Over the past few years the Internet has brought about drastic change in the way we do business. The Internet brought about the birth of what is known today as Electronic-commerce. Electronic commerce or e-commerce is the name given to doing business on the Internet or electronically. Along with e-commerce has come a whole new way of doing business. Now the consumer has the power over the seller. Competition has increased because now instead of a competitor being a couple of miles away, they are one click away. This makes comparing prices and finding the best deal very easy. E-commerce has also changed the way products become available. Anyone from anywhere in the world can buy something from anywhere in the world without ever leaving their computer. This new way of doing business has also created a whole new sector of business. This technological sector has surged in recent years making many people very rich and providing millions of jobs worldwide.
One such company that has grown tremendously as a result of e-commerce is Dell Computer Corporation. Dell Computer Corporation, or Dell, was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell on the concept of selling computer systems directly to the consumer. Based in Austin, Texas, Dell has become the world’s leading direct computer systems supplier. Dell feels that by selling directly to the customer they are able to better understand what the customer wants and needs in a computer system. Their $32 billion in revenues last year shows that they were on the right track. Dell offers a wide range of computer systems that can all be tailored and customized to a user’s specifications. This enables any user to simply log-on to the Dell website and build a custom computer system in a matter of minutes. Before e-commerce it would have taken much more time and a few phone calls to accomplish the same feat. But as I stated before, along with e-commerce came a greater amount of competition. For Dell this comes in the form of Gateway Inc. Although much smaller than Dell, Gateway provides the same on-line services as does Dell. This means that without leaving your chair you can have two quotes on two comparable computer systems within a matter of minutes. This forces companies like Dell to do things to set them apart from ‘the pack’ and make their product appear better than someone else’s. To do this Dell has had to work hard to get new technology out to the customer as fast as possible. On way they achieved that was by introducing e-commerce capability on their website in 1996. This enables them to turnover their inventory in approximately 5 days thus in turn keeping related cost low. Those lower costs in turn enable them to provide the consumer with low competitive prices. All of this being made possible by e-commerce and the Internet.
Dell is based in Austin, Texas, but their products can be bought worldwide. Dell.com is available in over 78 country-specific websites and acquires over 30% of its revenue outside of the United States and 50% of their revenue is a direct result of their website. The Internet has enabled Dell to be a worldwide computer system supplier while only having factories in 6 locations around the globe. In addition to those 6 factories, Dell only has sales offices in 34 countries. This means that $32 billion of revenue worldwide is coming out of 6 factories and sales offices from 34 countries. Even though this may seem like a lot, they are able to reach 40 million people a day on their website. This proves that you can have worldwide customers without having a brick and mortar building in every town.
E-commerce has done a lot to revolutionize how we shop, but it has had the largest impact on the economy. The technology sector has produced millions of jobs and made a lot of people, like Michael Dell, rich at a young age. Dell alone employs 40,000 workers worldwide, many of those in technical or management positions. The majority of these jobs take technical training and advanced knowledge of computers. Now instead of learning how to weld and manufacture products, people are going to technical schools to learn to put together and fix computers. This has brought in a whole new type of worker. Dell is not able to go out and get just any high school or even college graduate and put them to work. They must ensure that these people have had the proper training in the technical field that they will be working in. This has produced a worker with more skills that will require a higher wage. In a sense E-commerce had forced companies to invent a new class of worker. One that may have minimum wage intelligence but has above normal technological training that demands a higher paying salary. Dell was in a unique situation involving the development of e-commerce. In one sense they helped participate in the development by moving their business to an on-line type e-commerce business. On the other hand though, Dell helped fuel the new sector by providing the hardware necessary for the sector to grow. So in a sense Dell participated in all aspects of e-commerce from providing jobs to providing products to providing wealth to individuals and the sector as a whole.
Dell is a model company that was drastically changed by the increase of use of the Internet and e-commerce. They adapted to increase their business on-line and also helped other companies become e-companies by providing them with hardware. They helped many people get very rich from their success and have become an industry leader. Without the Internet and e-commerce, Dell Inc. would not be what it is today.