Dell's Place in the Mobile Revolution Essay

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Dell Company Profile

The author of this report is asked to answer a few questions about a company of the author's choice. The author, in this case, chose Dell. The questions to be answered include the globalization and technology changes that are at foot. The second thing to be discussed is the industrial organization model that includes wielding the general environment, the industry environment and the competitive environment in a way to garner above-average returns. The third general question to be answered is to assess how the vision statement and mission statement and its influence on the corporation will render itself. Finally, it will be evaluated how each category of stakeholder, both internal and external to the company, will manifest itself. While Dell does need to reinvent itself a little bit for the future, the same is true of all companies both software and hardware given the mobile revolution that is emphasizing smartphones and tablets over desktops and other larger systems.

Questions Answered

Regarding globalization and technology, Dell obviously has to be in tune with the technological revolution as they are not only in the technology market in general, they actually make many of the computers that drive the private sector as well as that of private users and even government agencies. In addition, they are also on the leading edge of the globalization effort. However, not all of latter has been all that positive for Dell as they were caught using India employees for their bread-and-butter corporate clients and there was blowback along nationalism and/or communication issues and Dell had to undo that strategy at least a little bit. However, they have not completely abandoned the strategy of farming out support to countries other than in North America and Europe (Spooner, 2005). However, it is also obvious and fair to say that Dell should absolutely embrace and advance on areas of the world that are developed (e.g. Europe, Australia, etc.) and areas that are starting to catch up (e.g. Middle East, Africa, etc.) so as to advance the corporate and government progress and outcomes of all of the countries involved.

One technology trend that Dell will have to address, and they face issues with it not unlike Microsoft which is encouraging problems of its own, is the increasing move away from desktop and other larger computing systems in favor of laptops, tablets and smartphone technology. This is both good news and bad news for Dell. Much of their business is from the corporate sector so much of the mobile revolution is not going to affect Dell too much due to server farms and racks still being necessary, even if they are smaller. However, Dell has little to no presence in the smartphone and tablet market although they have been a force for a while in the field of laptops. Dell makes no smartphones and the tablet market is dominated by Samsung, Apple and Google. However, Dell putting all of its proverbial eggs into the corporate field could be setting itself or problems if they end up having problems retaining its market share in that field. There are no indications that this will happen, at least for now, but things could sour for Dell quite quickly if other computer makers enter the fray. IBM leaving the computer market in the form of selling off to Lenovo probably helped Dell a bit but Lenovo has taken its place, obviously.

In terms of how Dell can earn above-average returns while looking through the prisms of the industrial organization model and/or the resource-based models, Dell can do a few quite wise things. First is controlling, streamlining and honing their supply chain model to keep things as cheap and non-wasteful as possible. Another suggestion would be to continue to improve products and outcomes for clients, corporate clients in particular, and show improved and expanded results for the value chain. Dell's general mission/vision approach is to listen, learn and deliver (Dell, 2014). While that is fairly vague and general in nature, it does and should guide their general strategy. However, one way in which they'll have to honor what they speak is to embrace and market towards the mobile revolution because that is obviously the future. It is true that some people still covet their desktop and other larger computers. However, that will become a smaller and smaller part of the product landscape and Dell's product offerings need to match that. Dell's acquisition of Alienware was a shrewd bet and should pay dividends for people that want high-end desktops or laptops (Dell, 2014). Indeed, the price point for those items is fairly high so the profit margins should match that.

Finally, the stakeholder situation with Dell can certainly sway back and forth depending on the subject at hand as well as the type of stakeholder in question. As with most public companies, stakeholders want to see profits and dividends and this can counteract the other priorities a firm can and often should hold dear. For example, expanding corporate social responsibility and/or mobile product offerings may be seen as wasteful for fruitless by investors but the pundits and talking heads may feel it's a good to great strategy to engage in such endeavors. Regardless of the decisions that Dell engages in, which can and should include a new focus on mobile solutions as well as a refined corporate product focus, they need to sell it to all stakeholders including its employees, its shareholders, and so forth. This starts with the executive and public relations team deciphering how Dell should proceed and then selling it to the employee, investors and the public at large in the form of the consumer as well as the advocacy groups and politicians.

If one looks at particulars groups of stakeholders in particular, one really needs to start with the executives of Dell. Indeed, the executives (subject to some constraints such as shareholders votes and the board of directors) run the proverbial ship and ultimately steer the direction of Dell in terms of its products, its advertising and its overall path. However, the executives are not all powerful due to the board and shareholder vote limitations noted above as well as pushback from employees and advocacy groups. If one snickers at the idea the public and/or politicians cannot greatly affect the path and outcome of an organization, one need look no further than the AIG retention bonus fiasco during the American Great Recession. More recently, there is the controversy of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments with the outcome being that he will probably have to sell the Clippers or see it go down the drain or even ripped from him involuntarily (ESPN, 2014). The point is that executives are not all powerful and in control of their own destiny because they are not.

The next group of stakeholders is the employees. They are important because they are the ones most directly affected by the decisions of the executives and they know that full well. As such, they can and will tend to push back on decisions that are not seen as wise or smart by the employees and/or the public. While the public and the pundits do not wield and help control outcomes for the firm, at least for the most part, the employees certainly do. As such, any major change done (or attempted) by Dell has to be started and finished by the employees more than any other group. The next group of stakeholders is the investors that buy Dell stock and/or otherwise pour money into the Dell money pot. While most shareholders own a very small portion of Dell's shares, they small groups can rise up together and some shareholders actually own quite a bit of Dell. As such, if Dell is perceive to be going…[continue]


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