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Customer Snapshot

Revving Up
Performance – One
Employee at a Time

Rose to


Market Share in Japanese

Motocycles in 2011



Frustrated by its paper-based performance review process, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) implemented SuccessFactors Performance & Goals. KMC‘s HR staff can now monitor progress throughout reviews, goal setting, and compensation planning.


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Moving Forward in the Same Direction

Implementing SuccessFactors freed up two
full-time employees’ worth of manual labor – and
KMC has gone from third to first in market share of Japanese motorcycles.



Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A.


Irvine, California, USA

Customer Website



US$1.6 billion

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners


Line of Business

Human Resources



Featured Products

SuccessFactors Succession & Development, SuccessFactors Compensation, SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, SuccessFactors Learning


KMC’s first headquarters, an old meat warehouse in Chicago, was a humble beginning for the factory team sent to open the U.S. market. Today, the Kawasaki brand is a household name for power sports around the globe, including products such as the class-leading Ninja sport bikes and thundering Vulcan cruisers.


  • 1966American Kawasaki Motorcycle Corporation is founded in an old meat warehouse in Chicago.
  • 1968AKMC merges with Eastern Kawasaki Motorcycle Corporation to form Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A. (KMC) in Southern California.
  • 1969The incredible Mach III 500cc two-stroke triple launches Kawasaki’s performance image around the world.
  • 1973The legendary four-cylinder 900ccZ1 hits the market. KMC builds its own unified distribution network to offer dealers and customers better service.
  • 1973 KMC pioneers the personal watercraft business.
  • 1980 KMC expands further into ATVs and Side x Side vehicles.
  • 2011KMC’s annual revenue tops $1.6 billion. Its bestselling Ninja® sportbikes, classic Vulcan™ cruisers, rugged ATV and Mule™ Side x Side vehicles, and exclusive JET SKI® watercraft form the foundation of KMC’s Good Times Company image.

Business Model

A household name in motorcycles

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Kawasaki: The Intelligent Rebel

Kawasaki sells its motorcycles, ATVs, and watercraft through a network of 1,500 dealers. The company operates regional sales offices and/or distribution centers in four states.

Success Strategy

Employees bringing them to the top

KMC sought to become the leading provider of Japanese motorcycles in the U.S., and planned to achieve this goal by aligning individual employee goals with corporate objectives.

The Challenge

Stepping into the 21st century

Due to a manual, paper-based performance review process, company managers often used subjective standards in rating their employees, and didn’t have a reliable way to establish or communicate goals.

Enter SAP

Turning into a performance-based culture

KMC researched several vendors before implementing SuccessFactors Performance & Goals. They soon recognized that SuccessFactors was an ideal platform for driving change towards a performance-based culture – and implemented several more SuccessFactors modules.

The SAP Experience

Transforming performance reviews

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Invaluable Tools for Identifying Key Talent

“We began by transforming performance reviews
into an electronic process. We ended up sparking a cultural change towards greater consistency and discipline in all our talent management activities.”

Running Better

Having what it took all along

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World-Class Organization Seeks a World-Class Platform

The SuccessFactors platform incorporated many of the best practices that KMC knew it needed to be striving for. The software offered electronic processes that demanded a higher level of discipline and consistency than what they had been used to in the archaic paper-based processes.


The ripple effect of online efficiency

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Tools to Help Employees Succeed

By moving the performance review process online, KMC estimates it has freed up the equivalent of two full-time employees’ worth of manual labor. Even more importantly, engaging employees increased performance, helping to achieve the corporate goal of going from third to first in market share of Japanese motorcycles in 2011. Kawasaki Motors Company also won a SuccessFactors BizX award for goal alignment.

Lessons Learned

Placing talent in the best spots improves everything

By comparing results across departments, KMC’s leaders can easily identify areas for organizational improvement. As a result, the company continues to become more efficient and effective.


Expanding horizons

Tom Porter, Director, Human Resources & Administration

We wouldn’t be a leader in our market today if we hadn’t used SuccessFactors to align our employees with corporate objectives.

– Tom Porter, Director, Human Resources & Administration

Journey Ahead

Innovative strategies forge new roads

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The Road Ahead: Continued Innovation

After using SuccessFactors to change the culture of its organization, KMC expects to continue to get better at establishing realistic goals, and at aligning those goals with corporate strategy.

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