Relationship Management Strategies in Dell's Supply Chain

5443 Words Oct 3rd, 2009 22 Pages
Executive Summary
This paper discusses, using the multinational corporation Dell, Inc, existing and suggested Relationship Management Strategies applied to both Upstream and Downstream members of a supply chain. It also examines and gives an analysis of, using several diagrams, tables and models, Dell’s product range – and the customers who buy them.

This paper also examines several Key Issues associated with maintaining positive relationships with supply chain members, and how they may be worked out, besides providing an in-depth analysis of the relationships between Dell and its suppliers, customers and competitors.

Dell’s customers are many and come from many segments, but for this paper the focus will be on its biggest and most
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Due to its exemplary business practices, Dell Incorporated has been the subject of many case studies and reports ranging from Customer Service to Human Resources to Logistics. For the same reason, the author thinks that Dell is a prime candidate of discussion for this paper’s given topic.

This paper will examine and discuss, among other things, Dell’s vast product line catering to various business segments, the structure of Dell’s supply chain – parts and peripherals suppliers, distributors and business customers, competitors, and (most importantly,) its methods and policies of dealing with and maintaining good relations with its suppliers and business customers.

1.1 Background Information on Dell
Dell, Inc is a multinational corporation formed in the 1980s by founder and college dropout Michael Dell. What sets Dell apart from other firms operating within the same category is that Dell was the first company to offer Built-to-Order computers, which were different from the norm of buying ready-made computers at that time. The company currently sells personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, and computer peripherals (, 2009b).
Dell utilizes a JIT approach – that is, instead of stocking up on parts in expectation of future orders, it uses a "pull" system – building computers only after
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