Dell E-Business Case Study



The purpose of this study was to examine an organisation that has different types of electronic commerce interfaces. I chose DELL Inc. In the beginning it was based on direct sales approach, and then it became quickly one of the

leading companies in PCs markets. It is one of world’s most admired business. It has 3

categories of customers Large, Public Sectors and Home and small sized businesses. Dell uses its website as one of the main channels to sell products directly to customers

and provide products based on customer’s customized orders. Dell’s organizational structure

is divided into four main regions, each of which includes their own functional departments. Dell utilises the Internet and other advanced technology in all aspects of its relations with

customers, from ordering, sales, delivering and services to customers’ research and forecast

Dell’s information system also allows customers to use their ERP procurement application to

order products Dell provides customers with personal support sites where information about the products and their history conditions are kept and processed. Dell works with various suppliers for components and softwares.

Company History

Dell was founded by Michael Dell in 1984 and started as a small computer selling company. Right at the beginning, its business based on a direct sales approach. Dell quickly grew into one of the leading companies in PCs market and one of the most admired businesses all over the world. Its significant success has been mainly due to its distinctive strategic model in general and its information systems strategy in particular. Two core elements of its business strategy include its direct sales and build-to-order approach. Dell uses online sales and services as their main way of doing business. However, other methods like ordering and technical services through phone and recently, its introduction of retail stores also contribute to its business process.

This paper will limit the analysis of Dell’s strategic use of IS in response to two main

competitive forces: the bargaining power of buyers and the bargaining power of suppliers.


Electronic commerce is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer,supply chain management,Internet marketing,online transaction processing,electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail. E-commerce businesses usually employ some or all of the following practices:

Provide E-tail or virtual storefront on websites with online catalogues, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"

About Dell Computer

Dell Computer is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past year totaled $57 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. [Source: Dell Computer Corporation, April 2007]

Things to read:

Questions to consider:

  • What is the "direct business model"?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of the direct model?
  • What new business opportunities does the direct model afford Dell, which would not otherwise be possible?

Selected trademark applications and registrations:

  • DELL ®
  • Search real-time for U.S. trademarks.

Selected patents:

  • 6,321,262 -- System and method for identification and streamlined access to online services.
  • 6,167,383 -- Method and apparatus for providing customer configured machines at an internet site.
  • 6,038,597 -- Method and apparatus for providing and accessing data at an internet site.
  • 5,894,571 -- Process for configuring software in a build-to-order computer system.
  • Search real-time for new U.S. patents granted to Dell on its patent web site.

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