Relationship Management Strategies in Dell's Supply Chain

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Executive Summary
This paper discusses, using the multinational corporation Dell, Inc, existing and suggested Relationship Management Strategies applied to both Upstream and Downstream members of a supply chain. It also examines and gives an analysis of, using several diagrams, tables and models, Dell’s product range – and the customers who buy them.

This paper also examines several Key Issues associated with maintaining positive relationships with supply chain members, and how they may be worked out, besides providing an in-depth analysis of the relationships between Dell and its suppliers, customers and competitors.

Dell’s customers are many and come from many segments, but for this paper the focus will be on its biggest and most important market: Large Businesses and Organizations.

Index
1.0 Introduction 5
1.1 Background Information on Dell 7
1.2 Introduction to Dell’s Suppliers and Acquired Products (Upstream) 8 1.3 Introduction to Dell’s Key Products (Downstream) 9 1.4 Dell’s Customers 12
1.5 Dell’s Competitors 13
1.5.1 Explanations for the Numbered Arrows 14

2.0 Classification of Dell Products According to Buying Situation16 2.0.1 Explanation of Tables 17
2.1 Buy Grid Framework 18
2.1.1 Upstream 19
2.1.2 Downstream 20
2.1.3 Explanation of Tables on Previous Page 21

3.0 Suggested Relationship Management Strategies 22
3.1 Upstream Supplier Relationship Management: Suggested Strategies 22 3.1.1 Encouraging Collaborative Relationships 22 3.1.2 Engage in Strategic Alliances 23
3.1.3 Engage in Strategic Alliances - Commitment from Top Managers 24 3.1.4 Engage in Strategic Alliances – Issues to be Paid Attention to 25

3.2 Downstream Customer Relationship Management: Existing and Suggested 26 3.2.1 Encouraging Collaborative Relationships 27
3.2.2 Encourage Value-Added-Exchanges 27
3.2.3 Application of Above Strategies 28

4.0 Evaluating Relationship Strategy Outcomes 29

5.0 Summary and Comments 30
5.1 Summary of Discussed Strategies 31

6.0 Conclusion 32

Referencing/Bibliography (APA Format) 33

1.0 Introduction
Business markets worldwide account for most of the money circulating the economy – Recorded business to business volume in Asia alone was recorded at USD$330 Billion in the year 2004 (Businessweek.com, 2006). The volume of transactions within the business market will always surpass that of the consumer market. This is because in a typical supply chain (from raw materials to the manufacturer to the distributor to the consumer) there will be several Business to Business transactions involving subcomponents or raw materials, and only one Business to Consumer transaction (Wikipedia.org, 2009a).

Although Business – to – business marketing has been around for as long as there has been commerce, the bulk of research on the discipline of business marketing has only come about in the last 25 years or so (Wikipedia.org, 2009a). Nevertheless, it is important for a business marketer to be able to manage relationships with both his Upstream Suppliers and Downstream Customers – interpersonal relationships will no doubt matter in the business world, and the business marketer represents the point of contact between the firm itself and the supplier / customer.

Maintaining good relations with supplier and customer have their obvious benefits. This being said, the issue a company faces would be: how should the organization manage relationships with key suppliers and business customers? This is the focal point of this paper and several key issues will be discussed in the following chapters.

The company selected as the...
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