The Dell Story came about with Michael Dell as he developed his company several years ago and has flourished ever since. The company once named Dell Computers is now known as Dell. The company is design is considered a mass customization process because it is a combination of a job shop and flow shop. Dell’s high computer volume is very attractive is to the consumer especially when they can take advantage of customizing their own computer. Dell has several elements of service within their production, to name a few: high customer service interactive quality, great knowledge base and labor intensive unique talents.
Since Dell’s workforce is employed by the service sector.
They are productive with their creation of goods and services.
As a consultant, I would acknowledge the best practices and operations principles for a mass customization company such as Dell would be the most beneficial. Therefore, I would decide which departments are in need of improvement to increase the company revenues.
After reviewing Dell’s financials and inspecting their management structure for appropriate applications. Project Managers would be next to discuss the future of Dell. While reviewing their Gantt charts, I would make certain we were heading down the best critical path of their time lines with orders as well as the department management. Additionally, a review of the company’s productivity through the creation of goods and service since 75% of the work force is employed by the service sector. Dell should be achieving competitive advantage through differentiation in marketing and manufacturing, saving on costs in shipping and on the response time’s flexibility. In order to determine the best practices and operations, I have included their direct distribution model, customer service, mass customization, and a tightly coordinated supply chain.
Dell eliminates wholesalers and retailers to allow complete control over inventory levels and distribution costs. A few concepts that would be helpful for assessment are: forecasting, inventory management, and Just in Time (JIT) lean operations.
In order to make sure their orders for inventory are on the right track, Dell would need to make sure that they are forecasting their time horizon to meet the demands for the economy, technology and sales. To meet these demands they will need to have a reliable amount of inventory management to know when the orders are in each stage of the process from raw materials, work in progress to finished goods. This would provide a stock of service for the consumer and will determine the Economic Order Quality (EOQ) to know what is needed and when to order. In addition to inventory management, Dell would need to use the JIT lean operations to focus on continuous improvements to reduce inventory while including all staff members and encourage them to work towards lean operations to share the responsibility of reducing costs.
Since Dells outstanding customer service database is well-known. Revising human resources and operations management to foresee that labor and design jobs are effectively and efficiently utilized. Reviewing labor plans, stability and schedule would aid in understanding the job design and base it off of specialization, expansion, motivation, ergonomic and work measurement. In
move up in the company would be a step in the right direction. Flexibility in hours, short term scheduling to overcome any challenges and meet the demand for a quick response is also important.
Looking at the layout of the office, warehouse, and process orientation to make sure the adequate use of space is being consumed as well as the sequencing of processes. Perhaps see if a reduction in distance in the space of the layout might be more efficient.
Dell allows their online customers to build their own computer systems for speedy delivery. An observation of the company’s aggregate plan would define this company’s mass customization. Determining the quality and timing of production from long term to short term will aid in the production plan, budgets, inventory, supply chain schedules and employment. Such strategies for planning would include:
Although Dell suppliers work closely with their engineers to keep the research and development costs low and flowing to the customer, examining Dell’s supply chain management would be useful. Understanding the best practices and which strategies are used for low costs, response and differentiation to the market. Adding any updates that are helpful and realistic from the marketing and operations interface and oversee any requests for proposal for orders and track the real time inventory.
Dell’s product and service differentiation would be important when comparing to their competitors Hewlett Packard, Sony and Aser. Reviewing the product development in terms of the manufacturing and engineering to understand the main focus on the product lifecycle. The Materials Requirement Plan (MRP) and the Enterprise Resources Plan (ERP) is another area to delve into. In order to stay lean and mean Dell’s bill of materials and purchase orders need to match up to the physical quantity, thus reducing the work in progress inventory. By utilizing the JIT moving materials in a smaller batch will provide the company with what is needed.
In order for Dell to utilize the best process to meet customer requirements within cost restraints. Managing quality and project management are key for a company of this size to stay on track and remain profitable and stable with continuous improvement.