company profiles detail
Dell at a Glance.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Dell is the world's most preferred computer systems company, and a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Dell's climb to market leadership is the result of a persistent focus on delivering the best possible customer experience by directly selling computing products and services based on industry-standard technology. Revenue for the last four quarters totaled $31.2 billion and the company employs approximately 34,600 team members around the globe.
Dell was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell, the computer industry's longest-tenured chief executive officer, on a simple concept: that by selling computer systems directly to customers, Dell could best understand their needs and efficiently provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs. This direct business model eliminates retailers that add unnecessary time and cost, or can diminish Dell's understanding of customer expectations. The direct model allows the company to build every system to order and offer customers powerful, richly-configured systems at competitive prices. Dell also introduces the latest relevant technology much more quickly than companies with slow-moving, indirect distribution channels, turning over inventory every four days on average.
Harnessing the Internet
Dell is enhancing and broadening the fundamental competitive advantages of the direct model by applying the efficiencies of the Internet to its entire business. Dell led commercial migration to the Internet, launching www.dell.com in 1994 and adding e-commerce capability in 1996. The following year, Dell became the first company to record $1 million in online sales. Today, Dell operates one of the highest volume Internet commerce sites in the world, based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems. The company's Web site, which runs entirely on Dell PowerEdge servers, receives 840 million page requests per quarter at 82 country sites in 21 languages/dialects and 40 currencies.
The company is increasingly realizing Internet-associated efficiencies throughout its business, including procurement, customer support and relationship management. At www.dell.com, customers may review, configure and price systems within Dell's entire product line; order systems online; and track orders from manufacturing through shipping. At valuechain.dell.com, Dell shares information with its suppliers on a range of topics, including product quality and inventory. Dell also uses the Internet to deliver industry-leading customer services. For instance, approximately 113,000 business and institutional customers worldwide use Dell's Premier Dell.com Web pages to do business with the company online.
Balancing Liquidity, Profitability and Growth
Dell's high return to shareholders has been the result of a focused effort over time to balance growth with profitability and liquidity. Dell has consistently led its largest competitors in each of those categories, and did so again in fiscal-year 2002.
"We are combining Dell's Internet expertise, and our unique ability to organize resources around distinct customer needs, to create new Web-related capabilities. The Dell advantage is based on direct relationships, low cost, speed to market and e-commerce expertise as much as it is on Internet hardware, appliances and customer services and support."
Chairman and CEO