Powder Coating 2004 keynote to feature Harley-Davidson turnaround story

June 8, 2004

Powder Coating 2004, scheduled for Sept. 21-31 in Charlotte, N.C., will open with a keynote presentation from retired Harley-Davidson executive Clyde Fessler. On the verge of bankruptcy in the early 1980s, the company found itself facing severe domestic market conditions and heavy foreign competition. A search for a strategic way to compete led the company to a comprehensive quality program that included statistical operator’s control; just-in-time inventory; employee involvement; and new manufacturing processes, including powder coating major motorcycle components.

Retired vice president of business development, Fessler was with the company from 1977 until 2002. He graduated from Notre Dame University and attended law school at the University of Wisconsin.

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