Dell's Direct Business Model*



Mini Case Code : CLIM028
Publication date : 2005
Subject : International Marketing
Industry : Computer Manufacturing
Length : 03 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Dell Computer Corporation (Dell), direct selling, direct business model, computer industry, direct relationship, retail channel, resellers, retailers, intermediaries, direct marketing, customer feedback, customization, target market segments, online shopping


* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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The caselet discusses the direct business model of Dell Computer Corporation (Dell). It shows how the company attained a competitive advantage by pioneering the direct business model in the computer manufacturing industry. The caselet discusses the various strategies that Dell adopted to ensure the smooth functioning of its business operations. It also focuses on how the company utilized the Internet to optimize its business model.


» The concept of 'direct business model' in the computer manufacturing industry
» How Dell achieved success through the 'direct business model'
» E-commerce - How it can help optimize sales


Dell Computer Corporation (Dell), the world’s largest direct selling computer company, was founded by Michael Dell in 1984. By 2002, it had become a premier computer manufacturing company with its customer base spread across 170 countries worldwide.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company primarily offered notebook computers, desktop computers, networking products, servers, hardware and software data storage products, printing and imaging systems, workstations, etc.

It also provided services such as designing, developing, and implementing end-to-end technology solutions, assisting customers in planning, deploying, and maintaining of the product, etc...

Questions for Discussion:

1. How far did direct marketing help Dell in achieving success?

2. Do you think Dell was successful in providing quality customer service? Justify your stand.