1. Was linking the software selection process to the overall supplier management strategy appropriate?
That was appropriate to do that because the process will bring in the requirement and capabilities necessary so that the company could recognize the strategic vision. Also, linking the software process may take more time than usual but " when your strategy is deep and far reaching, what you gain by your calculations is much. So you can win before you fight."
Besides that, software selection process was necessary to build the necessary trust, enthusiasm and engagement in SMS. That process seemed to be a good chance that to get the organization to "think out of the box" and considered ...view middle of the document...
As Chuck Braunshweig mentioned "We really started gaining momentum as a team when we started trying to talk about the process flow."
Also, they thought that stakeholder survey was important to them to clearly understand and easily identify the requirements for the purchasing organization. Through what they got from the result they knew what needed adjusting so that the team would be back on the right track. Also the "to be" process that represented a future vision for purchasing at the company.
In conclusion, all the steps that the team had done added a tremendous value to their decision which are understanding the criteria which they were looking and the ability to adjust the changes so that the team would be able back on the right track.
3. How should the team balance the various strengths and weaknesses of each supplier candidate in making a final selection?
After reading through some of the comments towards the very end of the case, it is obvious that functionality is a major concern in implementing th new system. However, Harley-Davidson should also make sure that they aren't overlooking any implementation and change factors that might affect employees who would actually be using the system. As one of the SiL'K team members said, "Functionality, I think, is the key thing that we were looking for. Even if there are personality conflicts we can work with those. All three of the providers have the architecture. Cost is going to be added in there. I certainly hope that functionality is going to be #1 in terms of what we get out of it." After putting so much time into analyzing their systems and choosing a supplier that fits well, they should make sure that functionality is still at the top of the list.
A factor that they should not try to worry about too much is personality conflicts with their suppliers, as long as they are still manageable. If a supplier has a similar attitude to a company, but doesn't fulfill their needs, then they don't really act as a sufficient supplier. This would put supplier 2 very far ahead of the competition because their initial self-analysis showed a 98.7% compatibility, where the software has almost everything that Harley-Davidson is looking for. However, this also gives supplier 3 an advantage because their main downfall originally was personality conflicts, even though their software was very compatible. This also puts supplier 1 at a disadvantage because their personality melded very well with Harley-Davidson, but their product was not as compatible, and this should be the first concern because this is what will ultimately determine the effectiveness of the new product.
4. Which supplier would you choose and why?
As Cotteleer mentioned in the case, Harley-Davidson has its unique culture in the company and what they are looking for is the partner, not just some software provider. In the case of Harley-Davidson, like other initial providers stated, it has its style of...