Dell Executive Summary

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Executive Summary

Dell Computer Corporation was established in 1984 and today ranks among the world's largest computer systems companies. Dell pioneered the concepts of selling personal computer systems directly to customers; offering build-to-order computer systems; and providing direct, toll-free technical support and next-day, on-site service. The company designs and customizes products and services to end-user requirements, and offers an extensive selection of peripherals and software.

Dell's complete range of high-performance computer systems include: Dell Dimension and OptiPlex desktop computers, Latitude notebook computers, and PowerEdge network servers. The company's products and services are sold in more than 140 countries and territories to customers extending from major corporations, government agencies and medical and educational institutions to small businesses and individuals. The company employs approximately 11,000 people. Headquarters are located in Round Rock, Texas, with manufacturing facilities in Austin, Texas; Limerick, Ireland; and Penang, Malaysia.


At age 13 Michael Dell was already a successful businessman.

From his parents' home in Houston, Dell ran a mail-order stamp-trading business that, within a few months, grossed over $2,000. At 16 he sold subscriptions to the "Houston Post," and at 17 Dell bought his first BMW. When he enrolled at the University of Texas in 1983, he was thoroughly bitten by the business bug.

Dell started college as a pre-med student, but found time to establish a business selling random-access memory (RAM) chips and disk drives for IBM PCs. Dell bought his products at cost from IBM dealers, who, at the time, were required to order from IBM large monthly quotas of PCs, which frequently exceeded demand. Dell resold his stock through newspapers (and later through national computer magazines) at 10-15% below retail.

By April 1984 Dell's dorm room computer components business was grossing about $80,000 a month -- enough to persuade him to drop out...