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    rev of supply chain mgt dell 2 rev of supply chain mgt dell 2 Document Transcript

    • Efficiency of Supply Chain Flexibility By [Author’s Name] [Faculty Name] [Department or School Name] [Month Year]
    • Supply Chain Efficiency ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would take this opportunity to thank my research supervisor, family and friends for theirsupport and guidance without which this research would not have been possible.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency iii DECLARATIONI, [type your full first names and surname here], declare that the contents of thisdissertation/thesis represent my own unaided work, and that the dissertation/thesis has notpreviously been submitted for academic examination towards any qualification. Furthermore, itrepresents my own opinions and not necessarily those of the University.Signed __________________ Date _________________
    • Supply Chain Efficiency iv ABSTRACT The study has focused on the supply chain flexibility in case of Dell. The Dell is one ofthe most competitive companies engaged in the business operation of the personal computers.The company has developed the direct build to order model for the sales that has been followedfor 20 years now. The efficient system of the supply chain and the direct order system have givencompetitive advantage to the company. The customers can place their orders directly to thecompany through the websites and the phone. The supply chain management in Dell isconsidered to be very different as compare to other corporations. As the customers are veryclever and smart in today’s world, the company has introduced several products in the past inorder to attract the customers. The reason behind introducing such changes in the products is toattract the customers so that the productivity can be enhanced and high levels of profits can begenerated. The supply chain needs to be represented in the way that there are more optionsavailable to the firms. The flexibility of the supply chain can be assessed by observing the supplychain process of the company. The company has implemented effective supply chain process thathas enhanced the process of the inventory. As the flexibility of the supply chain implies that thecompany should be able to meet the challenges of the demand and supply that occurs in themarket every now and then. The fluctuation in the supply and demand must be met by thecompany if it has effective supply chain flexibility
    • Supply Chain Efficiency v TABLE OF CONTENTSACKNOWLEDGEMENT...........................................................................................................................................IIDECLARATION........................................................................................................................................................IIIABSTRACT................................................................................................................................................................IVCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................1 Background of the Research Study..........................................................................................1 Aims and Objectives of the research study..............................................................................1 Significance of the Research Study......................................................................................... 2 Rationale of the Research Study..............................................................................................3 Research Questions..................................................................................................................3 Structure of the thesis...............................................................................................................4 Chapter I: Introduction.....................................................................................................4 Chapter II: Literature Review.......................................................................................... 4 Chapter III: Methodology................................................................................................ 4 Chapter IV: Discussion and Findings.............................................................................. 5 Chapter V: Conclusion.....................................................................................................5CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................................................................................6 Logistics Management.............................................................................................................6 Supply Chain Management (SCM)..........................................................................................6 Evolution of Supply Chain Management.................................................................................8 Strategic Objective of the Supply Chain................................................................................10 Flexibility in Supply Chain ...................................................................................................10 Overview of Dell....................................................................................................................12 Current Position of Dell.........................................................................................................14 Supply Chain Management in Dell........................................................................................15 Challenges faced by the Supply Chain of Dell .....................................................................19 Assessment of Supply Chain flexibility in Dell.....................................................................21CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY.............................................................................................................................22 Introduction............................................................................................................................22 Research Approach................................................................................................................ 22 Research Design.....................................................................................................................23 The Research Process............................................................................................................ 24 Rationale for a Quantitative Research................................................................................... 24 Rationale for a Qualitative Research..................................................................................... 25 Search for and compilation of empirical information............................................................25 Secondary Data...................................................................................................................... 25 Primary Data.......................................................................................................................... 26 Choice of Topic, Company and Potential Market................................................................. 26 Data Analysis Methods..........................................................................................................27 Literature Review...................................................................................................................27 Analysis, Conclusion and Recommendation......................................................................... 28 Scope of the Research............................................................................................................29 Ethical Measures ...................................................................................................................29
    • Supply Chain Efficiency vi Underlying assumption.......................................................................................................... 31 Possible alternative to your proposed methods......................................................................31 Any difficulties and uncertainties.......................................................................................... 31 Explanation of the rationale for your proposed methods.......................................................32 Informed Consent...................................................................................................................32 Confidentiality....................................................................................................................... 32CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS........................................................................................................... 34 Findings of Literature Review ..............................................................................................34 Supply Chain Management............................................................................................34 Pillars of the Flexible Supply Chain.............................................................................. 36 Strategies of Dell............................................................................................................37 Supply Chain Management at Dell................................................................................37 Flexibility of Supply Chain in Dell................................................................................38 Findings of the Primary Research..........................................................................................38 Framework of the Supply Chain Flexibility................................................................. 39 Effect of Supply chain flexibility on Company’s Performance.....................................39 Recommendations..........................................................................................................40 Contributions..................................................................................................................41CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION...................................................................................................................................42REFERENCES............................................................................................................................................................43APPENDIX..................................................................................................................................................................50 Interview Questionnaire.........................................................................................................50 Diagrams................................................................................................................................51.......................................................................................................................................................................................51
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTIONBackground of the Research Study The research study will focus on the logistics management and the supply flexibility inthe companies operating in the potential markets. The logistics is an imperative function of thesupply chain management. If the strategies of the supply chain are flexible, it can enhance theperformance of the company by improving its logistics management. The efficiency of thesupply flexibility sources will be thoroughly discussed in the research study that will provide thebasis for the efficient supply flexibility. The companies that have adopted the strategy of the supply chain flexibility in theirsupply chain process. The companies have seen clear changes in their logistics management thathas ultimately improved their overall performance in the market. The flexibility of the supplychain management refers to the capability of the company to alter and react to the vagueness ofthe environmental factors. It has been observed that the flexibility of the supply chain is considered to be a veryimportant factor in creating a sustainable competitive edge within the potential markets.Moreover, other than the supply chain management operations of the organization, thecompanies are also emphasizing the capability of the reactive sourcing so that it can create itsvalue in the marketplace.Aims and Objectives of the research study The aims and objectives of the research study are
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 2 1. To analyze the logistics management and supply flexibility that affects the overall performance of the company. 2. To assess the efficiency of the supply flexibility sources in order to evaluate its impact on the logistics management. 3. To evaluate the process of supply chain management that plays important role in the performance of the company. 4. To analyze the concept of the supply flexibility that need the companies to be responsive towards the customer demands 5. To analyze the factors thatSignificance of the Research Study The research study highlights the importance of the supply flexibility in the logisticsmanagement. The logistics management and the supply flexibility are the two important factorsfor assessing the performance of the company. The improvements in the supply chainmanagement can improve the process of the logistics that is related with the flow of materialfrom the place of manufacturing to the customers. The logistics management plays an important role in enhancing the companyperformance. As the customers demand for the fast distribution and variety of the products, itneeds the company to improve its logistics management through the effective supply flexibility.However, the case study will specifically focus on the logistics management and the supplyflexibility in case of Dell.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 3Rationale of the Research Study The research study is based on the logistics management and the supply flexibility thathelps in improving the performance of the company. The supply flexibility implies that thecompanies react positively to the market demands and towards the uncertainty of theenvironmental factors. It is also seen as the response of the company towards the marketcompetition and the ways of managing that competition. There is also associated competitiveadvantage with the supply chain flexibility. The efficiency of the supply chain flexibility impliesthat the products are enhanced in terms of their quality and the timely distribution is enhanced. The supply chain flexibility makes the products more attractive for the customers andincreases the sales by adding value in the eyes of customers. The logistics is considered to be animportant part of the supply chain management. The flexibility in the supply chain can largelyaffect the logistics management and increase the effectiveness of the goods distribution. Thesupply chain flexibility also reduces the uncertainty of the supply chain process while takingaway its risks as well.Research Questions 1. How supply chain management can make the logistics management effective? 2. What is the role of supply chain flexibility in the logistics management? 3. How the efficiency of the supply chain flexibility has benefited the performance of the company in case of Dell? 4. What are the steps that should be implemented for the framework of the supply chain flexibility?
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 4 5. Does the supply chain flexibility lead the company to achieve competitive advantage?Structure of the thesisChapter I: Introduction The research subject will be introduced in the start, consisting of the aims and objectivesof the research as well as its logic and reasons. The reasons about why we selected to undertakethe mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies of research are included in the othersegment of the research. Additionally detailed research questions will be mentioned, to give ananalysis of argumentation, and the main themes will be introduced that the research desires toanalyze.Chapter II: Literature Review The Literature review is indicative of the preliminary research on the research topic. Theresearch has gathered valuable information about the strategic management from variousacademic sources. The literature review covers different studies that have conducted in the pastregarding the effectiveness of the supply flexibility. This information is based on the keystrategies used by the corporations to be successful in their respective industry. The strategicmanagement that has been implemented in Dell is also discussed in detail in order to analyze thesuccessful strategies of the corporation.Chapter III: Methodology
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 5 The mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies of research is undertaken forthe sake of completion of this program. There have been included both types of methodologiesthat are the primary and the secondary methodology. The qualitative methodology has beenadopted for the secondary data that will be used in the literature review. The primary data is usedfor conducting the interviews. The response of the interviewee has been used in the discussionand findings section.Chapter IV: Discussion and Findings Outcomes from the interpretation of the information or data gathered from secondarysources are included in this segment. The research conclusions will be based on the futureprediction of the corporations in terms of their financial performance. The financial performancewill be predicted by making use of the financial ratios of the corporations. The data of thecompanies will be analyzed for two types of companies that are the bankrupt firms and the nonbankrupt firms.Chapter V: Conclusion The conclusion of research covers the following things: • Consists of the general overview and major discoveries of the research. • Assess the procedure of research. • Determine the conditions of the study. • Determine segments for more research.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 6 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW There have been conducted very few studies on the impact of efficient supply chainflexibility in the past. The past studies show that there is significant impact of the flexible supplychain on the logistics management and the supply chain management. The research studyincludes different studies performed in the past and has taken into account the information that isimperative to the study (Baier & Hartmann, 2008, Pp. 36).Logistics Management The logistics management is considered to be the domination of the functions of thesupply chain process. The management of logistics contains the shipping of products inside andoutside, warehousing, handling of materials, management of fleet, fulfillment of orders, networkdesign of logistics, management of inventory and the planning of supply and demand. It alsoincludes managing the service provision of the third party logistics (Bailey & Farmer, 2005, Pp.132). By the adoption of the efficient and flexible supply chain strategy, firms can maintaineffective logistics management system that will facilitate the company with greater profits(Beamon, 1999, Pp. 275).Supply Chain Management (SCM) The management of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) is emerging as thecombination of technology and best business practices worldwide. Companies have improvedtheir internal operations are now working to achieve greater savings and benefits by improvingprocesses and information exchanges that occur between business partners (Davis, 2003, 35).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 7 A successful supply chain management implies timely delivery to the final customers, theright product at the right place at the right time, the required price and the lowest possible cost.Best SCM programs share common features, first of all, have an obsessive fixation on customerdemand (Bagozzi & Phillips, 2002, Pp. 421). Instead of forcing the products to be sold in the market quickly, may or may not meet thedemands of customers or be complete financial failure. This type of initiative is plotteddevelopment objectives and producing products that are demanded by customers minimizing theflow of raw materials, finished products, packaging materials, money and information at eachpoint of the product cycle (Copacino, 2004, 69). These objectives have been sought by industrial companies for several decades and haveexperienced by the management. The companies have also successfully implemented moderntechniques such as Just In Time (JIT), Quick Response (QR), Efficient Customer Response(ECR)-Managed Inventory Provider (VMI) and many more. These are the tools that help build astructure of robust supply chain. From the cost point of view, is where the company performs thebest benefits, a recent study showed that the total costs of the supply chain become 75% ofoperating budget expenditures (Hammer, 2001, 82). MIT recently did a study which showed that companies that have successfullyimplemented these programs achieve benefits such as we can tell inventory reductions of up to50%, 40% increase in on-time delivery, 27% reduction in cycle product accumulated, doublinginventory turns, reduced 9 times the missing, and 17% increase in sales (Chopra & Mieghem,2000, Pp. 32).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 8 Another study by a consulting firm found that these companies typically achieveexcellent results in reducing operating costs, improve asset productivity and be more efficient inresponding to changing market demands (Choi & Dooley, 2009, Pp. 25). In the last decade, companies have implemented a range of programs designed to reducethe cost of operating, doing business concepts such as downsizing, reengineering, outsourcing,etc. It helped the company to restore the competitiveness of entire industry (Hogue, 2001, 21). During this period, the focus was to increase profitability and cost-cutting rather thanincreasing sales. This cannot be brought up to certain limits in todays businesses as operationsare looking thinner and healthier to grow, and are repositioning the concept of supply chain as alever for growth (Christopher, 2000, Pp. 37). The question then arises of why not or how. Smart managers recognize two importantthings. First, think about the supply chain as a whole, all the links involved in managing the flowof goods, services, information and funds from the vendor of the client to client. Second,continually seek tangible results, with a focus on sales growth, asset utilization and costreduction (Brewer & Speh, 2000, p.75).Evolution of Supply Chain Management In the primitive time that is around 1950’s and 1960’s, the process of the supply chainwas not efficient in terms of technology. The main emphasis of the previous supply chainprocess was on minimization of the unit cost in production with having little process flexibilityor product flexibility. The collaboration of the supply chain process of different corporations wasused to be unacceptable. The previous nature of the supply chain and the increased levels ofcompetition made the manufacturers to shift their focus to such factors that can help them in
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 9achieving higher levels of productivity. Since then, the manufacturing firms and thecorporations felt the need to put more emphasis on the flexibility along with the high quality ofproducts and low cost. This changed the perspective of the manufacturing firms and made themto enhance the strategic partnership. It also made the firms to change their perspective from thetechnology oriented supply chain to the integrated supply chain which made the commitment andtrust to be important for the firms. The new version of the supply chain was very different from the previous one andincluded new concepts. These include improvement in the efficiency of the supply chain bymaking use of the strengths of the suppliers. The manufacturers also made use of the technologythat was in the support of the latest product development. The new process of the supply chainalso made the firms to understand their own business activities that affect the complete processof supply chain within corporations. The new process of the supply chain also made the firms tocoordinate the course of information and materials between the manufacturers, suppliers and thecustomers eventually (Lee, 2004, Pp. 102). At present, the efficiency of the supply chain process is dependent on the incorporation ofall the activities that are present in the chain of the supply chain. The efficiency in thecompetitive advantage can be attained through the corporations by achieving higher levels ofincorporation among the customers and the suppliers. Thus, the process of the supply chain isassociated with the management and the integration of entire business process included in thesupply chain and these factors are considered to be the most important in the process of supplychain. The hierarchy of the supply chain includes from the design of the products till theirdelivery to the suppliers, providers and the strategic partners (Lummus & Duclos, 2003, Pp. 1).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 10Strategic Objective of the Supply Chain Increase participants ability to make decisions, formulate plans and outline theimplementation of a series of actions is the main objective of the supply chain. 1. The significant improvement in the productivity of the logistics system that is operational. 2. To increase service levels to customers. 3. In the implementation of actions that lead to better management of operations and development of lasting relationships of great benefit to suppliers and key customers of the supply chain.Flexibility in Supply Chain The flexibility in the process of the supply chain is considered to be the key indicator ofcompetitiveness within the marketplace where there is an extreme competition among the majorplayers. The competition has been intensified with the development of new strategies that haveprovided the manufacturers and the producers an opportunity to enhance the quality of theirproducts and services. The effective assessment of the supply chain flexibility is the way forimproving the performance of the business and the process of the supply chain. Therefore, it isimperative for the companies to assess the flexibility of their supply chain accurately andthoroughly (Krause & Ellram, 2001, Pp. 21). The research study provides significant and widespread analysis of flexibility in thesupply chain and has identified five factors of the flexible supply chain. These five factors arethe logistics flexibility, strong network, supply and market flexibility, re arrangement flexibilityand the operations flexibility. It has been observed that the main elements for winning the market
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 11are to minimize the accumulated cost of logistics and provide best services to the customers inorder to enhance the profits within the supply chain corporations (Lau, 2000, Pp. 11). The concept of the flexible supply chain has emerged with the flexibility in its process ofthe supply chain that involves different functions. There have been given different definitions ofthe flexible supply chain process. Raghavan and Viswanadham (2001) have described theconcept of flexible supply chain as the capability of the business operation to efficiently handleor response to the alterations in the cost, performance, quality and time by charging somepenalties. There are different aspects that can be related with the flexible supply chains. Theseare relationship between the buyer and supplier, production, the role of marketing and the drivendemand (Raghawan & Vishwanadhan, 2001, Pp. 367). The research studies have interpreted the flexible supply chains as the possibility of thesupply chain process to react to the short run alterations in the supply and demand conditionsoccurred due to the external disturbances along with the modifications in the environmentalconditions of the supply chain (Claycomb & Frankwick, 2004, Pp. 18). The companies are emphasizing the timely delivery of the products in order to ensure theeffective supply chain process. The companies are making improvements in the delivery of theproducts by using the flexible and extensive network of the suppliers (González, 2007, Pp. 901). The timely delivery through flexible and extensive network is given special attention sothat the companies can deliver the products on the wider range. Thus, the supply chain flexibilityhas become a decisive and an imperative concern while managing the complex and uncertainsituations related to the varying requirements of the customers. The present market demand thesuppliers to adopt the strategic upstream of the supply chain (Conner & Prahalad, 2001, Pp. 477).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 12 The outsourcing of different functions and the extensive use of the informationtechnology has motivated the companies to enhance the larger synergy among the functions ofthe supply chain (Duclos & Vokurka, 2003, Pp. 446). The factors like the concerted efforts by the organizations and the cross functional effortsare devoted to the rising flexibility that is needed for the suddenly altering requirements of themarket. The customers want the markets to change in terms of the speed and variety so that theycan avail quality products in lesser period of time (Fine, 2000, Pp. 213). The alignment of the whole supply chain process is considered to the most importantaspects for maintaining flexibility in the supply chain process. The alignment of all the steps inthe process of the supply chain is one of the pre requisites as it helps the corporation in dealingwith the uncertainties. The changes in the supply chain can only be managed if there is acommon contract among all the strategic partners and that the change in the strategy is importantin order to deal with the problem. The flexibility in the supply chain can be defined as the possibility to counter the demandand supply changes in the short run that takes place with respect to the external distraction alongwith the alteration in the structural and strategic shifts within the supply chain environment.Thus, flexibility requires the supply chain process to have adaptability and the agility (Lavie,2006, Pp. 638).Overview of Dell The creation of Dell Inc emerged from the hands of Michael Dell who founded thecompany in 1984 that now 25 years later has sold over 20 million computers a year and that itsactions since June 1988 when it went public until now have tripled, despite the massive drop in
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 13price during the crisis. The company was basically founded after observing the growing need formodels of personal computers and business insight to just software developers from Microsoft.The quality in the case of Dell does not refer directly to the product, but the rapid and reliableplace for all needs that require their customers, from technical assistance, through thecommercial support and services without forgetting aftermarket. Certainly within Dell as a company focused on the trade that interests us most is thequality / speed of service to the demand of customer orders; its systems, based on owndevelopment and the quality of the service itself, have allowed eliminate jobs in its factories inthe repair and servicing of computers, which have achieved a very important natural evolution interms of speed of service orders. It is therefore the production quality that makes Dell to occupy important position in theI.T market. The company has not only been able to improve delivery and quality without havingto review their products, but because it has been able to count other human resources orinvestments in other areas as well. These strategies are considered to be the most importantstrategy for the development of its business. The strategy for the area of global logistics is aneffective which coordinates the approximately 100 factories in distribution of equipment to havearound the world. Dell became the first company in the computer manufacturing sector to deploy directsales. Originally bids from consumers by telephone, and in 1996, Dell the first among computermanufacturers offered buyers to order computers over the Internet. By adopting this strategy, thecompany quickly proved the effectiveness of its strategy as the company earned $ 1 million onthe daily sales of computers in three years by the end of 1996. Internet sales reached $ 35 milliona day, and in 2000, sales reached already $ 50 million a day. Rejection of intermediates, standing
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 14between the producer and consumer, has been reflected in the internal structure of the company.Dell belongs to the so-called flat-companies with a minimum number of levels of internalhierarchy.Current Position of Dell Currently, Dell is the biggest seller of personal computers in the world. In 2003, theCompany owned 16.7% of the global PC market, but now its share rose to 18.3%. For fiscal year2004, the net revenue of the company stood at $ 41.44 billion and market capitalization at theend of September 2004 reached $ 88.77 billion. Even 20 years after its establishment, Dellcontinues to be fast, flexible and entrepreneurial company. This is a typical flat organization thatdeals in the manufacturing of the new flat computers introduced through the new technology.From manufacturing facilities to corporate communications, decisions are made quickly withoutexcessive load of the hierarchy. The internal communications are effective, so the problem doesnot require the attention of management and gets solved independently. Dell uses the extraneous firm to conduct a cultural audit, designed to identify strengthsand weaknesses of the company. This audit has demonstrated how dell has a strong desire to getvictory and the highest efficiency and the elimination of the weakness in the organization ofcareer employees and generating the balance of work-life. The rapid growth of Dell and aconstant focus on increasing market share have created a culture in which the numbers of(financial) results are often achieved at the expense of teamwork and customer satisfaction. Thesurvey showed: some team leaders are constantly rewarded and progressed, despite the fact thatthey were raped a sense of their staff. Due to the adoption of these negative aspects of culture,Dell remained in the shadows until the financial figures and quotes of the company promised
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 15high returns. For eliminating the company introduced an assessment method of 360 degrees andlaunched a quarterly voluntary and anonymous online survey named as Tell Dell. Poll suggestedabout the thinking of the ordinary worker, its executives, as well as identifies the problems theysee. Evaluation of each manager depends in particular from those improvements and that thecompany found out its lacking activities and improved them. Through this survey, the companycame out with the solutions to deal with its issues. As the problem of the employee was solved,they started giving their 100% and their performance depicts in the financial performance of thebusiness. In April 2001, Dell completed plans for sales and profits at the end of the quarter, andits performance in each subsequent quarter to meet or exceed analysts estimates. In the thirdquarter of 2004, revenue rose to 22% as a result of record sales growth. Employees believe thatmanagement actively supports their efforts to achieve a better balance between work and life. They also clearly see the connection between their work and their corporate objectives ofthe company. The proportion of people who do not move to another job, having received asimilar proposal for wage increased almost 57 % that’s the reason employees feel reluctant toswitch their jobs and focus more and more on their efficiency of their work. It resulted in thestrong financial position of the company and high perks and privileges of the employees(Macbeth & Ferguson, 1994, Pp.165).Supply Chain Management in Dell The supply chain management in Dell is considered to be very different as compare toother corporations. As the customers are very clever and smart in today’s world, the companyhas introduced several products in the past in order to attract the customers. The reason behind
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 16introducing such changes in the products is to attract the customers so that the productivity canbe enhanced and high levels of profits can be generated. The supply chain needs to berepresented in the way that there are more options available to the firms. Figure 1: Supply Chain Process at Dell The Dell is one of the most competitive companies engaged in the business operation ofthe personal computers. The company has developed the direct build to order model for the salesthat has been followed for 20 years now. The efficient system of the supply chain and the directorder system have given competitive advantage to the company. The customers can place theirorders directly to the company through the websites and the phone (Christopher & Peck, 2004,Pp. 367).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 17 Figure 2: Supply Chain Process in Dell It is evident that the constantly altering expertise influences the Dell’s success. The majormethod Dell uses is alignment in order to accomplish and maintain their comparable advantage.This method implies the exclusive and direct to customer business pattern. The Internet is Dell’skey achievement constituent which results in smaller costs to customers than other retailers. Thereason behind this is because customers notify Dell precisely what they want and Dell conceivesgoods for the consumer without experiencing wasteful assets in production. (Breen, 2004, Pp.143) The supply chain of Dell works in the following manner. After customer places analignment, either via phone or through the Internet, Dell processes the alignment, which takestwo to three days, afterwards which it sends the alignment to one of its manufacturing plants inAustin, Texas. These plants can construct, ascertain, and pack the merchandise in about eighthours. The general direction for the production process is first in, first out and Dell normallydesigns to boat all instructions no later than five days after receipt (Mentzer 2001) Since numerous of Dell’s suppliers are located in Southeast Asia, Dell has considerablyless time to respond to customers than it takes to transport essentials from its suppliers to its
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 18assembly plants. To reimburse for this, Dell requires its suppliers to hold inventory on hand inthe Austin vegetation, mentioned to as revolvers (for “revolving” inventory). Revolvers orSupplier logistics hubs (SLHs) are little warehouses located inside a couple of miles of Dell’sassembly plants. Each pistol is shared by some suppliers (Breen 2004). Figure 3: Dell’s built to order / Direct Sales Value Chain It is one of the strategies of the company to stay ahead of competitors who take up adirect-sales approach, and it should be proficient to decrease supplier inventory to gain importantleverage. Although arguably supply-chain expenses encompass all expenses acquired from rawparts to final assembly Dell concentrates on Dell-specific inventory (Ketchen & Hult, 2007, Pp.573). These are the parts that are planned to Dell’s specifications or stored in Dell particularaddresses, such as its revolvers and assembly plants. Because assembly plants containinventories for only a couple of hours, Dell’s primary goal, in this task, was the inventory inrevolvers. Dell retains inventory only for six to eight hours it travels across the assembly linewhile it takes 18 hours for the accomplished CPU to be carried out by the truck to the integratedcentre in Reno, Nevada. At the integrated centre, the unit is bundle with the supervision of theworkers and transported to the customers.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 19 Dell’s supply chain management success can be summed up in one idea. The supplychain management shortens the cycle between the suppliers, the manufacturers and the endcustomers. The company has allowed them to almost feel the effect of the e-commerce accordingto Michael Chong, e-business Technology Manager of Dell Computer Corporation. Supply chainof links administration is productive and productive action of components from suppliers,through a company and into goods, which is finally obtained by the consumers (Ittner & Larcker,2001, Pp. 253).Challenges faced by the Supply Chain of Dell In 2006, although the company faced some problems many customers deplored aboutlong contain ups in supplies. Recall of Sony electric driven electric battery cells in its laptopsexpressed undesirable newspapers hype to the company. Increasing discontent of customerscommanded to a slowdown in sales. Consequently, Dell lost its market leadership to Hewlett-Packard Co (HP). Industry analysts sensed that, with Dell’s competitors more over advancingtheir supply chains and matching Dell’s direct pattern, the business had been mislaying itscomparable edge. Dell will have to bear additional charges with its foray into retail distribution therebyminimizing its cost advantage. Besides, earnings margins of Dell will fall farther since it willhave to offer inducements to contend with HP in retail stores. Though Dell has spruced up itsmerchandise design and variety, Apple is apparently far ahead of it. Many experts seem that suchnew initiatives will only distract Dell from its supply string of links operations. (Breen 2004) Another advantage Dell gets by directly dealing with the customer is that it is able to getthe customer’s requirements regarding software to be loaded. Dell loads the organised software
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 20in its vegetation itself before dispatching it. By eliminating the requirement of a PC supporttechnician to load software, the customers gain both in time and cost. They can use the personalcomputer the instant it arrives. (Larson 2004) Today, Dell does not assemble a computer system until it has a clientele alignment inhand. Thead covering, in turn, means ultra-low inventory levels (one tenth that of manycompetitors), as well as a favourable cash-conversion cycle (minus 20 days in a latest quarter).But it is important to know whether customers are actually eager to wait for the delivery or not.The answer is absolutely yes. Given the speed of Dell’s manufacturing processes, the wait issometimes more than a couple of days. However, customers are guaranteed that they will begetting a system that encounters their exact specifications. Dell has realized, although, that sustaining its constructing effectiveness andcorresponding to the customer satisfaction will become more perplexing as the company extendsto augment its global business. The reason is that Dell has the streamlined manufacturingprocesses and its inevitable reduced inventory levels are increasingly dependent on thecompany’s ability to accurately forecast customer demand. It is also dependent on the scheduleof the company and its manufacturing processes accordingly. In other phrases, as the Dellincreases its market operations further, so does the complexity of its constructing process. Thecompany will require having the right components on-hand at any granted instant to persuadeimmediate clientele requirements (Larson 2004) The company faced serious decline in its sales in the year 2006. The major reason for thiswas delay in the delivery of the products that reflects the inefficient use of the supply chainmanagement. The company spent additional cost and improved its supply chain management in
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 21order to enhance the sales. The company has made its supply chain process flexible byresponding to the environmental changes and risks (Conner & Prahalad, 2001, Pp. 477).Assessment of Supply Chain flexibility in Dell The flexibility of the supply chain can be assessed by observing the supply chain processof the company. The company has implemented effective supply chain process that has enhancedthe process of the inventory. As the flexibility of the supply chain implies that the companyshould be able to meet the challenges of the demand and supply that occurs in the market everynow and then. The fluctuation in the supply and demand must be met by the company if it haseffective supply chain flexibility (Inkpen & Tsang, 2005, Pp. 146).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 22 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGYIntroduction The research study on the efficiency of flexible supply chain will adopt two kinds ofmethods. These include secondary as well as the primary methods in order to minimizeweaknesses and reach a deeper understanding of the area. The secondary method will involve thecollection of the data related to the supply chain management, logistics management and theflexible supply chain management. However, the primary method will include the interviews ofthe supply chain managers of different companies.Research Approach The evaluation of constructionist and optimistic philosophy is compulsory to have anexact approach for the current research since the chosen topic had to be investigated for theutilization and implication of strategic management theories on the business operations of theselected company. As expected, Positivism is the goal due to which the research remainsautonomous of the area of research having the main centre of attention on the solution of thedifficulties of the customers with the help of sizeable data collection. Alternatively, theattachment of the researchers in the subject area is very much needed since the positive approachis prejudiced in nature. The previous conditions, situation and necessary issues had to be clearlyunderstood; for which the collection of qualitative data is necessary. The interpretation related to positivist approach is deductive logic, which generallybegins with wide arguments and ends at a particular case in the end. With the adoption of thislogic the study will be limited from a large representation to a specific suggestion, with the helpof primary data analysis it can further be curtailed to formation and testing of hypothesis. The
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 23recognition or elimination of the research proposition will be decided from the consequences ofthis hypothesis testing. The deductive research approach has paved way for the establishment ofthe hypotheses, which should be experienced with the assistance of primary data (Trochim,2006).Research Design The method of collecting the data for assessing the efficiency of the supply chainflexibility in Dell is based on the qualitative and the quantitative study. The efficiency of thesupply chain flexibility is an important aspect for ensuring effective supply chain management inthe corporation. The qualitative study has been included in the research study in order to collectthe data for the literature review. The supply chain flexibility and its effectiveness is animportant aspect for the corporations particularly for the companies that have attained higherposition in the market. By achieving efficiency in the supply chain flexibility, the process of thesupply chain management makes the company able to enhance the quality of services it isproviding to its customers. The efficiency of the supply chain flexibility is also one of the waysof enhancing customer satisfaction. The primary data has been collected by conducting interviews of the officials of differentcorporations. The company has also conducted interview with the officials of Dell in order tocollect information regarding the supply chain flexibility of the corporation. The secondary datahas been collected through the websites and the online sources. The online sources have includedthe articles, journals, books and the latest publications. The primary data that includes theinterview questions has also been collected through the officials of other companies. The primaryand secondary data will be collected for the supply chain flexibility of Dell however the data will
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 24also be collected for the supply chain management and the supply chain flexibility in general aswell. There is involved more subjectivity in the qualitative study as compare to the quantitativestudy. The primary and secondary methods are said to be the mixed methodology. The primaryand secondary methods have facilitated the researcher to analyze the efficiency of the supplychain flexibility through the theoretical as well as the primary data. The data for assessing theefficiency of the supply chain flexibility is collected through the mixed methodology thatincludes primary and the secondary sources.The Research Process Quantitative and qualitative research are the marketing research method grouped into twotype by Ghauri et al. (2006, p155)Rationale for a Quantitative Research This is the type of research in which the respondent is interrogated to respond byanswering planned questions and a favoured format, for instance, Yes or No. This sort ofresearch is manipulated to obtain a definite answer which could be presented with accurateevaluation. The methods to conduct this kind of information collection include Personalinterview, mail or telephone interview. The quantitative research has involved the interviews ofthe supply chain managers on the basis of which the results of the study have been concluded(Cateora & Ghauri 2006, p. 155). The quantitative data that has been collected for the researchstudy is about the supply chain flexibility and the assessment of its efficiency.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 25Rationale for a Qualitative Research Qualitative research follows a shapeless and unrestricted answer from the respondent.“Qualitative research is also used in international market research to formulate and define aproblem more clearly and to determine relevant questions to be examined in subsequentresearch”, says Ghauri et al (2006, p155). To assemble the information for Qualitative type ofresearch could be prepared by Interview. Interview through mail and telephone with the help of shapeless unlock questions can beused to assemble the information. We have found qualitative research method appropriate for ourresearch taking into consideration the Ghauri’s opinion, as we have found this method of doingresearch unsurpassed fit for our work. The qualitative data has been collected through the onlinesources that include Ebsco, Proquest, Emerald, Routlegde etc. The data that has been collectedthrough these online sources are ensured to provide sound knowledge about the flexibility of thesupply chain.Search for and compilation of empirical information Primary sources and Secondary sources are the further divided form of a type of datadepending on the foundation they can be composed. And it has been done by Ghauri andGronhaug (2005, p91- 106).Secondary Data Secondary data as a form of data that has been composed by others for a entirely unusualor little similar to the research problem is defined by Ghauri et al (2005). Ghauri alsoincorporated that some research questions can be responded only by secondary data but there are
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 26probable risks as those data were composed for a special function and can be prejudiced (Ghauriand Gronhaug 2005, p91). The secondary data has been collected for different sections of theresearch study. The data for the literature review and the introduction of the study has beencollected through the online secondary sources. The secondary data is of great importance forensuring reliability in the research study. The data for the supply chain flexibility and itseffectiveness has been collected through the online secondary sources that facilitate theresearcher with reliable information in short period of time.Primary Data Data that has been composed by the researchers themselves to respond their ownspecified research questions are called Primary Data (Ghauri and Gronhaug 2005, p91).Significance of primary data anticipate when secondary source is not of high-quality adequate toanswer the research question said Ghauri et al (2005, 102). After assembling all the secondary data, we have conceived that some primaryinformation from the company and the country side would be advantageous to gather and to holdup the secondary data in order to attain a wanted result of the research. The interviews have beenconducted with the supply chain managers of the companies. It will give the significant resultson the basis of which the results will be obtained regarding the flexible supply chain.Choice of Topic, Company and Potential Market Taking into consideration the Fisher’s (2007, p 31) commendations that the researchershould prefer a subject that benefits them and even probably stimulates them. And the preferredsubject should also emanate a little curiosity to some external audiences. We have considered
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 27some topic concerning international marketing keeping that in mind and have also found theselected topic about the supply chain flexibility very appealing and demanding. We have researched the market of the supply chain flexibility and tried to authenticatehow the process of the supply chain has been followed within the certain companies. Hence, wehave planned the work keeping Dell in mind and afterward had an informal email interview withmanager supply chain. We got to be familiar with what they are concerned to know and whattype of study and plans they perceive for Dell from the first email.Data Analysis Methods According to Miles and Huberman (1984) there are some special tools required for thecase studies data analysis including the percentages, tables, means, charts matrices etc. simplemathematical tools assist in data collection while the data assessment and representation is doneby using tables, graphs and charts. There are many data collection sources. They may be secondary sources includingwebsites and company data, etc. this information is useful in drawing conclusion and classifyingthem. There is a dependable theory need for the particular research and literature need.Literature Review One of the fastest growing companies of the world is the I.T sector. Communication hasbecome a major part of people’s life these days. With the passage of time, growth of populationand the needs of human beings have increased and technology has become an inseparable part ofmankind. As a result, this industry is pacing swiftly in modern world. This industry has alreadyattracted the big investors and the marketing champs, research consulting companies and the
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 28adventurous explorers. As the time goes on and on, the investigation in this field is getting vast.Theoretical forecasts are made for market exploration. Multinational companies are growing widely. They tend to achieve as much as marketshare and striving hard for this. There are many studies that develop some tactics how to reach topotential markets of the world. The research study has been conducted on the I.T Company Dellthat is engaged in developing new technology in the computer industry and has provided peoplewith most reliable technologies. Many research studies have been conducted in these markets.The reviews, journals, books, online publications, articles, websites, catalogues, blogs and manyother research materials are the part of this sector information literature (Ghauri & Gronhaug2005, p91). We have developed a paper based work in order to support the research findings. Thisresearch was based on Journal databases, websites, Text books and other university databases.We also have developed the databases on different university libraries including Emerald,Business Insight, ABI/Inform, Global Information Inc (professional Research reports) andscholarly search engines. Main theories of supply chain management and the supply chainflexibility were also chosen and related theories were also determined in different perspectives.The competent environment has also been concluded the chief factor in company success.Analysis, Conclusion and Recommendation The analysis is based on the outcome of incorporated assessment of applicable theory andexperimental information collected for that reason. All the composed information has beenfollowed through the lustre of hypothetical structure and has been used for responding thedifficulty statement. Since it has been suggested earlier that qualitative research method will be
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 29conducted, which is more explorative and shapeless with great prominence on understanding(Ghauri et al, 2005, p202). The possibility of qualitative data analysis includes data reduction,data display; conclusion drawing said Miles and Huberman (1994). The process of selecting,focusing, simplifying the data is Data reduction. The compacted assembly of information whichhelps in the conclusion drawing is data display. In our case, we have concentrated and cut downthe data according to the theory and later displayed those data for a challenge to take judgmentand also the conclusion. The commendation is prepared based on the conclusion which alsocomprises of some additional research direction.Scope of the Research In order to get a holistic view of achievable future industry conclusions, the possibility ofthe thesis is purposely kept somewhat wide. Though, some boundaries are desired to guaranteethat research results will not be too common. In conditions of industry shareholders the inputfocus throughout the thesis is detained on flexible supply chain and the corporations like Dellthat are providing enhanced and timely distribution of goods and services. Moreover the supplychain flexibility has also been observed personally.Ethical Measures Many of the ethical issues are involved while conducting a research. Research ethicsdemand that certain considerations, often referred to as norms, and are adhered to so as to makethe process, the findings and the recommendations credible. For any research findings work tohave a sound backing then, the norms should act as the guiding light. While reporting, data,
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 30results, methods and procedures, and publication status should be mentioned appropriately. Itshould not be fabricated, falsified, or misinterpreted. The data that has been collected for reporting should not be from the granting agencies,or the public. There must be Objectivity, that is one should not be biased while interpretation ofthe data. Integrity should be focused. Carefulness, that is to avoid mistakes which are the reasonsfor big disasters plus, there should be respect for Intellectual Property and Confidentiality.Responsible Mentoring, Respect for colleagues, Legality are some of the ethical issues whichshould be considered. Another important aspect for ethical research is when you are conducting a survey orwhen keen to know what others think, one should not coerce them for participating in research.Another very important point is that when the data you are going to ask is prohibited or the lawsof particular company does not allow that to be dispersed in business, then you should avoidasking it. Things which are unethical in research also includes, plagiarism, naming the personwhich has not done the research, using any inappropriate technique to analyze data, for gettingmore and more information spy someone, asking internal matters of the organization etc. We cannot avoid the ethical assistances of the studies and researches in developingprinciples. According to Bell and Bryman (2007) without acquiring the ethical principles insocial sciences it is useless to achieve the desirable results. It was cautiously focused that the personal details of the interviewers should not beincluded in measurement and judgement of results. Therefore the security of information wasmaintained as of management responsibility. Fraud and cheating in research was strictlyprohibited. In order to increase the research credibility, it was ensured that the conclusions drawnfrom previous primary sources were accurate.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 31Underlying assumption It is assumed that the data sources that will be used within the studies are reliable andhave valid data and the participants are randomly selected and are not biased. There are certainlimitations to this study because it is focused on one single group that has limited amount ofsample to calculate. The study will ensure that the individual or the community, who studied thelife of the undue invasion. The welfare of the respondents would be given the highest priority,the interests of their dignity and privacy would be ensured. Consent forms will be obtained withguarantee of data protection.Possible alternative to your proposed methods An alternative method which can be used for this research is the interview survey.Interviews from the respondents can be recorded and analysed. One advantage of using theinterview survey instead of a questionnaire survey is that participants, who cannot understandquestions in the written form, will be able to understand questions in the spoken form.Any difficulties and uncertainties As with any other research there are certain difficulties and uncertainties regarding thisstudy. The main concern is that the respondents may fabricate the answer and not provide honestresponse. Time is also an issue when it comes to questionnaire surveys.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 32Explanation of the rationale for your proposed methods The research method chosen for this study is questionnaire survey because they are betterthan interviews as they are properly documented and valid. These questionnaires can be used forfuture references as they are available in black and white.Informed Consent Informed consent is an important component of research and is an integral part of theresearch process (Burns & Grove, 2005; Creswell, 2005; Neuman, 2005; Polit & Beck; 2006).Researchers should educate their participants in order for them to make an informed decisionregarding their participation in the research (Burns & Grove, 2005; Creswell, 2005; Neuman,2005; Polit & Beck; 2006). Participants must provide informed consent freely and without force(Creswell, 2005; Neuman, 2005) and with clear comprehension of what participation entails(Burns & Grove, 2005). For the proposed study, the researcher will implement practical steps to ensure that allparticipants are educated about the proposed study in order to make an informed decision.Participation will be voluntary and individuals have the right to choose not to participate or towithdraw from either phase of the proposed study at any time.Confidentiality Confidentiality is an important component that requires focused attention within theresearch process (Burns & Grove, 2005; Creswell, 2005; Neuman, 2005). The researcher willcarefully consider confidentiality in the proposed study for both the qualitative and thequantitative phase. The qualitative sample will include a purposeful selection of samples based
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 33on their knowledge of the central phenomenon. The selection will ensure the confidentiality andprivacy of the participants. Only the researcher will approach potential participants.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 34 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS The supply chain management is an important process that is implemented within thecorporations in order to ensure high levels of productivity and profits. The supply chainmanagement is the integration of all the supply chain process that includes the flow of materials,information and the financial data from one place to another. The flexibility in the supply chainprocess is the efficiency of the supply chain process to meet the challenges of the changingdemand and supplyFindings of Literature ReviewSupply Chain Management Generally in Supply Chain Management, a distribution strategy is probably one of themost important factors of the whole Supply Chain. This distribution strategy practicallydescribed in perfect detail how the Supply Chain is organized and where there are potentialthreats, but naturally there are also possibilities of occurring opportunities. When a company iscreating a new distribution strategy for the Supply Chain Management they will have to focus ontheir customers more than anything. For example how your customers shop and buy and whatwill is the most cost-effective way to create demand for your products. The Supply Chain integration of processes share very valuable information that can reallyhelp a company in their distributing process. For example they can show demand signals,demand signals can show exactly how and what is demanded and how the company can supplythe customers and satisfy their needs. Another factor in the integration of processes is forecast. Fugate & Mentzer is of theview that forecasts can provide the company with valuable information with future predictions,
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 35which can then be used again by the company to create a new and valuable strategy that can saveor create money for the company. Inventories and transportation of these inventories is anothervery important factor that really has a lot of control in the Supply Chain (Gattorna, 2006, Pp. 42). According to Gattorna, inventory management is another and also the last factor in thisprocess that describes perfectly what is the common problems in Supply Chain Management. Itis the manager’s responsibility that he controls this sort of management and knows exactly, whatthe company already has in its inventory and what is needed to have a constant inventory Extensive research has been carried out in finding better ways of managing the supplychain and optimizing its performance. There are seven basic principles in managing a supplychain. They are: 1. Segmenting the customers according to their demands. 2. Customizing the logistics network through more robust logistics planning. 3. Listening to signals of market demand and planning the production according to them. 4. Differentiating products closer to the customer avoids product obsolescence. 5. Sourcing strategically from suppliers who share the common goals improves the supply chains efficiency. 6. Developing supply chain wide common technology strategy improves interaction between the supply chain partners, 7. Adopting a common supply chain wide performance measure directs all the supply chain partners to work towards a common goal.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 36Pillars of the Flexible Supply Chain There are six pillars that have to be built for the success of a global supply chain planningprocess. They are: 1. Integrating supply chain planning activities. 2. Establishing uniform business policies. 3. Unified supply chain planning information systems help in reducing the costs. 4. Establishing planning centres of excellence. 5. Shared performance measurements facilitate evaluating partner contributions and worker skills. 6. A process based organizational structure supports global supply chain planning by improving communication throughout the supply chain. High levels of competition in international markets and in the United Kingdom have ledcompanies to the conclusion that to survive and thrive in harsh environments is not enough toimprove the operations of the company and integrate their internal functions. It is necessary to gobeyond the boundaries of the company and initiate exchange of information, materials andresources with suppliers and customers in a much more integrated environment. The companymust use innovative approaches that benefit the company, together with all the stakeholders inthe supply chain (Harland, 2000, 28).
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 37Strategies of Dell It is one of the strategies of the company to stay ahead of competitors who take up adirect-sales approach, and it should be proficient to decrease supplier inventory to gain importantleverage. Although arguably supply-chain expenses encompass all expenses acquired from rawparts to final assembly Dell concentrates on Dell-specific inventory. These are the parts that areplanned to Dell’s specifications or stored in Dell particular addresses, such as its revolvers andassembly plants. Because assembly plants contain inventories for only a couple of hours, Dell’sprimary goal, in this task, was the inventory in revolvers. Dell retains inventory only for six toeight hours it travels across the assembly line while it takes 18 hours for the accomplished CPUto be carried out by the truck to the integrated centre in Reno, Nevada. At the integrated centre,the unit is bundle with the supervision of the workers and transported to the customers.Supply Chain Management at Dell The supply chain management at Dell is one of the most effective one that has allowedthe company to raise greater profits. Until now, the companys supplier-management processeshave relied mainly on manual means, encompassing distributed spreadsheets, voicemail andfaxed messages. It was clear to Dell’s leadership that, under advanced global expansion, suchmeans would finally reach their shattering point. To avoid this eventuality, they required topartner with an innovative foremost with deep, international know-how in enterprise procedureand scheme conceive a partner that could assist create and apply the essential mechanicalarchitecture and integration and more over supply deep task administration skills. That partnerwas Accenture.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 38 The rapid growth of Dell and a constant focus on increasing market share have created aculture in which the numbers of (financial) results are often achieved at the expense of teamworkand customer satisfaction. The survey showed: some team leaders are constantly rewarded andprogressed, despite the fact that they were raped a sense of their staff. Due to the adoption ofthese negative aspects of culture, Dell remained in the shadows until the financial figures andquotes of the company promised high returns. For eliminating the company introduced anassessment method of 360 degrees and launched a quarterly voluntary and anonymous onlinesurvey named as Tell Dell. Poll suggested about the thinking of the ordinary worker, itsexecutives, as well as identifies the problems they see.Flexibility of Supply Chain in Dell Until now, the companys supplier-management processes have relied mainly on manualmeans, encompassing distributed spreadsheets, voicemail and faxed messages. It was clear toDell’s leadership that, under advanced global expansion, such means would finally reach theirshattering point. To avoid this eventuality, they required to partner with an innovative foremostwith deep, international know-how in enterprise procedure and scheme conceive – a partner thatcould assist create and apply the essential mechanical architecture and integration and more oversupply deep task administration skills that partner was Accenture.Findings of the Primary Research The findings of the primary research are the answers that have been given by the officialsof the Dell and other companies. The interview questionnaire was sent to the officials andmanagers of the Dell and other companies that have achieved top position in the market by
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 39implementing effective supply chain management within its process. There were asked differentquestions with the officials of the companies that are related to the supply chain flexibility of thecorporations. The officials replied differently to the answers and reflected their response to eachquestion that is mentioned in the following paragraphs.Framework of the Supply Chain Flexibility As there were included different questions in the questionnaire, the first question askedabout the supply chain flexibility of the corporation and its framework that is being implementedwithin their company. The officials of Dell and other companies replied that the supply chainflexibility is an important concept that is closely related to the supply chain management. Thesupply chain flexibility makes the production process of the company more effective andefficient. The flexibility of the supply chain process ensures that the changing levels of demandand supply are efficiently met by the company and that the products are distributed on timelybasis among all the customers. The officials clarify that the supply chain flexibility also makesthe process of the company to be more competitive by increasing the quality of the products thecompany is offering. In case of Dell, the officials replied that the flexibility of the supply chainprocess has made the company to develop the system through which the customers can placetheir orders directly via internet and the phones.Effect of Supply chain flexibility on Company’s Performance When asked about the effect of the supply chain flexibility on the performance of thecompany, the officials replied that there is a great impact on the performance of the supply chainprocess of the corporation. The flexibility in the supply chain process has made the company
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 40able to meet the changes in the demand and supply of the corporations so that they can enhancethe quality of their products and make timely distribution. The process of the supply chain can bemade flexible by introducing variation in the quality of the products. The officials replied that theproducts have been standardized due to the flexible supply chain process that has enhanced theprofits of the company. Moreover, the company is able to meet the changes in the demand andsupply that has given competitive advantage from the competitors. The strategy has made the company able to introduce changes in the personal computersthat have attracted the customers. The flexibility in the supply chain process has also made itpossible to enhance the quality of the products so that the customers can be satisfied and placeorders more often. The performance of the company has been improved significantly due to theintroduction of the supply chain flexibility. It has also made possible for the company to make itsprocess systematic that can facilitate the product managers by minimizing the time taken by theeach process. The officials also replied that the flexibility of the supply chain has enabled thecompany to enhance the variety of products however it has led the company to face intensifiedcompetition.Recommendations The supply chain process of Dell is one of the most reliable one however there is a needto enhance the operations of the corporations. The supply chain process of the company shouldbe made more effective in order to ensure the timely distribution of the products. As thecompany has adopted the supply chain management system that enable the customers to placethe order directly through the internet or phone, the company should make more improvementsin the quality of its products by making innovation in personal computers. The company should
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 41also make its supply chain process more flexible so that it can raise the profits to significantlevel.Contributions The research study has made great contributions to the topic of the supply chainflexibility as there is available limited amount of information on the supply chain flexibility. Theresearch study has highlighted the importance of the supply chain flexibility in the supply chainmanagement of the corporation. Similarly, the process of the supply chain management has beendiscussed that is implemented by t he Dell in its operations.
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 42 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION The results can be anticipated with the fact that the efficiency of the supply flexibilityplays an important role in the logistics management of the company. As the logistics isconsidered to be an important factor in the supply chain management, it facilitates thetransportation of goods from manufacturers to the customers that helps in affecting the firm’sperformance. In case of Dell, the company has developed the “direct build to order” model forsales that is the part of its effective supply chain management. The presence of effective andflexible supply chain and enhanced direct sales has given competitive advantage to the company.Similarly, the logistics management has also been greatly improved due to the flexible supplychain process implemented within the company. It can further be concluded that the supply chain process can make the logisticsmanagement more efficient that can enhance the profits of the company. The company hasadopted the supply chain flexibility that has promised the enhanced quality and timelydistribution of the products. It can also be concluded that the constantly altering expertise influences the Dell’ssuccess. The major method Dell uses is alignment in order to accomplish and maintain theircomparable advantage. This method implies the exclusive and direct to customer businesspattern. The Internet is Dell’s key achievement constituent which results in smaller costs tocustomers than other retailers. The reason behind this is because customers notify Dell preciselywhat they want and Dell conceives goods for the consumer without experiencing wasteful assetsin production.
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    • Supply Chain Efficiency 50 APPENDIXInterview Questionnaire 1. What is the effect of Dell’s supply chain flexibility on the performance of the company? 2. What is the framework of the supply chain flexibility that is adopted by the company at present? 3. Is there any change in the operations of Dell after adopting the strategy of supply chain flexibility? 4. Do you think that the Dell has effective supply chain flexibility? 5. What general framework of strategies has been adopted by Dell under its present supply chain? 6. How supply chain flexibility has enabled the firm to remain competitive in the industry? 7. Has supply chain flexibility helped Dell to introduce new products in the respective market? 8. According to you, what are the factors that made the Dell to achieve higher bargaining power in the industry with respect to its buyer? 9. How the supply chain of Dell has helped it to face the challenges as it enter new markets of India and China? 10. What steps Dell should take to make sure the efficient supply chain in the new markets it is entering?
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 51 Diagrams Figure 1: Supply Chain Process at Dell Figure 2: Supply Chain Process in DellFigure 3: Dell’s built to order / Direct Sales Value Chain
    • Supply Chain Efficiency 52 Figure 4: Supply Chain Cycle in DellFigure 5: Comparison of Dell’s performance with its competitors Figure 6: Stepwise Process of Supply Chain