Michael Dell, at the young age of 15 years brought home an old Apple computer to analyze its components. While most kids at that age concerned themselves with forming new friendships and playing games, he had a mind that was well beyond his age. Slowly gathering the pertinent resources, he established the brand ‘Dell’ with a loyal customer base. Winning over the hearts of many consumers, the brand was awarded labels such as “trust-worthy”, “best laptop providers” and “ground-breaking”. In the 2020 fiscal year, Dell reported revenue of US $92.2 billion, and a US $5.5 billion net income. But what are the driving factors behind Dell’s persistent laptop success?
1. Ambitious Mergers
Although many technology professionals believe that there is no bearing on the success of Dell’s laptops because of Dell’s mergers, we reckon it is quite the contrary. Every merger that Dell has invested its time, resources and research into has resulted in them gathering consumers from other sectors into their consumer base. As a result, Dell’s laptop sales have ramped up quite a bit.
Dell had acquired EMC in 2016, which by no means was an ordinary corporation. EMC is structured differently compared to some companies, and therefore does not classify as an average merger. It consists of a federation of affiliated and independent companies. One of the most reputed companies among these is VMware, a cloud computing and virtualization technology company. This acquisition cost Dell US $58 billion, and is responsible for alluring investors and subsequently augmenting Dell’s stocks. It also led to an increase in Dell’s laptop sales.
From an innovation point of view, Dell has won the hearts of many consumers. Although advanced i7 laptops are now considered the new ‘in’, the Dell i3 laptop segment is still contributing to large profit influxes for the company, primarily because of its innovation. Most of Dell’s laptops are ideal for students and professional gamers. A large emphasis has been placed on making the devices sleeker and more lightweight for students who depend on their laptops for everyday work and study. For gamers, larger storage space for downloading gaming applications and better graphics are crucial improvements that Dell continuously works on to sell their laptops. The Dell Latitude 7490 comes with all these aspects, and a long battery life that makes it ideal for students. Furthermore, the Dell-EMI merger has led to the assembly of a large research and development team to improve the innovation strategies of the company.
3. Social Impact
Dell is involved in two different initiatives that have helped them garner attention towards their laptop lines. In 2020, Dell announced that they wish to follow a “circular” lifestyle, and are currently working towards designing every part of their product in such a way that it can be recycled or reused. This will reduce the electronic waste that is thrown out every year, and which eventually accumulates in landfills. After visiting a few recycling centers and understanding the process that goes into it, the managers at Dell have realized that if just one (out of an average of 200) component in a laptop is recyclable, it takes a while to disassemble, and is mostly thrown out. For this reason, working towards the initiative of manufacturing every component of a laptop in a circular way is imperative.
In addition to the above-mentioned initiative, Dell is also trying to make a difference and help out the communities in India with a creative mindset. During the peak summer season in India, diesel generators are used for longer periods of time to power fans and air conditioners. The exhaust of these appliances, in turn, contributes to the air pollution in the country. Deciding to use this to their advantage and make a social change, Dell approached Chakr Innovations, an Indian start-up firm that specializes in building devices that collect this smog, store it and use it to produce ink. This black ink is used by Dell on some of its laptop packaging and has, in turn, ramped up its laptop sales massively. This initiative also speaks volumes about Dell’s research team.
4. Tackling the Pandemic
The 2019 Coronavirus pandemic brought with it widespread uncertainty to every company in India. Dell was one of the few companies that did not hesitate in the face of this uncertainty. Around half of Dell’s employees were asked to work remotely, sending waves of confusion to Dell’s consumers. In terms of innovation specifically, not much was known about how to get work done and upgrade Dell laptop models. However, with a majority of the world working from the safety of their homes, the demand for better electronics for online meetings began to rise. This resulted in about 302.6 million Dell laptop shipments across the globe (an increase of 13.1 percent from 2019). The third quarter of 2020 broke Dell records in terms of its sales. About $12.3 billion was generated from the Client Solutions Group lines (includes laptops, PCs, tablets and notebooks). This amount generated has been achieved as a result of an 8% increase in Dell’s laptop demand. Dell began focusing their efforts on providing better online and offline (telephone) customer service which has fueled its profits.
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