First of all, in the scopes of this research, it is important to rely to the background of Dell Inc, the company which would be investigated in the light of its supply chain. It is the multinational computer technology corporation, located in US, Texas. Its core activities imply the development and distribution of the computers and related services and products.
In the scopes of this research the core emphasis would be made on the internal supply chain of the Dell Inc. investigation. It would be outlined in the light of the following issues: the core parts of the supply chain of the Dell Inc. and the core activities, carried out by different parts of the supply chain. The internal supply chain of the organization consists of the following functional departments: sourcing, production, and distribution.
Sourcing department, which may also be referred to as the purchasing department, carries out the following responsibilities: selecting suppliers, carrying out the contract negotiating, purchasing process formulating, and processing order. Production department carries out the following responsibilities: transforming the raw materials or some other forms of the product components to the product. The core responsibilities of the distribution department are the following: managing the flow of material and the goods to tee ns customer.
While taking in account the notion of the supplier network, it is important to pay additional attention to its main components. It includes those organizational structures which provide the manufacturer with the materials or services both in direct and in indirect manner. In Dell Inc. the manufacturer supplier network includes all the business entities, which provide the company with the all items, required by the manufacturing process. They are the following: plastics, computer chips, hard drives, motherboards etc. In addition, it is possible for the supplier of the motherboards to have its own set of suppliers, which are responsible for the inputs providing. These suppliers, in turn, are called second-tier suppliers and they are also the part of the Dell Inc. supply chain
The responsibilities of the distribution network cover the movement of the materials between the locations. The management of the distribution network, in turn, underlines the coordination of the following processes: storing, packaging and handling of all the materials at the receiving docks, warehouses, and retail outlets. The main part of the distribution management refers to the management of transportation process. That means that the external carriers are selected, managed and controlled by the managers of the distribution network.
While taking into account the fact that Dell Inc. is mainly working via the World Wide Web, it is important to rely on such aspects of the supply chain as e-commerce, e-distribution and e-procurement. In e-commerce, the advanced technologies are applied for assisting the business transactions. In the scopes of the web-based environment and facilitates the transaction the flow of information and funds.
There are different types of business transactions, included into the e-commerce. They are the following: Covisint applies the business-to business transaction (B2B), Amazon.com uses business-to-customer transaction (B2C), priceline.com applies the tools of the customer-to-business transaction (C2B) and finally, E-Bay auction uses the system of customer-to-customer transaction (C2C). Dell Inc. collaborates with all the above listed systems and they create the entire supply chain of the corporation.
In addition, the e-commerce conduction is carried out via different types of the electronic media. They are the following: electronic data interchange, transfer of electronic funds, fax, voice mail etc.
While taking into account the system of e-distribution, it is possible to define two core tasks for the system, instructing where to locate the supply sources and advising the way of access to these sources. In addition, this system implies the movement of the materials to the retailers, while applying the means of Internet and the environment, which is based on Web.
The last issue to be discussed in the scopes of this section is the e-procurement as a valuable part of the Dell Inc. electronic commerce. It is possible to say that in the light of the core manufacturing trends of the 21-st century, the role of e-procurement is the complete revolution of the supply chain of the distribution firm and the manufacturing enterprise due to the fact that it assists in organization of the seamless flow of the informational order fulfilment in the chain from the manufacturer to the supplier.
In order to conclude the research paper, it is important to outline three core aspects of the supply chain management in Dell Inc. First of all, the core task of the SCM in the company is the production of the products, which meet the current needs of the end customer. The second aspect is the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the objective of supply chain management, which is achieved by the collaborative efforts across the entire system. The third important aspect of the Dell Inc. SCM is the fact that all the activities, which are carried out in the organization, are encompassed into the supply chain management. These activities imply the following: integration of suppliers, managing the manufacturers, collaboration with the wholesalers, retailers and end users.
For the Dell Inc. supply chain improvement, the following structuring a supply chain improvement program has been developed after the deep investigation of the currently existing problems inside of the company, business environment and entire logistics network of US.
The program involves four stages, which are directed to the optimization of the supply chain management. The core purpose of this approach is the maximization of returns and in addition, it is directed to the de-risk of investments. The first stage of the approach is the assessment and analysis improvement. In such case, the top management of the company should develop the opportunities which are grounded on the performance shortfalls and operations strategy and after that the quantify benefit, targets and core priorities on the new approach should be defined. The second stage implies the supply chain and processes analysis. It consists of the current supply chain flows modeling and service and financial performance measuring. The third phase implies the development of the improvement solution, the improvement ideas should be developed in the teamwork; all the processes, which take place in the supply chain, should be aligned and finally, the change and technology deployment process should be defined. The last stage implies the detailed planning of the improvements, their practical implementation and finally the change management.