Harley-Davidson Achieves Consistent Vendor Compliance, Greater IT Efficiency with MMI’s Help

A Formidable Challenge

Up until 2007, Harley-Davidson’s data center operations, the core components of the company’s IT infrastructure and data warehousing, hadn’t done much in the way of staying up-to-date and compliant with new vendor developments. The exposure points for the software meant two crucial negatives. For one, the company wasn’t utilizing its systems very efficiently. Secondly, if hardware or software was to fail, vendors would not provide service because the company hadn’t purchased enough software support or subscription coverage.

To ensure full productivity and efficient operations, every component of H-D’s infrastructure would have to be up-to-date. That meant current warranties, maintenance and service agreements. Achieving this goal would require hours upon hours of active monitoring, a task that H-D didn’t have the internal resources for. Rachel Zabinsky, Infrastructure Management Specialist for Harley-Davidson, elaborates: “I was spending many hours a month on inventory management and problem resolution. Because there was so much to do, machines often weren’t added to the contract or added without the correct level of service.”

Without the right compliance, any type of systems fail could have been potentially disastrous. Their vendors would not service noncompliant systems, a fact that put increased pressure on Zabinsky and her team to find a solution.

“The MMI web portal is an excellent solution for handling Harley-Davidson’s inventory and has provided me with an easy way to manage and budget for upcoming maintenance.”
– Rachel Zabinsky, Infrastructure Management Specialist, Harley-Davidson Motor Company

MMI – A Balanced Solution

In 2007, after becoming aware of H-D’s noncompliance issues, a key vendor suggested that the company enlist the services of Managed Maintenance, Inc. (MMI), a provider of outsourced and collaborative asset lifecycle and
service contract management. MMI would bring a wealth of experience with this vendors systems to the relationship—as well as an expertise that would help H-D cut costs and maintain maximum systems efficiency and vendor-compliance.

MMI immediately set to work with a strategy for proactively reconciling H-D’s systems, making sure machines hadn’t been missed as part of the service contract. MMI identified a lot of exposure points in their software maintenance and helped get them back into compliance by noting and changing coverage to correct the holes.

“The Managed Maintenance program’s proactive process ensures that machines are added to the contract prior to a contract ending or warranty expiring; and it happens in a seamless manner,” Zabinsky commented.

For server operating systems, MMI helped H-D purchase up-to-date and fully covered software support and subscriptions, fixing crucial service gaps that would have proven costly if a software platform was to fail.

Zabinsky also praised MMI’s web-based inventory management solution, saying, “The Managed Maintenance web portal is an excellent solution for handling Harley-Davidson’s inventory and has provided me with an easy way to manage and budget for upcoming maintenance.”

A Cost Effective Business Model

Between H-D and their vendor, MMI now serves as a single point of contact, acting as the liaison so H-D systems don’t incur any downtime and the company isn’t hit with extra fees. Any time H-D wants to add or remove a machine from a contract, MMI serves as a middleman to accomplish this goal in an organized, precise manner. This saves incalculable time and money for H-D.

Zabinsky adds, “Our satisfaction with the Maintenance program has increased and the time that we spend managing our contracts and inventory has dramatically decreased. This has been accomplished by utilizing a single point of contact for all moves, adds and changes to our environment and knowing that all assigned changes will happen in a timely manner.”

Harley-Davidson employees were also impressed with the general helpfulness and responsiveness of the MMI team. “Everyone has gone out of their way to help me and the other Harley-Davidson employees that use the Managed Maintenance program, and this adds to the experience of working with a great product,” said Zabinsky.

“All in all, the Managed Maintenance program has raised our level of customer satisfaction, reduced our time spent on inventory management and allows us to focus on our core responsibilities.”

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Highlights:

Harley-Davidson Motor Company (H-D), the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories and general merchandise. For servers and data storage involved in H-D’s operations, the motorcycle manufacturer leverages systems across a handful of main data centers and several remote locations.

Challenge:

Faced with compliancy issues, potential exposure on critical machines, and inefficient systems to track their warranty and maintenance contracts, Harley- Davidson enlisted the help of MMI to help alleviate some of their pain points.

Solution:

After doing a reconciliation of Harley- Davidson’s inventory, MMI worked with the H-D team to ensure their compliancy and also eliminate the risk of exposure. MMI introduced their unified contract management system (ONEview) to help H-D better manage their contracts and renewals while also introducing professional services to help reduce the time being devoted to contract management.

Results:

  • Dramatic decrease in time spent on inventory management
  • ncreased customer satisfaction
  • Better budgeting for upcoming maintenance