The Power of Vision and
One focused vision made Dell the world's
leading direct computer systems company. One bold concept
– direct customer contact – has made Dell
one of the most successful companies in the world.
Delivering the Best
Possible Customer Experience
Dell's climb to
is the result of a persistent focus on
delivering the best
possible customer experience by directly selling computing products and
services online and through catalogs.
Yin-Yang of Customer Value Creation
"We put a great deal of
emphasis on understanding what drove
whether it was response times on the telephone, quality of products,
valuable features, or the ease of experience in using the product. Engaging
the entire company
manufacturing to engineering to sales to support staff
in the process
of understanding customer requirements became a constant focus of
management, energy, training, and employee education," writes Michael Dell.7
Focus On the Best Solution,
not the Best Technology
"We know what we are and what we're not. We are
a really superb product integrator. We're a tremendously good
sales-and-logistics company. We're not the developer of
technology," says Mort Topfer who helped revive
Dell's fortunes in 1990s.
As Fortune wrote: “A Dell mantra is that
today's technology is tomorrow's commodity. Dell waits until the cost of
that technology falls low enough for it to be stuffed into computers at
state-of-the-art factories and then sold direct at a cheap price, which
allows the company to drive for share.”
"It is really dangerous if everyone in a
company starts thinking the same way", writes
Michael Dell1, Chairman and
CEO of the
Dell Computer Corporation. "The danger comes when you fall into the trap of
approaching problems too similarly. You can encourage your people to think
about your business, your industry, your customers innovatively. Ask a
question – or word the same question in a different way. By
approaching a problem, a response or an opportunity
from a different perspective, you create an opportunity for new
understanding and new learning. By
questioning all the aspects of our business, we continuously inject
improvement and innovation into our
culture. How can we teach people to be more
Ask them to
approach a problem in a
Solving Strategies: 4 Levels
Turning Problems Into Opportunities
Make the Most of Incidental
"Dell is the kind of company where everyone
rolls up sleeves and get personally involved in the details of our business
every day," says Michael Dell, the Founder of Dell Computers. "This is, in
fact, how we got to be successful: As managers, it's not enough to sit
around theorizing and reviewing what those who report to us do. We
frequently meet with customers and attend working-level meetings about
products, procurement, and technology, to tap into real source of our
company's experience and brainpower.
"Why bother? It's a way to get close to our
people, for certain. But that's not all. Our day-to-day involvement in the
business helps us establish and allows us to maintain one of the Dell's
In this case, "staying involved in the details" allows for
rapid decision making
because we know what's going on...
Customers and Suppliers
"Turn your customers into teachers," advises
Michael Dell, the Founder of Dell Computers.
Dell start their innovation process with asking
their customers, "What would you really want this thing to do? Is there a
different way to accomplish that?" Then they meet with their suppliers and
ask, "Can we do this in a different way?" Then they try to come up with a
totally different approach that exceeds the original objectives.
Yin-Yang of Value Innovation
To continually bring information from the
outside world into Dell, with an eye toward staying as competitive as they
can, Michael Dell uses a variety of innovative approaches. He says, "I also
enjoy roaming around outside the company to see what people think of us. On
the Web, nobody knows I'm a
I'll hang out in chatrooms where actual users commonly chat about Dell and
our competitors. I listen to their conversations as they discuss their
purchases and their likes and dislikes. It's a tremendous learning
Sustainable Competitive Advantage...
Management at Different Growth Stages...
Conventional Wisdom and Looking at Things Differently...
Creating a Competitive Culture...
Employee's Incentives to Improve Efficiency...
Learning from Failure...
Freedom to Fail...
Customers Into Teachers...
Focus on Customer Satisfaction...
Innovation: EON Solution...
Coaching Corporate Customers...