The paper "Individual Situation Analysis and SWOT: Dell Computers" is an amazing example of a case study on marketing. Dell Computers is a late entrant in the computer market. Founded in 1984, Dell is now the largest computer manufacturer and supplier in the world. It supplies both desktop and laptop computers to individual and corporate customers. Of late, it has also entered the printer and server market, mainly aimed at corporate buyers, but its main product remains computers, desktop, and laptop. In this paper, I will analyze the laptop market for Dell Computers as it is the fastest-growing segment within the computer manufacturing industry. Over recent years, the developing countries, especially those in Asia, have been the target markets for laptop manufacturers as the global economic recession has hit these economies less than the western world.
As a result, almost all computer manufacturers are producing small-valued laptops, called notebooks, priced below $500. This trend is in evidence after Asus EEC PC became a huge success and Intel and Via began to produce computer chips that enabled low cost and low power consumption devices.
The market for such notebook PCs was estimated at 3.6 million in 2008 (BBC News, 2008). Since its inception, Dell Computers has focused on the direct model of selling and build-to-order supply chain with which it has been able to gain an advantage over other players in the computer industry. The company does not use the service of retail intermediaries at all, taking orders over phones and the Internet. At the same time, the assembling of computers is done through a build-to-order model (Achtmeyer, 2002). Over the years, Dell has grown sophisticated in streamlining the entire process of order-taking from customers, buying and assembling the components from its vendor network traversing the world, but with the final assembling done at the company’ s factories that are close to the target market, and dispatching to the customer on time.
However, the laptop market is essentially retailer-driven because of which HP and Acer have been able to overtake Dell in sales growth (Shah, 2008). Till a few years ago, laptops were sold mostly to companies whereas individuals bought mostly desktop computers.
Over the last couple of years or so, laptop retail sales to individuals have overtaken that of sales to companies as laptop prices have fallen to less than $900. As a result, companies that have stronger retail networks are at an advantage. Retail sales have been stronger because laptop computers take smaller shelf space and transportation costs because of the smaller size than the bulky desktop computers. Customers also prefer to choose between the various models with different functions and performance that laptop computers provide.