Example Answers for Questions on Dells Supply Chain

Supply chain is around the core business and handles information flow, logistics and capital movement (Tarantilis, 2008). It starts off from the procurement of raw materials to intermediate products and last products, and the ultimate product will be sales by the sales network to attain consumers. It is the whole functional network chain structure links suppliers, manufacturers, vendors, merchants and consumers. It is not only a logistics chain, information string and the capital chain connects company and consumer, but and yes it is a value-added string (Yao, 2008), and materials in the supply chain credited to control, packaging, travelling and other operations to increase their value, providing income to the relevant companies.

Identify and make clear the components of the resource chain

In general, the essential elements constitute the resource chain is made up of: suppliers: provide raw materials or parts and components to the manufacturer; manufacturers: this is the product manufacturing. It really is the most important part of production, which is responsible for creation, development and after sales service; distribution company: agents that are placed for products circulation to achieve the geographical scope; vendors: suppliers sell product to consumers; logistics: focuses on providing logistics services to companies outside of the enterprise mentioned previously. General, retail and logistics may also be known as blood flow (Green & Whitten, 2008).

Why is controlling the supply string a very complex process? Explain the issues to be managed and the trade-offs to be made in its management.

First, the source chain is a complex, dynamic network. This network is made up by companies (or business) with different goals. This means that looking for specific supply chain management approaches for specific company will face substantial difficulties (Riedel, 2009).

Secondly, resource and demand often discord in the marketing practice (Gundlach, et al. 2006). The difficulty lies in that before demand, manufacturers have to make a certain degree of production, which means that manufacturers must keep the extensive financial risk.

Thirdly, supply chain systems change with time is also an important thought. Even if the demand can be accurately forecasted (for example, long-term cooperation deal authorized by both resource and demand), the planning process also have to consider the demand and cost guidelines change in a time period credited to seasonal fluctuations, movements, advertising and special offers, costs strategies of rivals and other factors. These needs and cost guidelines which change as time passes make supply string management strategies more challenging. In fact, the most effective supply string management strategy is the one which can make the source chain system to reduce operating costs and meet customer demand.

Fourth, new problems in a few new supply chain system are emerging and can't be clearly discussed in the life cycle of their products. For instance, in high-tech industry, product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. Alternatively, in these companies, the rapid technical development and stunning product advancement making the appropriate prediction of demand for a particular product become more and more challenging. And ultimately lead to a number of the manufacturer's price battle, which not only reduces the value in their life cycle, but also shorts the merchandise life circuit.

In addition, in certain highly homogeneous product market, source chain management can be the single most important factor to determine the success or inability. For example, in laptops and inkjet printers market, many manufacturers are taking the same OEM road or take up the same suppliers of raw materials and the same technology, and in cases like this, the enterprise's competition is the competition of brand marketing, cost and service, while cost and service levels are two important elements in a source chain management.

In short, source chain management issues pertains to many areas of activities, from tactical level to the tactical level to operating level (Tsiakis, 2008). Proper level relates decision-making which have long-term impact on the company, like the number of developing plant life and warehouses, structure and size of development capacity and materials circulation in the logistics network and decision-making of other aspects. Tactical decision-making generally are the procurement and development decisions, inventory policies and transportation strategies. The operating level contains the decision-making of day to day activities, such as plans, estimations of stocking, organizing transportation routes, shipping and so forth.

There are some important issues in the management, such as:

Reconfiguration of distribution network: this may be due to lease deal termination of the few existing warehouse or amount change of the channel changes.

Distribution strategy: in the supply chain management, distribution strategy is crucial. Which strategy should be implemented? Direct move strategy, circulation strategy old classic or direct carry strategy? Just how many transfer points? Which strategy is more well suited for a lot of the enterprise in the resource chain?

Supply string integration and strategic partners: owning to the dynamics of the resource chain itself as well as conflicting objectives exist in companies with different nodes, supply string integration is very hard. Such questions as what information should be shared, how to share the information end up being the most critical issues.

4. Inventory control: If the terminal channel order volume should be greater than, less than or equal to the demand forecast? In order to minimize inventory and safe-keeping costs, just how many products should be set?

5. Product Design: When the product should be designed to reduce logistics costs or shorten the routine of the source chain; whether product design can compensate for the doubt of customer demand; to be able to take benefit of new product design, the type of changes should be achieved to supply string?

6. Information technology and decision support systems: How exactly to evaluate and use data? What's the impact of Internet? What's the role of e-commerce? Whether information technology and decision support system can be the primary tool of competitive advantages?

7. Customer value measurement: customer value is a measure of a company's contribution to its target customers. In various sectors, what factors determine the client value? How exactly to evaluate customer value? Within the supply chain, how it can be used to improve the customer value? How source chain management impact on customer value?

Question 2

Map out Dell Supply Chain


Dell Manufacturing


The supply string of Dell only includes customers, Dell and its own suppliers. Supply string map is shown above. This supply chain rules out the existence of middlemen (wholesalers, vendors and retailers) and it requires customer order immediately from the hands of customers, and the omission of the hyperlink significantly reduces the expense of a number of distribution programs (excluding the profits partition of middlemen), and the price tag on products significantly lower, which lays the building blocks for Dell's low-price competition (Dell comes back such cost savings to the client, so its products more competitive)

Provide proof conflicting targets in the supply chain

The conflicting objectives in the source chain in Dell are the manufacturing cost and its quality, cost and the speed reach customer. As the case study material says, Dells creation costs has continuing surge. One of its divisions directors, Tom Wilson, says that the increase recently in Level 5 manufacturing is marked in Dell. From perspective of Dell, this cost will raise the cost to the entire manufacturing process. That way, Dell cannot be able to use advantages as Dell should for the low cost structure of its agreement manufactures. Instead, Dell has to count more heavily on the 3rd-party integrators. Because of this, not only Dell get products with lower quality because they do not perform integration device trials by using 3rd-party integrators, and the Dell also has some problems to foresee for the 3rd-party integrators about how much manufacturing capacity they must have to support the demand of Dell.

There is also contradicting in the price and the time. In Dell, customers can select the components when making an order, hence if Dell manufactures a completely completed product and transports it by transport form the deal company in China to the clients living in america would be time-consuming, and if indeed they produce a completed product and carry it by air, then it is cost-consuming. Therefore, for Dell, the contract manufacturers in China make and transfer half-assembled products by ship to its factories and once the order gets to and the components decided on by the customer is ready, the factory assemble the components and manufacture a completed computer and deliver to consumers timely.

What are the risks that rare or unexpected occasions create in this resource chain?

Although the supply chain of Dell only has suppliers, Dell and customers, you may still find some risks which exist in this supply string and make the shortcoming of Dell. For example, many issues will cause Dell cannot provides motherboards timely to contract manufacturers for L5 developing.

Chipset suppliers de-commit or supply issues. When chipset suppliers cannot provide experienced chipsets, it will disrupt the source chain. And the info reveals that this reason takes up more than 60% in the production of L5. Based on the data form Dells Worldwide Procurement corporation, it accounts for 63. 5% of expedites bills.

Quality/executive issues. These issues may cause the motherboards with dysfunction and problems which have to be revised or substituted by a fresh supply. This will lead to yet another unexpected need for motherboards, and these elements of motherboards aren't the part of the forecast. This reason accounts for 24. 5% of expedites expense, pursuing that of the chipset suppliers issues.

Dell forecast precision. When the true need of customers is more than that of the forecast, Dell has to acquire extra chipsets, and when it generally does not to do so, it will require risk it cannot meet up with the needs of customers. Generally, enough time for processing, assembling, screening and providing a chipset is 13 weeks normally, which time is long which makes it problematic for the chipset dealer to provide the additional chipsets to satisfy the need plan of Dell. This makes up about 8. 3% of the expedite expenses.

New product release. Since the dependence on newly developed Laptop or computer products is changing fast and the development of the market is volatile, it is difficult to forecast, which may make a supplementary must air-transport more motherboards which are not required when the product is mature. At that time, the level of L6 manufacturing won't change and the necessity level keeps dependable. This changing demand can make the L5 making increase. That is, the motherboard-chassis set up in the United States will increase to diminish enough time to deal for a new developed product. This account for 3. 8% of the expedite expenses.

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