Dell Supply Chain Management

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Publication Date: 12 November 2010 ID Number: G00208603

Case Study for Supply Chain Leaders: Dell's Transformative Journey Through Supply Chain Segmentation Matthew Davis

Faced with ever-changing customer needs, product commoditization, unique global requirements and new, low-cost competitors, Dell embarked on a three-year journey to segment its supply chain response capabilities. The company designed its supply chains based on a mix of cost optimization, delivery speed and product choices that customers value, while aligning internally across all functions to execute against this vision. Key Findings Dell's market and business strategies changed, requiring the company to move from a single supply chain to a customer segmentation supply chain approach. A unified, cross-functional business strategy with collaborative, decision-making processes across sales, marketing, product design, finance and supply chain is essential for segmentation. Segmentation is enabled by a cost-to-serve (CTS) methodology to dynamically allocate costs to business decisions, highlight net profitability and drive the right actions for each supply chain. Supply chain segmentation is a multiyear journey enabled by the development and alignment of organizational skills to the needs of the journey's different phases.

Start with segmentation of your company's customers and channels to understand the different demand rhythms and cycles. Focus on decreasing the time required to sense or shape changes to end-customer demand. Begin the design of your supply chain portfolio by isolating and quantifying costs of an end-to-end supply chain that optimizes for operational efficiency. Repeat this analysis for supply chains that require different supply chain responses (for example, agility rather than efficiency). Use a clear set of goals to align cross-functional metrics and incentives to your portfolio in order to drive the right business decisions for each supply chain. © 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner's prior written permission. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This publication consists of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Although Gartner research may include a discussion of related legal issues, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner is a public company, and its shareholders may include firms and funds that have financial interests in entities covered in Gartner research. Gartner's Board of Directors may include senior managers of these firms or funds. Gartner research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from these firms, funds or their managers. For further information on the independence and integrity of Gartner research, see "Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity" on its website,

Refine and govern your supply chain portfolio continually by establishing crossfunctional review processes between sales, marketing, product design, finance and supply chain.

Publication Date: 12 November 2010/ID Number: G00208603 © 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Dell revolutionized supply chain management with its direct model, configure-to-order (CTO) manufacturing, just-in-time inventory model and...
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