According to the registration documents submitted by Dell Inc. to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, it is a “premier provider of products and services worldwide that enable customers to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005). ” Thus, it offers to the market a wide rage of products, such as servers, notebook and desktop computer systems, and networking products, making it the number one supplier of personal computer systems in the country and worldwide in 2004 (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005).
The company attributes its worldwide business success to their persistent focus on customer service, particularly direct sales to consumers (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005). The business strategy of Dell Inc. is to establish a direct relationship with the consumer through the use of technology that meets the consumers’ needs and expectations (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005).
Thus, in their website, Dell promises to offer superior value for their money because they are allowed to order their systems online, track their orders up to shipping, ad review and configure the systems they order (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005). This strategy is called the “direct business model (United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 2005). ” Considering that the Internet is the most pervasive medium of communication around the world today, Dell Inc. ’s use of this technology ca be said to be the most ideal means of sustaining its market and competitive stance.
However, it must be considered that the same technology is also available to its competition. Thus, all other manufacturers of computer systems, such as Apple, IBM, and Hewlett Packard offer customer services online through their respective websites. Each have different styles and strategies in attracting consumers, but all of them aim to provide excellent customer service. Thus, the availability of the same medium and technology to Dell Inc. ’s competitors necessarily affect its competitive advantage. All of them are offering similar products through the same medium.
Therefore, it cannot be said that online marketing and sales will remain as Dell Inc. ’s competitive edge. From personal experience, Dell Inc. did not appeal to me strongly, which made me purchase a computer system from Apple, called MacBook. Mainly I was taken in by Apple through its website, which was very crisp, fresh, and clean looking that it was friendly to the eyes to look at the products. The customer service was also excellent, and the website was able to give me all relevant information about the product I wanted.
Apple also offers a “test drive” of the product before purchase so that consumers like me could assess the product’s compatibility with my needs. Finally, Apple definitely understands consumers, as show by the various services provided and promoted by their website. There is personal training at the Apple Store, which means that Apple understands that many people who would be purchasing a Mac would be undergoing a transition phase and a learning curve. Thus, it provides assistance in that respect, which can enable consumers to maximize the utility of the product.