Dell, one of the most popular and renowned companies of America, is one of the oldest companies in the field of development, support, repair, selling, and providing services related to computers and products associated with computers. Dell Inc, which is currently employing more than 165,000 people from all over the world, is one of the largest technology corporations in the world.
Most people from all over the world knows Dell for its Personal Computers (PCs), but the services of this company are not only limited to the supply of PCs. Apart from Personal Computers, Dell also sells peripheral devices for computers and PCs, storage devices, printers, cameras, HDTVs, software, network switches, data storage devices, servers for both computers & PCs and for peripheral devices, and other electronic devices that are manufactured by other companies too. Unlike many other technological giants, Dell Inc is popularly known for its innovations in electronic commerce and supply chain management, particularly for its "configure to order" or build-to-order", and its direct-sales model. The "configure to order" or build-to-order" is an approach followed by Dell in every step involved during the manufacturing of their products and services (manufacturing-delivering individual PCs configured to customer specifications). Before the acquisition of Perot Systems in 2009 by Dell, Dell was a pure hardware-oriented vendor in its existence in the market but this scenario completely changed after the acquisition, and after that, it also entered the market of IT services too. With the sole goal of expanding its portfolio from only offering PCs to delivering complete solutions for its enterprise's customers, the company has since made additional acquisitions in storage and networking systems.
Dell: Fortune and Other Rankings
Currently, Dell is ranked in the Top 50 companies that come under the list of Fortune 500 (Rank 34), but it was ranked at 51st number in the Fortune 500 list till 2014 (the year from where huge developments have been seen in the company). Following Lenovo and HP Inc, Dell is ranked as the third-largest PC and computers vendors in the world in terms of unit sales by Dell as of January 2021. In terms of shipping PC monitors all over the world, Dell ranked as Number 1. According to Fortune's latest rankings, Dell is the sixth-largest company in Texas in terms of total revenue generated in a financial year. Not including the oil-based companies, Dell is ranked as the second-largest non-oil company in Texas in terms of revenue generation. The new confidential nature of financial information sharing of Dell after it went private in 2013 prevented this company from being ranked by Fortune.
Start-up and Founding
In the year 1984, when Michael Dell was a student at the University of Texas in Austin, he founded Dell Computer Corporation, which started as a corporation that was doing businesses as PCs Limited. This start-up of Michael Dell, which was initially aimed at IBM PC-compatible computers built from the stock or latest components, was operating from Michael Dell's off-campus dormitory room at Dobie Center in its starting days. Michael Dell believed that their start-up of PCs limited could better understand customers' needs and provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs only by selling personal computer systems directly to customers and not adding any mediocre seller in the supply chain. For starting, Michael Dell worked part-time on his start-up, but just only after completing his freshman year in the university, he realized that he needed to focus full-time on his start-up for its growth and development, and that's why he dropped out from the university. The first model of the company, which was the company's first of its own design, Turbo 85, was produced in 1984 and sold for USD 795.
In the year 1987, the company renamed itself as Dell Computer Corporation by dropping the name of PCs limited from its brand name and started to expand all over the world. After starting its expansion globally, Dell computer corporation started its first international operations in the United Kingdom (UK) in the same year of renaming itself and began its operations in 11 more countries in the next 4 years. In 1989, in order to compensate for the lack of local retailers by Dell computer corporation, it set up its first on-site programs to act as service centres for their customers.
Growth, Developments, Declination, and Disappointments
1990 was the first year when Dell first came into the field of indirect selling, where they tried to sell their products to their customers indirectly from their computer scores and warehouses clubs. But Dell only got a little success in this planning and, therefore, it again started focussing on its original business plan of Direct selling to consumers. Michael Dell's Dell computer corporation was firstly included in the Fortune list of 500 top companies in the world in the year 1992. Five years from it, Dell faced a lot of competition and struggle in the market but continued to grow because of its perseverance and continuous research and development for their computers. In the next 8 to 9 years (From 1997 to 2004), Dell showed steady and constant growth in their revenue, profit generation, and customer base, whereas other companies or rival vendors of Dell computer corporation (such as AST research, Packard Bell, IBM, Gateway, Compaq and many others) struggled to maintain their position in the market and some of them even bought out to many other big corporations including Dell itself.
This growth of Dell computer corporation in its revenue generation and customer base was also exceptional in the next few years (from 2002 to 2005). The sales and earnings of Dell computer corporation even continued to rise in the year 2005 and later, but later company showed slow sales growth considerably. In the year 2006, Dell realized that it had to make entry into the business of non-PC business segments and products such as servers, storage devices, and sales, as the analytics of the company indicated that growth in the sales of Dell is slowing down over the years as 66% of Dell sales is constituted from the PCs market. Dell has stuck for many years since its expansion because of its direct sales model as the consumers were becoming the main drivers of Personalized computers sales in recent years. Even though Dell computer corporation switched its direct sales model, the graph continued to show a huge decline in the numbers of consumers purchasing PCs and laptops through the phone or web. One of the most important reasons behind this huge decline and failure in Dell's direct sales model was the increasing number of electronic stores in the offline market and consumers increasing interest in offline electronic stores.
Michael Dell back as CEO
Rollins was the successor of Michael Dell in assuming the charges of President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the Dell Computer Corporation, but because of below expectations performance of the company in the four out of five quarters, doubts and questions started raising on the leadership and management skills of Rollins. Finally, Rollins resigned from the role of CEO as well as President of the company in the year 2007, and that's how Michael Dell was again back in the role of CEO and President of the company for its continuous growth and development.
Dell: Marketing Slogans
The Dell computer corporation was always dynamic, and it can be seen in their slogans as well. Dell computer corporation is one of the few Fortune 500 companies that has changed many slogans in the past. There are more than 10 slogans of Dell till now, but 'The power to do more' is the company's current slogan. Following is a complete list provided with some of the slogans changed by company in the past with the timeline where Dell computer corporation had used these slogans: