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Strategic Formulation For Dell's Computer

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Strategic Plan Overview - Dell Computer Corporation

The advent of Dell Computer Corporation (DCC) in 1984 brought another milestone into already existing computer technological arena. Since its inception, DCC has used innovative marketing strategies to move the computer market to a different level and today DCC ranks among the world's largest computer systems companies. Dell pioneered the culture of selling personal computers directly to the customers without the involvement of the middleman. This concept has set Dell Computer Corporation apart from other computer giants. Dell designs, builds and customizes products and services to satisfy the end-user requirements and offers an extensive selection of peripherals and software directly to its customers. Looking at the already existing framework of DCC, this first series in the Strategic Formulation and Implementation paper will analyze the strategic management process of DCC focusing on its mission, vision, values, situation analysis, formulation and implementation. The paper will also develop a project plan which shall peruse the "structure, controls, and planning" processes for DCC (Blair, 2006, p. 2).

The mission statement addresses that Dell shall be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets they serve. DCC emphasizes on;

* Highest quality

* Leading technology

* Competitive pricing

* Individual and company accountability

* Best-in-class service and support

* Flexible customization capability

* Superior corporate citizenship

* Financial stability (dell.com, 2006).

DCC pledges in its vision statement to effectively and strategically partner with communities to provide basic technological access needs in the digital world (dell.com, 2004). The vision statement also asserts that, "with the power of direct and Dell's team of talented people, the company is able to provide customers with superb value, high-quality, relevant technology, customized systems, superior service and support, and products and services that are easy to buy and sell" (Tough, 2006). In 2004, DCC selected the Austin YouthWorks, Austin Children's Museum, Nashville Public Television, The Salvation Army, Texas Business and Education Coalition and Austin Public Library Foundation as the recipients of its Connected Community Funding Programs which provide technology programs to children (1dell.com. 2006). Mission Statement is "a promise that companies make to the customers" while vision statement "paints a picture of what an organization would like to look like in a period of time (Mitchell, 2003). DCC's focus on its customers and the involvement in the communities validates the implementation of its vision and mission statements. DCC should develop a company's value system to determine new ways of doing business that no one in the industry has tried. Values will be used to examine "possibilities and then choose a strategy based on the perception of the customers" (Mitchell, 2003).

In the quest to further fulfill its mission statement, Dell should brand hardware products purchased in the United States and Canada to come with a uniform warranty as against a "90-day, 1 year, 2 year, 3 year or 4 year limited warranty" that DCC is currently giving to its customers (www1.us.dell.com, 2006). DCC should also consider giving at least 2 years warranty to every customer within the United States and Canada.

In its organizational setup, Dell prefers to fragment along geographical lines into the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Japan, and Europe but its corporate headquarters is in Round Rock, Texas, near Austin. The company believes in centralization of its decision-making instead of trying to control everything from the United States. Each of its regions has its own regional headquarters, manufacturing facilities and Information Technology (IT) infrastructures. The Japanese regional stores of Dell's company have a separate headquarters (Dell.com, 2006). The strategic formulation of centralization is good for Dell because DCC operates on assemble-to-order system relying on inventories of components (monitors, processors, hard drives and chips) from the suppliers. Dell should do a better job of moving the suppliers close to its central locations.

Dell would use the SWOT analysis in its strategic management process to review its long-term goals in order to make the company to be more effective. SWOT analysis is a process that can help companies to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within and outside the organization. The long-term objective shall emphasize efficiency in procurement, manufacturing, distribution and further expanding the base of its customer service with innovation and other value-added services. Dell should realize that competitors like International Business Machine Corporations (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (HP) also have stronger brand names, and the DCC's business strategy should be focused on mass customization and just-in-time manufacturing. These primary strategies will give Dell's customers a better choice and help the company to compete effectively both in domestic and global markets. Dell should try to implement its strategies once they are formed in order to remain on top of its service to the customers. One way to stay on top of the business is the acquisition of companies of interest and DCC seem to be doing well in this sector, for example, "Dell joined with Altiris in 2002 to help simplify IT management in order to satisfy the rapidly computer evolving

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