Dell Inc.’s Production System

by: Scott Moore

Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-017

Core Disciplines: Information - Technology & Management, Operations Management/Supply Chain, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This mini-case details the history of Dell and its made-to-order production system. From a simple computer assembly and delivery company, Dell grew to dominate the PC industry by leveraging information and focusing on efficiency throughout the supply chain. However, changes in consumer tastes and supplier cost structure led to the decline of Dell’s performance in 2005. What happened?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe Dell's historical value chain and how it supported the company's value proposition.
  • Evaluate how Dell evolved from the build-to-order model to the pre-built computer model.