Product Mix & New Product Development Strategy: Dell
In today’s globalized economy, many industries have seen a significant increase in competition. This is especially true in the computer industry. Globalization and the rapid increase of Internet technologies has resulted in explosive growth over the last decade, and has equated to success for one computer manufacturer, in particular, Dell.
Based in Lebanon, Tennessee, Dell’s mission was simple, in the 1980s – to provide personal computers to customers without the middlemen (Dell, 2006). Today, the company is now number one in the industry.
Product Mix as a Facet of Success:
Two of the reasons for Dell’s success are their product mix and their support services. Product mix includes the number of different types of products the organization offers. These product differentiations may be aimed at a diverse group of consumers, and therefore offer wide selection of products. They may also offer a variety of products geared to a very narrow group of consumers, offering a deep product mix. Dell offers both a wide and a deep product mix.
The consumers Dell targets are diverse. Professionals in the working sector, family homes, and schools/government/healthcare institutions are all target markets for the organization, giving them a great width in their product mix.
Within each of these markets, they also offer a variety of products. As an example, professionals and schools have a variety of notebooks, desktops, servers, printers, and monitors to choose from, to fulfill their professional or educational computing needs. Family homes can find the answers to their computing solutions as well, in Dell’s vast product line up, while also purchasing the latest in television innovations.
In 2000, the second quarter revenue at Dell climbed a significant 25%, due to their strong product mix, helping the company beat Wall Street expectations. Revenue in that quarter alone was $7.7 billion, up from $6.1 billion the year-ago period (“Dell Computer: Product mix,” 2000). Second quarter 2002 saw impressive results as well. Again, a better product mix was a key factor in revenue rising 11% over the previous year-ago period, while boosting profit to 8%, up from 7.2% the year earlier (“Companies: Dell,” 2002).
Professional Use Product Mix:
As mentioned, one the key markets Dell targets are professionals and businesses. As such, they have a variety of products that are specifically designed for professional use. High-end notebooks, such as the Dell Inspirion and the Latitude, were developed specifically for business users with complex computing needs. These units offer high performance, are lightweight for travel, and are cost effective. Along the same lines, their other products, including: their desktop Opti-Plex, PowerEdge servers, and their business-class laser printers were all designed with the professional in mind.
Schools/Healthcare/Government Institutions Use Product Mix:
Many of the professionally developed products are well-suited to the educational market. Again, educational institutions can find high performance coupled with cost efficiency. In addition, Dell offers special pricing for educational facilities, their faculty and staff, healthcare institutions, as well as State and Local Government agencies, and government employees.
Family Home Use Product Mix:
Lastly, the family home market is a key target market for the organization. The product mix for this market is considerably deep. From leading-edge notebooks designed specifically for the ultimate multimedia and gaming experiences, such as the XPS, to their budget-minded desktop Dimension series, to their vast offerings of televisions, cameras, camcorders, projectors, MP3 players, software, and games, Dell has something for every modern family.
Product Market Grid:
Educational / Healthcare/Gov’t
Product Development vs. Market Development for Dell:
Currently, Dell services every market that requires computing products. They offer products for business, home, and institutions. As such, a Market Development strategy, in which the organization pursues new markets that would be interested in their current product line, is not an effective strategy. Instead, Dell has focused on a Product Development strategy. They are continually developing new products for their existing target markets. As technology continues to advance, the need for additional computing capacity, at lower costs, drives the industry, this offers incredible opportunity for Dell to continue to develop their notebooks, PCs, servers, storage devices, and monitors at the bleeding-edge of technology.
Dell’s Competitive Advantage Relative to its Product Mix:
Yes, Dell has an advantage relative to its product mix. Dell has developed products to fit the needs of virtually every consumer with a computer technology need, and beyond. Whether it is a family looking to purchase their child’s first computer, while on a tight budget, or a multimedia maven looking for processing capacity that can make their computing experience fly, to an executive who needs Dell has a product for them. In addition, they go beyond simply computers. As mentioned earlier, Dell has a vast product offering that includes: televisions, cameras, camcorders, projectors, software, games, MP3 players, and more. Shopping with Dell is truly one stop electronics shopping. and, as was financial figures in 2000 and 2002, it is their product mix that has allowed them to become a leader in their industry (“Companies: Dell,” 2002; “Dell Computer: Product mix,” 2000).
Companies: Dell’s profit meets expectations, as revenue gains top forecast. 16 Aug 2002. Wall Street Journal: UKA4.
Dell Computer: Product mix, lower costs pay dividends. 11 Aug 2000. The Vancouver Sun: D2.
Dell Online. 2006. Dell Computers. http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/default.aspx?c=sg&l=en&~ck=geo (Accessed September 17, 2006).
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