collected from dealerships...
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