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Using Commerce to Support the Virtual Company

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The Internet is also at the heart of how Dell manages its support operation. It outsources support to business partners and they keep in touch through extranets and e-mail. The Internet interface allows partners to share data even though the back-office systems may not actually be compatible. A similar method of operation allows Dell to have tight integration with its suppliers. Once an order is placed automated workflow routines flag up inventory requirements, preferred shipment dates and so forth. Both the supplier and Dell can tell at a glance if there is going to be a delay in shipment due to a supply problem elsewhere.

This allows Dell’ s Account Managers to proactively manage the relationship with clients – they appear to be on top of what is happening and can relay that information in a timely manner. In this manner Dell is able to better forecast demand and supply, keeping its clients informed along the way. E-commerce was an obvious progression for Dell’ s strategic managers. By tying its back-office infrastructure to a Web interface, it was able to automate much of the administration, technical information and support request that the call centers dealt with and release its sales team to focus on marketing its goods and services.

It runs its business on its own servers with Intel processors, and 3 core operating systems – Windows, Linux, and Novell. Intriguingly technology has allowed Dell to become the archetypal ‘ middleman’ , coordinating the flow of information from the client to supplier and ensuring quality and control while others actually make and supply the goods and services to Dell’ s specification. There was resistance to Dell’ s online business from within its empire.

Managers and sales representatives rely on commission and saw online sales as a threat to this. Dell altered its commission structure to take this into account, allowing its managers and sales representatives to earn a commission from each account, regardless of whether the sale originated from a face-to-face meeting, over the telephone or across the Internet.

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preview essay on Using Commerce to Support the Virtual Company
  • Pages: 7 (1750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Marketing
  • Level: Masters
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