This is nothing less than Michael Dell trying to reinvent his company. It is as if he were launching another startup. Making the Titanic do a 180 degree turn is not easy. And there will be plenty to watch.
If you are going to ditch the idea of direct selling, and if you are going to no longer try to keep inventory low, then that is Dell 2.0.
Dell is now going to be more like the other PC companies. That perhaps should have been coming, because other companies have become more like Dell and have brought the prices down substantially.
There is this synergistic competition going on. PC companies are busy eating into each others' turfs. But the new move is still for Dell to prove.
The real news might be the mention of the four BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the mention of the phrase "next billion." Those countries have much less in terms of internet penetration, and so ordering computers online is not exactly a concept. And if you are going to stock up stores with your machines, it is not exactly build to sell. The direct way has been to take the order and then build. Now you build and then go sell.
Michael Dell is a legendary entrepreneur. The CEO Rollins before him could not have made a move like this one. This is too unorthodox. He would have felt like he were undoing Dell. Can you imagine a Microsoft that is about to ditch Windows? In the late 90s, some Microsoft engineers actually did suggest to Gates that the browser instead of the operating system should be made the gateway to the computing experience. Gates suggested those engineers quit Microsoft and go join the Peace Corps.
Michael Dell's memorandum to Dell staff:In The News
To: Dell Employees Worldwide
From: Michael & the Executive Leadership Team
Dell Confidential -- For Internal Use Only
One Dell, One Focus -- Simplifying IT for Our Customers
We met as a complete Executive Leadership Team for most of last week to discuss Dell's future. We left the week with a great deal of confidence about our plans for the next generation of Dell customers. Throughout our history we have worked as a team -- as One Dell -- and we have made quality PCs affordable. Now Dell plans to make information technology affordable for millions of customers around the world. We will do this by simplifying IT where others perpetuate complexity and innovating beyond hardware into solutions. This is one of the most exciting periods in our history but it requires all of us to stand together as One Dell to make profound changes and take well thought-out risks.
Here are some of the steps we will take to get there:
• Fix our Core Business to be competitive. The Direct Model has been a revolution, but is not a religion. We will continue to improve our business model, and go beyond it, to give our customers what they need. We will simplify our organization to make it easier to hear customers and respond to them. We've already streamlined our executive leadership structure. We need to streamline our management structure to speed decisions and remove bureaucracy. We're making improvements in pricing, product development and fulfillment, and customer experience. We reorganized the product group to more effectively listen to our customers and develop end-to-end customer solutions. We are now revisiting our entire design process to improve our speed-to-market and focus on what customers truly value. Our new Global Operations organization, led by Mike Cannon, is working to take our supply chain and manufacturing to the next level of efficiency and quality. This group is also partnering with the regions and the product group to pursue new manufacturing and distribution models to address the unique needs of our customers in all markets. More broadly, we plan to eliminate overlaps in our organization and activities to enable us to deliver even more value to our customers. We also need to improve sales productivity. These won't be merely exercises in cost-cutting. We will re-invest those resources in the customer solutions that will build Dell for the future.
• Re-ignite Growth in our Core Business to reach more customers. We are taking some concrete steps to get growth back into our core business. We released the EC280 in March for first-time computer users in China. We will open a new factory in Brazil in May and a new factory in India in July to be closer to those huge customer bases. In June, we'll launch our new Inspiron models with personalized color options and improved mobile broadband. We will launch products and services for small and medium business customers later this summer. And our new Dell Data Center Solutions Division is addressing the unique needs of hyper-scale data centers for customers whose business relies on enterprise computing solutions. We plan to take our improved cost structure to acquire new customers and sell existing customers more products and services. We are accelerating down the path to be a truly global company giving customers around the world the best products, the easiest solutions and most choices.
• Build For the Long term to provide more customer solutions. Ron Garriques' Global Consumer team is re-inventing how we address the evolving needs of our consumers around the world and the unique needs of the next billion consumers in the large and emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). With strong share position in markets such as Japan, the U.K. and Canada, now we are going to make a mark in the rest of the world. Ron and team are also tackling how Dell's consumer business should evolve in the long term in mature markets. Stay tuned for more here.
We are also embarking on a bold, long term initiative to radically simplify IT for our commercial customers. Simply put, the philosophy comes down to a set of core beliefs:
• Information Technology shouldn't be as complex as it is.
• You should spend less on maintaining I/T and more on innovation.
• Every IT project should not require an army of consultants.
• Computing should have minimal environmental impact.
• Superior information drives efficiency in your IT environment.
We are already taking steps to fulfill this vision, but we have a long way to go. For those of us who have worked for a while in this industry, we know our competitors drive complexity and needless cost into customers' environments. These so-called "service divisions" create a never-ending cycle of activity with unclear return on investment. We intend to break this cycle. We will build different kinds of services and offer key technologies that will help customers escape this complexity trap and unlock the true potential of technology. And, as we re-invent Dell to deliver on this promise for our customers, we will rely on Mark Jarvis, our new chief marketing officer, to ensure we properly position our new systems and solutions capabilities in the global marketplace.
We won't hesitate to use our company's assets to build or buy the capabilities and technologies we need to deliver on our initiatives. Our transformation will take time to accomplish. We need your help to identify how we can become more efficient and effective for our customers across all areas of our business. We want you to take action with your team and bring your ideas forward. On June 20, we'll launch the internal version of IdeaStorm called "Inside IdeaStorm" for employees so that you can tell us where you think we have opportunities to improve as a company and how we can streamline our work to eliminate low value activities. We will listen and we will respond.
This is a defining moment in our history and in our relationships with our customers. Just as we re-invented the way consumers and organizations buy hardware, we are going to re-invent the way the world gets access to IT. We are excited about what we will achieve for our customers as we make information technology more affordable for them and what that will enable them to do.
The future looks great for Dell and we are up to the challenges that we'll face on our journey -- challenges that will test, teach and ultimately strengthen us as a company and as a team -- as One Dell.
Thank you for transforming Dell with the customer in mind every day. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this on One Dell Way.
Dell Losing Its Religion, But The Devil Is In The Details iT News The last time Dell entered the retail space, it was a move made out of "panic" that bombed because the company strayed from its core strength: so explained Dell in his book, Direct From Dell, which he wrote eight years ago as a guide to good business strategy. ....... Dell's three Golden Rules, "Never sell indirect." (The other two Dell Golden Rules are "disdain inventory" and "always listen to the customer.") ..... To make its way into the retail channel or commercial reseller channel this time, the company may need to re-think its second golden rule of disdaining inventory. As of last 3 November, Dell reported that it had five days of inventory. ...... To make a go of an indirect sales strategy, Dell may need to ensure that its pipeline has enough PCs, notebooks, peripherals and parts in stock so channel partners can keep their customers happy. To build that inventory may take an investment so large it could eat into the company's already-declining profits. ..... the difference between Dell and other companies is that while all companies make mistakes, Dell never makes the same mistake twice
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