Dell incorporation was established in 1984 and is headquartered in Rock, Texas. A multinational technology corporation develops, manufactures, develops, sells and supports personal computers as well as those products that are related to computers. For many years since its establishment, Dell has been the largest seller of servers and personal computers. In 2008, it was the listed as the second largest seller of computers behind an upcoming company, the HP.
It uses the direct business model where it develops, designs, manufactures, markets, sells and supports IT systems and services designed to fulfill the specific requirements of its customers (CNN, 2009). The company has an objective of entering the market fast with relevant and new technology that can assist in meeting the needs of its clients, providing services and reducing the inventory and capital investment costs.
The strengths of the direct model enable Dell to perform strongly and deliver profitability in its business. Some of the products that are offered by the company include desk computer systems, software, peripherals, mobility products, network products, servers and storage products (CNN, 2009).
Competitiveness and Rivalry
Dell was the 2005 number one supplier of personal computers both in the United States and globally. This leadership in market is attributed to its focus on selling the services and products directly to the customers (CNN 2009). The prices of personal computers have fallen and Dell has faced stiff competition from other companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Sun Microsystems, Lenovo, Gateway, Sony, Toshiba, Acer and Asus. This has prompted the company to do all it can to undercut competition and to offer to its customers more attractive choice of PCs as well as other products (Bergstein 2006).
It is clear that in the current economic world, businesses that deal with similar products are engaged in competition and rivalry as they try to outdo each other and make as much sales and thus profits. This calls for the businesses to restructure their internal operations so that they can forge ahead of their competitors (Hitt, 2007).
This is taking place in the business environment that Dell Inc. operates as it faces stiff competition from its rivals in the computer hardware manufacturing industry (Hitt, 2007). Such kind of competition would call for the management of Dell to come up with a process of managing change that is continuous in order to have a business advantage over its rivals continuously. There are three strategies that can be used by any business organization to formulate strategies: focus, cost minimization and differences (Hitt, 2007).
Vision: Being the Leading Seller of PCs and related products
However since these strategies can be easily copied by the rival companies, a clear vision should be established that will guide the company in its operations. Dell should therefore come up with the vision of being the world’s largest seller of personal computers and computer related products. This vision should not only be presented in writing but should be the basis of any plan or operation that is undertaken in the company (Kotelnikov, 2009).
The management and the employees must be made to understand that Dell Inc. is facing stiff competition from other companies and thus should perform every task with the aim of making the company have an advantageous edge over the other similar companies. Change may not take place unless the majority of the employees are ready to make sacrifices (short term) and they should be made to understand the benefits of that change (Kotter, 1996).
Major challenges to the vision must first be identified as this would enable the company to study and eradicate them if the vision is to been achieved. One major setback has been the fact that in most cases, products by Dell are only accessible by phone or through the internet. Though this may go well with the company especially in cost cutting, it may be an obstacle for larger sales.
This is because the world is in the generation of instant things and “fast foods” and thus customers may be hindered from engaging in businesses where they have to wait for a longer period before they can obtain the products that they require. Mossberg (2008) gives an example of a combination of ink-jet printer/scanner/copier called DellA940 that is very superior when compared to H-P’s 2110 in speed, services and costs, but the setback with its purchase is that the ink cartilages that it uses can only be obtained by phone or internet.
Making the Dell Inc the largest seller of personal computers would also require the Dell Company to set up goals and strategies in line with the vision of making the company the leading seller of computers as well as related products. One of such goals would be to make its products the most efficient and admirable by all the customers keeping in mind the ever-changing technology and innovations. Some of the products that Dell manufactures include laptops that are in different types, such as Vostro, Latitude, Dell Precision, Specialty laptops, inspiron and studio (Del Inc. 2009).
Other products include the desktops, workstations, servers, storage and networking devices, printers, monitors and projectors. However, companies such as HP also manufacture and sell personal computers, printers and servers and this has become a major business threat to Dell. For example in 2006 Dell was using the Intel chips as compared to HP’s use of AMD chips (regarded as more superior) which was seen as a disadvantage (Cantrell, 2006).
Also the company can become a leading company in computer hardware manufacturing business by focusing on achieving different mix of products which may include those that are none related with personal computer such as the storage products, servers and services. This would make it not to rely so much on personal computer business, which accounts for sixty-six percent of the company’s sales. Experts believe that HP has an advantage over Dell especially with large corporate customers because it has a diversified mix of businesses (Cantrell, 2006).
The other strategy that should be considered by Dell Inc should be to improve the customers’ relations. Customer relation is important because it has been proven that keeping the already existing customers is easier than getting the new ones and because those customers that are satisfied will do the advertising for the company’s products.
All the Dell employees should be trained on how to improve customer relations by ways such as appreciating the customers orally, in writing or through the websites. Any complains that is raised by any of the customers should be solved immediately and in a friendly way. This can be done by replacing or repairing any product that is reported to have been faulty or even by refunding them their money or adding them a gift (Alibaba, 2009).
The customers should also be given clear guidelines on how to make orders easily for any products with full information on how to do it. When customers have made any purchase, a questionnaire should be sent to them to show that the company is concerned about their satisfaction. Finally, the customers should be given as many options for contact as possible and when they send any enquiry or order it should be attended to immediately (Alibaba, 2009).
For the employees of Del Incorporation to feel part of the vision, they should not only be made a part of it verbally, but should also be motivated so that they can work very hard towards it. This should be done during the signing of the contract where the employees should be given the opportunity to choose the kind of the training contract that they want to sign.
“Fully self directed” contract should be encouraged as the worker will fill in the topic of training, the process of training and the mode of assessment. The document will then be ratified by the supervisor or by the HR manager. This would be very important, as employee’s resistance has been a major obstacle to the fulfillment of any company’s vision (Hitt, 2007).
The workers can be motivated in different ways such as being offered morale boosters such as being offered a free ice cream at the end of every week, picnic or a movie. This makes employees to feel part of the company thus will do everything to support the vision of making Dell the leading seller of PCs and related products. Their views though may not be implemented should also be received by the management. Any time they perform a task in line with the company vision, they should be rewarded, for example with a day off or with a cash prize, a day off or a certificate of appreciation (Microsoft, 2009)
For this vision to come true, every part of Dell workforce should be involved. The management of the company should be responsible in articulating the vision to the workers and motivating them. They should direct the employees in line with the strategies that they have come up with as well as supervise them in implementing them. The human resource manager is also very instrumental in ensuring that there is a communications structure encouraging the employers to work towards the vision.
All employees raging from the support staff, engineers, marketers, public relations officers, web designers, managers and even accountants should be involved in the vision designing as well as its achievement. The marketers and the public relations officers will play very important roles as they are the ones who will be in direct contact with the customers and will portray the picture of the company either positively or negatively.
The engineers and the researchers will be very useful as they will be involved in the process of manufacturing personal computers and other computer related products that would compete with similar products of the other rival companies. If the all stakeholders in the company join their hands and work towards the vision, then Dell Inc. will become the leader in selling PCs and related products in the entire globe.
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