Sample Essay on Dell

Dell Computer is a $32.1 billion provider of everything from PCs to high-end enterprise servers and storage, and the Dell brand is familiar around the world. As one of the world’s premier providers of computer products and services, Dell designs and manufactures a comprehensive family of desktop, notebook, workstation, server, and data storage solutions for virtually every computing need. Dell’s competitive advantage is its direct customer focus. Constant interaction with its customers gives Dell the ability to understand unique computing needs that drive individual and enterprise productivity.

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However, the company is probably as well known for its innovative business model as it is for its products. Dell sells directly to customers, without intermediaries, offering custom-configured, built-to-order systems at competitive prices. This innovative formula has allowed the company to grow rapidly to become the top server vendor in terms of U.S. market share. And in 2002, customers ranked Dell No. 1 in service and customer satisfaction in nearly every leading industry survey. The company implements JIT system, which allows the company to hold a minimum of inventory and yet responds quickly to customer orders, which are typically filled in just a few days. To do so, the company carefully coordinates customer orders and a network of suppliers to ensure that products are produced on time, to customer specifications.

Since 1997, Dell has grown from $7 billion in revenues to more than $31 billion, and the company continues to expand in its current products and regions, and also into new markets. This growth places extensive demands on the information infrastructure needed to support the company’s global operations. Dell must manage millions of Internet exchanges daily, from product orders to e-mail correspondences to information detailing the manufacturing of Dell products and the delivery of complex services. Dell’s distribution facilities demand nonstop availability, instant access to data to ensure on-time customer deliveries and bulletproof disaster recovery capabilities. Add to this the complexities of communicating across corporate, sales and manufacturing sites worldwide, and it is clear that state-of-the-art performance and reliability are crucial to Dell’s IT infrastructure – the lifeline of the company’s business. To handle the increasing demand and operate efficiently, over the last several years, Dell has consolidated a wide range of legacy systems to its own industry standard platforms – allowing the company to realize dramatic financial and operational efficiencies. It has improved the manageability and availability of equipment, saved resources, improved skill utilization and service levels, simplified the computing environment, and increased overall organizational flexibility.

Dell broadened the competitive advantages of its direct model by applying the efficiencies of the Internet to its entire business. It led commercial migration to the Internet, launching Dell.com in 1994 and adding e-Commerce capabilities in 1996. The following year, Dell became the first company to record $1 million in online sales. Today, Dell operates one of the highest volume; most frequently visited e-Commerce Web sites in the world, with approximately half of the company’s $31.2 billion in annual revenue being generated online. The company receives an average of 9 million page views per day at 80 country sites written in 27 languages/dialects. It manages 400,000 customer transactions a month in 40 different currencies. An infinite number of computer systems can be custom-configured on Dell.com, and the site is organized so users are presented choices in a logical way according to their needs, whether consumer, small business or large enterprise, educational or government organization. Users can easily take “Virtual tours” to view side-by-side comparisons and suggested configurations that are easily modified. In addition to computer systems, the site offers customers more than 55,000 software and peripheral computer products. Once a purchase is made, customers can access up-to-the minute status of their order – a function that alone generates nearly two million page requests per month.

Online service and support for both consumer and business customers is another major feature of Dell’s Web presence. Through “Support.Dell.com”, customers have access to options like Dell Talk, an online users’ forum; Ask Dudley, a natural language search engine; and Remote Assistant for self-diagnosis and resolution. The 1.2 million monthly service visitors – roughly half of all Dell support inquiries – find that they are able to resolve their support issues themselves, saving time and money. Similarly, about 113,000 of Dell’s business customers use Dell Premier Pages – custom-designed Web pages individually configured to match the exact nature of every customer relationship. “Premier
Dell.com” gives businesses 24-hour access to useful, practical tools for commerce, including the latest product pricing and specifications, ordering and order status.

With manufacturing facilities and sales offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and South America, Dell keeps its 36,000 employees close to the customer through an efficient manufacturing and supply chain process that allows the company to produce more than 50,000 computers per day. With approximately one-half of its business done over the Internet, an integrated supply chain and manufacturing process is essential to allowing Dell to maintain its competitive edge. Developing a system that delivers these benefits meant that Dell needed a proven enterprise hardware platform that offered the high reliability, serviceability and availability necessary for 7×24 supply chain management. Dell turned to its own industry-standard PowerEdge servers for high performance, maximum uptime, serviceability, and ease of management. By using Dell industry standard enterprise systems to power DSi2, Dell’s supply chain has the reliability and performance needed to drive current and future Dell volumes, while supporting the ongoing growth as demand for Dell products continues to increase. By transforming its supply chain process with interoperable, standards-based technology, Dell has the best of both worlds – massive performance without massive hardware costs, allowing the company to maximize operational efficiency and customer satisfaction while responding immediately to changes in the marketplace.

Through the reliance on industry standard hardware and software, Dell continues to set the benchmark for selling and supporting computers online. This approach has allowed Dell to maintain its lead as the lowest-cost provider of advanced computing systems for large and small enterprises and consumers.

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