Supply Chains Darlings – 6 Supply Chains the Industry Has Obsessed Over - #6, Dell
eft's 1st piece of content for the ‘Darling Supply Chains’ – the companies that tend to dominate the headlines of the supply chain world every-so-often for their innovative thinking, and re-imagination of the industry.
eft is going to attempt to chronicle ‘Darling Supply Chains’ – you know, the companies that tend to dominate the headlines of the supply chain world every-so-often for their innovative thinking, and re-imagination of the industry. The idea behind doing this is to revisit some of the reasons why supply chains have grabbed headlines and to imagine what companies might be gracing headlines over the next decade. Over the next 6 weeks, we’re going to release articles looking at 6 supply chains that have grabbed the headlines in the supply chain world over the last decade or so, and arguably changed the industry for good.
To help launch the discussion, we’ll be announcing each subsequent selection over twitter over the next 5 Fridays on - @eyefortransport. We’ll be using the hashtag - #SupplyChainDarling to help facilitate the debate on each!
5) September 27
4) October 4
3) October 11
2) October 18
1) October 25
Nope, the word supply chain wasn’t around then, and neither was eft… we’ll be sticking to a post 1998 world here.
(dates are indicative of supply chain hay-days – more or less…)
The ability to build your own spec-filled computer was something reserved for experts and the nerdier classes of the computer-literate. This was until Dell came along, giving consumers the ability to order bespoke computers delivered in a timely manner in a realistic price range. To boot, Dell didn’t have any stores, it existed purely online. This was one of the first instances where consumers were willing to part with a not insignificant amount of money for something they couldn’t actually set their hands on. Using a strategy of eliminating the middle-man in the computer retail experience by working directly with the suppliers, Dell mastered the concept of inventory, where it leaves just as quickly as it arrives. As a consequence, Dell’s growth, 1997-2004 was phenomenal, as consumers bought into the model, and Dell was not only able to fulfil millions of configurations successfully sans bricks and mortar, it was able to maintain a bricks and mortar level of customer service.
Why did Dell dominate supply chain headlines?
1) It took customization to the next level, 2) it seeded doubt in the necessity of bricks and mortar for retailers, 3) it paved the way for just-in-time manufacturing