Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 54

manufacturing & energy kawasaki motors corp. u.s.a.

KMC is working with other power
sports companies to create a
benchmarking group and
improve the overall industry.

and discovered that the company
had managed to stay successful
despite the fact that it lacked
updated distribution and logistics
processes. "The first thing we did
was we deployed a 3PL," he recalls.
He also met with the company's transportation carriers and
discovered that KMC needed to
renegotiate its contracts. "They
just accepted the increases year in
and year out," Leimkuhler recalls.
"I came in and said, 'Time out
here, these are bloated contracts.'"
KMC also needed to re-evaluate
its staff. "As it was, you had people
doing the same job for the past
30 years," he recalls, noting that
the company sought to make sure
these roles were needed and that
people were in the right positions.
But the company added new
roles, as well, including new vendor support, inventory and finance
positions. Although KMC was a
very finance-centric company,
"The parts and accessory division
had no financial metrics or processes to report out on the costs,"
he recalls.
"We've created new areas that
expanded the width and breadth
of the company as far as we're reporting out numbers," Leimkuhler
says. "It's really been a breath of
fresh air that the organization has
allowed us to have the opportunity
to better our people side of the
house, which ultimately helps the
bottom line."
KMC also added inventory
and distribution systems that
it did not have previously. "The
IT group here has really stepped
up to the plate," he says. "We're
attempting with technology to
streamline people's jobs and
54

Supply Chain World FALL 2017

processes so things become faster
and more efficient."

discounts. "It makes life a lot easier,
things are getting done and we're
saving a lot of money because of it."

Making Life Easier
KMC changed the way it forms
relationships with the vendors
who provide parts for its 100,000
different SKUs. "We went to the
organization and said, 'We need
to have more focus on the vendor
side of the house from a contract
standpoint,'" Leimkuhler recalls.
He then hired a vendor compliance leader, who with the distribution group's support, visits
vendors and negotiates optimum
service times. "This group is really
focused on the vendor and making
sure that the vendor compliance is
up to speed," Leimkuhler says.
"Ultimately, we see so many
savings in time and energy," he
says, noting that the company
avoids issues with vendors sending
the wrong carrier or misunderstandings with appointments and

True Believers
KMC's management supported
Leimkuhler during the turnaround
process, but he still experienced resistance and pushback from others
who did not want things to change.
But those associates changed their
tune as KMC saw strong results
over the last four years.
"Through a lot of effort, I rallied
the troops, created my team and
got them to start believing in the
processes and objectives," Leimkuhler recalls. "Success breeds
success, people start seeing and
they start believing."
But there is still work to be done,
he says. More divisions at the company still need technology support.
"I have lots of projects that ultimately will help them get further to
a more optimal scenario," he says.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supply Chain World - Fall 2017

Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 3
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