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Supply Chain Management of Hewlett Packard and Dell Inc. Essay

Executive Summary

Creating and maintaining a successful supply chain within a business can prove to be one of the largest challenges in developing a successful foundation. Learning the processes involved and understanding the approaches necessary to achieve success can be lessons studied over a life time; the possible growth and accomplishments can most certainly be derived from proper supply chain management. The different aspects of supply chain management appeal to a wide variety of businesses in many different ways, particular situations will complement companies in their specific circumstances. The ability to grasp these concepts and relate them to a particular company is a large part of the process; understanding the values of a company and relaying that information in a progressive structure will profit a company and will help control the purpose in development of management strategies.

The Overview of Hewlett Packard

In a world of constant change being able to adapt can sometimes be a struggle, especially when dealing with the largest tool of progression…technology. Hewlett Packard is the world’s largest Internet Technology Company with a portfolio that covers anything from printing and personal computers to software and services. There infrastructure is so vast and expansive that constant revision and attention is necessary to keep this companies supply chain successful and dominant in the field of technology. Hewlett Packard has been one of the largest and most powerful companies in the interests of technology; with new endeavors being explored this company has gained modern perspectives on progressive concepts and designs within their strategies towards supply chain innovations.

HP began in a garage by two men by the names of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard back in 1939, they first created an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. These men took a great idea and turned it into an enterprise that currently services over 170 Countries and has then, developed new technologies to service and communicate all over the world. HP has successfully created an extremely large team that uses its knowledge in technology services to help build a more productive and efficient environment for the entire process of product generation and steady flow of goods. Current goals and marketing strategies has entered HP into a new era and with determination to achieve, this company has proven to be quite successful in promotional abilities and competitive pricing.

The Overview of Dell Inc.

In a world of innovative technologies and ever-expanding product development, comparative and competitive companies will emerge…such as Dell Inc. This company began to develop by a man named Michael Dell who at the age of 19 started a computer-upgrade company in 1984. From the early 1980’s through the late 1990’s Mr. Dell took his design-it-yourself methods of building a computer system and fully “liberated personal computing in its own image, providing a cost-effective alternative to IBM PCs and Apple Macintoshes (Preimesberger, 2011).” In 1996 Dell started selling home computers through the internet and since then has built the company to a market cap of $26.6 billion.

Mr. Dell has done an amazing job with proper marketing skills and has always paid close attention to promotional abilities and innovative ways to keep pricing competitive and product quality at a high. With a well designed supply chain and focus on developmental ideas to keep Dell as one of the top technology providers; this company has then branched out into hardware and software services. This plan of action has since then evolved into many more aspects of services and at the same time kept that initial advantage with PC business and solid innovations towards new marketing approaches.

The SWAT Analysis of Hewlett Packard

HP has accomplished great success in many diverse categories and has been able to reinvent techniques and technologies that have produced amazing results. “HP is implementing a plan to fundamentally transform the company. HP believes that the exploration of alternatives for PSG (Personal Systems Group) will help the company accomplish its strategic goals and pursue profitable growth and enhanced shareholder value (Thacker, 2011).” By gaining these values the company will maximize its potentials in new endeavors and begin to reorganize the information into a well designed system involving the flow of goods and services. HP has never been afraid of reinvention and has always focused on new adventures from efficiency with system development and exploration in the global market.

HP shows very little weakness but needs to stay focused on continuously developing insightful plans to stay ahead of the demand and competition. One issue involved with HP’s systems, is better explained by Mr. Johnson as “the goal is ‘increased integration’ of now-disparate advertising, and ‘we may conclude that there are some improvements we can make’ in the way Hewlett-Packard manages agencies and advertising. Some Hewlett-Packard executives–and some of the company’s agency executives–earlier have said they believe the marketer should consolidate to eliminate confusion (Johnson, 1999).” If not fully understood and redeveloped, this advertisement system can become extremely detrimental to the entire flow of the company.

To avoid these issues, HP must look for existing opportunities within the production process of the company and focus on how the market reacts to these changes. In this current technology based world, markets will constantly be reinventing themselves and emerge off of other companies in which they will develop more efficient ways of attracting customers. The competition is great, which means HP needs to continue to explore globally, stay interactive with blossoming markets and continue to focus on new efficiencies within supply chain opportunities.

The target is for HP to evolve with the economy, the problem with that is how do you grow business in a struggling economy? The largest threat for HP is the condition of the market and its direct correlation with the downfall of the economy. Without thriving and building on a profitable business, the structure of HP must change and very quickly find new approaches that will fit the evolving formation of the market.

The SWAT Analysis of Dell Inc.

Dell has built and developed an amazing empire off of the IT world and also in global business communications. This company has advanced rapidly in new frontiers involving “a new-generation storage company whose arrays and software fit right into the cloud-computing model (Preimesberger, 2011).” Dell has succeeded in magnifying its value into a sales network involving 180 countries and has provided capital and personnel where it is required. This company has taking this innovative communication network known as Cloud and has effectively promoted it into the technology world. These new adventures have kept Dell in the forefront of many large companies and with innovative technologies such as Cloud; this company will continue to succeed.

The innovations with Cloud have been great but Dell in regards to other services has lacked. These days’ customers are not always looking for the best running equipment or the most innovative products on the market. Most of the time in regards to customers, the most attractive product is the highest in demand; this is where Dell has lacked a little. “As we have seen with cell phones and the Apple Macintosh, a significant portion of the market is willing to pay a premium for superior look, feel, color, shape, weight and style. Neither Dell’s brand image nor its reliance on off-the shelf components is well suited to this challenge, and thus the company is now scrambling to improve the design of its offerings. Given its vast size, this won’t be easy (Moschella, 2006).”

These challenges, if handled correctly can prove to benefit the company and show new areas of opportunity. Generating a possible new look for potential products will assist greatly in future success but also paying attention to already beneficial ideas will need to stay in demand. Keeping Cloud at the forefront of Dell’s new developments will keep this company on the right path and will keep competition high with other large IT companies.

One of the largest issues with Dell and most other IT companies is the constant threat of competition; these companies are continuously battling with one another to stay innovative with distribution methods and improved ways of system processes. Dell has been an amazing contributor to the manufacturing of computer through the US and most other parts of the world. Kumar states Dell to be “considered the best firm in terms of its supply chain management.” Unfortunately “now, it faces the challenge of maintaining that position while fending off increasingly savvy competition (Kumar, 2007).” The competition within this market is extremely impactful and challenging but then again this is what fuels constant technological advances worldwide.

Competitive Advantages

The competitive advantage belongs to HP for many reasons; this company has proven to not only be extremely innovative but has also been versatile in new ventures including global market opportunities and environmental awareness. This company services over 170 countries and has continuously been developing new technologies in supply chain management to service affectively all over the world. HP has focused a lot of energy on improving performance on system operations and has reduced “its manufacturing cycle time from about 18 days to two days over a two-year period. The key there, relates Jack Faber, supply chain vice president of HP’s Enterprise Storage and Servers division, was developing a time stamp system that allowed the company to identify where queues were being created during the manufacturing process (Blanchard, 2007).” These new techniques have been developing for a while and with new approaches have been successful in keeping the supply chain progressive and innovative.

“With our powerful combination of enthusiastic people, leading technology, and international presence, HP inspires innovative solutions (Hewlett, 2012).” This company is so determined to continuously develop new applicable systems that “for HP, being able to measure its supply chain performance has become essential in this era of environmental compliance issues (Blanchard. 2007).” HP is constantly trying to find new approaches and strategies to stay ahead and with a new found option where “HP is implementing a plan to fundamentally transform the company.

HP believes that the exploration of alternatives for PSG (Personal Systems Group) will help the company accomplish its strategic goals and pursue profitable growth and enhanced shareholder value (Thacker, 2011).” The growth is never-ending within HP, the techniques are always being reinvented and the approaches taken to reach new heights concerning supply chain efficiencies are always being manipulated to fit the current market. HP’s drive and commitment to excellence will forever be a large threat to other IT companies and with so much passion to succeed; this company will prove to be a constant in the world of technological advances.

Conclusion

Mr. Kruger states that HP’s “objectives were to provide the planning and procurement organizations with a methodology for setting the best possible plans, procuring the appropriate amount of material to support those plans, and making upfront business decisions on the costs of inventory versus supplier response time. The objectives are to minimize on-hand inventory and optimize supplier response times (Kruger, 1997).” This field of interest takes much knowledge in organization and a team of experts to strategically create a plan that will accomplish these goals. HP has taken the supply chain and began to revolutionize the way it is ran and continues to strengthen particular components to continuously build a more stable system.

Both HP and Dell have done an amazing job of developing new frontiers towards supply chain management and have shown to be very sustainable in today’s unclear market. These companies have continuously strived to generate smarter decision making within all aspects of distribution and product flow in which they will always be able maximize productivity and pioneer for new solutions. HP and Dell have both been able to stay well connected in the market and have found unique styles of innovation to keep them both in the progressive environment that they currently reside.

References

Blanchard, D. (2007). Common Sense. Industry Week/IW, 256(3), 42.

Hewlett-Packard Development Company. (2012). HP Corporate Information. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/index.html

Johnson, B. (1999). Hewlett-Packard takes step to consolidation. Advertising Age, 70(18), 2. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Kumar, S., & Craig, S. (2007). Dell, Inc.’s closed loop supply chain for computer assembly plants. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 6(3), 197-214.

Kruger, G. A. (1997). The supply chain approach to planning and procurement management. Hewlett-Packard Journal, 48(1), 28. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Moschella, D. (2006, October 2). Has History Caught Up With Dell?. Computerworld. pp. 22-23.

Preimesberger, C. (2011). The world According To Dell: From Hardware to Software and Now to the Cloud. (Cover story). Eweek, 28(15), 18-23.

Thacker, M. (2011). HP to Evaluate Strategic Alternatives for Personal Systems Group. Retrieved July 28, 2012, from: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2011/110818xb.html


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