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Dell is a thriving company due to the efficient alignment of its information systems plan with its business plan.

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Introduction

Dell is a thriving company due to the efficient alignment of its information systems plan with its business plan. Dell's business model has proved to be extremely successful due primarily to two main advantages; 1) selling straight from the factory to end users eliminated the markups of resellers, and 2) custom building orders significantly reduced the costs and risks associated with carrying large stocks of parts, components, and finished goods. These two key aspects of Dells business model is almost totally dependent on the fusion of its business objectives and processes with IT (Kearns 3). Strategic IS alignment facilitates Dells business model, competitive advantage, success within the industry, and the attainment of Dell's mission "to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in the markets we serve." (www.dell.com) Dell produces all its computers, workstations, and servers to order. This allows Dell customers to order custom-built servers and workstations based on the needs of their applications. Desktop and Laptop customers can order whatever configuration of microprocessor speed, RAM, hard disk capacity, CD/DVD ROM drive, modem, monitor, and other accessories preferred (www.dell.com). ...read more.

Middle

to pick up computers at its Austin plant, then pick up the accompanying monitors at the Sony plant in Mexico, match up the customer's computer order with the monitor order, and deliver both to the customer simultaneously. The savings in time and cost are tremendous. In addition, since Dell has no stock of finished goods inventory and they sell directly to end consumers, they do not have to wait for resellers to clear out their own inventory before bringing a new model to market (Thompson 85). Over time Dell has refined and enhanced its inventory tracking capabilities, its working relationships with suppliers, and its ability to operate with smaller inventories. In 1995 Dell averaged an inventory turn ratio of 32 days, which it brought down to 13 days in 1997, and down further to 6 days in 1999. This was favorable to the industry average of 50 days; obviously Dell had created a competitive advantage for its self. The company's long term goal is to get its inventories down to a 3 day average supply. Dell created this competitive advantage by aligning its supply chain expertise with internet technology in a first mover strategy (Kearns 266). ...read more.

Conclusion

Dell is widely regarded as having the most efficient procurement, manufacturing, and distribution process in the global PC industry. Dell has truly embraced IS within its organization, viewing it as a critical weapon to create competitive advantage and gain market share within the PC industry (Kearns 268). The company adopted several of the critical success factors outlined by Thompson S.H. Teo. Of the 18 critical success factors those most applicable to Dell are; top management commitment to the strategic use of IT, IS management knowledge about the business, top management confidence in the IT department, top management knowledge of IT, and business goals and objectives are made available to the IS department (Teo 178). Dell is a pioneer and world leader in incorporating e-commerce technology and use of the internet into its business practices. The goal was to achieve what Michael Dell called "virtual integration- a stitching together of Dell's business with its supply partners and customers in real time such that all three appeared to be part of the same organizational team" (Thompson 71). Dells success is due greatly to seamless strategic IS alignment. Dells IS strategy truly compliments the company's business plan, and without this perfect fit Dell would not be at the forefront on the Global PC industry. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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