Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th Apr 2007 22:32 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Dell today leaked a memo to the press, hoping to prove that it's serious about making a strong comeback. CEO Michael Dell penned the memo that went out first to employees and then shortly thereafter to the Wall Street Journal, once Dell's PR team gave the all clear. The e-mail made ample use of broad statements and rhetoric to rally troops around the Dell 2.0 concept, which has a revitalized Dell trying new things like being nice to consumers to get back in the hardware game. In particular, Dell will work to make its management, manufacturing, supply chain and customer service more efficient, CEO Dell said in the memo."
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Oh No, He's Said Too Much (Well Not Much)
by segedunum on Sun 29th Apr 2007 23:07 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry. The REM line was just too much to resist.

You know a company is in trouble when they have to come up with buzzphrases (Dell 2.0?) to try and gee themselves up. You know a company is in real trouble when no one has any idea what those buzzphrases mean, nor is any plan of action communicated to anyone in the company. Sorry guys, there are no bonuses and we're in a spot of bother, but don't worry, we're going to expand small and medium sized business and expand services! Quite what that means is anyone's guess.

Reply Score: 4

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Yes, and we need to create more value for our customers by shortening development cycles and modifying reference designs even less than before!

Dell is discovering that a new business model can shake up an industry, but as what was once new becomes old hat, the mature market becomes less profitable. Computers can be built from parts. That doesn't mean that life is wonderful for the middle-man. Intel might as well buy Dell out of its misery and "go direct" to the customer.

Reply Score: 3

heh
by zizban on Sun 29th Apr 2007 23:10 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Dell trying new things like being nice to consumers

I thought this was taught in business 101

Reply Score: 3

RE: heh
by hobgoblin on Mon 30th Apr 2007 00:16 UTC in reply to "heh"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

nah, they left that as a crisis option in cashflow recovery 101...

Reply Score: 3

RE: heh
by dagw on Mon 30th Apr 2007 07:03 UTC in reply to "heh"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Nope you learn that nice costs money and thus only be as nice as absolutely necessary to get the customers money.

Reply Score: 3

How about this.....
by Phloptical on Sun 29th Apr 2007 23:25 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Efficiency isn't the issue here. For starters, try handling your support calls from the country in which they originate.....aka, dump those bastards in India.....quickly.

Also, try hiring some sales reps that know what they're doing as opposed to simply training them to take orders.

Thirdly, try hiring a competent QC department. Out of 25 brand new D620 and M65 laptops I set up there were about 5 that had poorly fitting plastic on the lids. Terrible manufacturing yield.

And steal some design guys from Apple. They, apparently, know what they're doing over there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about this.....
by plenque on Mon 30th Apr 2007 00:30 UTC in reply to "How about this....."
plenque Member since:
2005-10-10

Logically, people in India will keep thinking the same about you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How about this.....
by Phloptical on Tue 1st May 2007 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE: How about this....."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Let them, at least I don't have to try to understand their poor broken english while trying to escalate a service call.

I have no problem giving jobs to the rich sects in India, but keep the support regional.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about this.....
by IanSVT on Mon 30th Apr 2007 01:09 UTC in reply to "How about this....."
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Calling them bastards is kind of harsh. It's not like they're rude for the most part. Most are very courteous and patient, far more than I would be anyway. The issue is that in many situations, the language barrier creates what can already be a tense and difficult situation(support calls) and make them even worse. This especially becomes difficult if you deviate from the script.

The call center people aren't to blame for this, it's the cheap executives that want to save a buck anywhere they can so in turn their salaries go up and maybe the stock will appreciate by a few cents. What they realize but probably don't care is that actions like moving call centers to India are just symptoms of the corporate greed and rot which put Dell in the situation that they are.

If Michael Dell can turn this around, who cares if they call it Dell 2.0 or The New Deal. It's just a phrase or idea to rally around.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: How about this.....
by kaiwai on Mon 30th Apr 2007 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE: How about this....."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Calling them bastards is kind of harsh. It's not like they're rude for the most part. Most are very courteous and patient, far more than I would be anyway. The issue is that in many situations, the language barrier creates what can already be a tense and difficult situation(support calls) and make them even worse. This especially becomes difficult if you deviate from the script.


You're right, when I read the original post, it sounded like a disgruntled former Dell employee who has an axe to grind about overseas call centres.

For me, I certainly don't find it difficult to understand those who have a strong accent, nor do I find that they have difficulty understanding me - infact, I have the most problem when I get redirected to a US based call centre and they fail to understand my strong New Zealand accent, and yet, when I get put through to one in the UK, India or some other place, they have no problems.

The call center people aren't to blame for this, it's the cheap executives that want to save a buck anywhere they can so in turn their salaries go up and maybe the stock will appreciate by a few cents. What they realize but probably don't care is that actions like moving call centers to India are just symptoms of the corporate greed and rot which put Dell in the situation that they are.


The problem isn't about moving call centres to India, that is a symptom of a larger problem, and that is large organisations who refuse to spend the money to adequately train their customer service representatives.

This isn't just isolated to the IT sector; I worked in a supermarket for a few years as a wine department manager, and it amazed me how little people know about the products we sold in the store.

I had to literally train up from the ground on up each person who was delegated to my department; the differences in wine, marrying wine and food, explaining the complex flavours and aroma's to customers - how to upsell products that are on special.

My fellow managers thought I was making a mountain out of a mole hill, but guess what? after one year our sales rocketed upwards; higher margins, more volume - a little time spent investing into customer service training.

If Michael Dell can turn this around, who cares if they call it Dell 2.0 or The New Deal. It's just a phrase or idea to rally around.


It isn't what it is being called, but the fact that its all bullcrap, smoke and mirrors; he is trying to be a Steve Jobs and create a Dell like "Reality Distortion Field" by making out that what they do at Dell is earth shattering and world changing - code they write, every customer they talk to could revolutionise the industry.

What Dell need to do is to stop trying to be the 'cheaper one' and come out and be the one which provides the whole kit for an organisation; if that means rallying around Linux, buying out someone like Connical, and create a Linux out of the box solution, using opensource components, then that is what they should do.

They need something to differentiate themselves more than just price alone; there is no use screaming 'volume, volume, volume" if your profits are in the toilet - it should be able maximising profits and profit margins, selling value added services, quality middleware - the whole nine yards.

This is where the likes of Sun are well places; they can provide to an organisation the complete setup; for the desktop in an organisation they have Solaris plus the Sun Ray appliance, they have massive servers, storage devices, automated tape libraries, middleware.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: How about this.....
by zombie process on Tue 1st May 2007 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about this....."
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

The major problem with offshoring is that it removes jobs from the homesoil they are generated on. Nothing, IMO, could be less patriotic. And we're not talking production-line shoemaking here, either - we're talking about taking knowledgeworker jobs out of the US (or insert your country) and selling them off to the lowest bidder. This means that there is a shift downwards of what a knowledgeworker's skills are worth.

As far as Dell goes, I guess it's must suck to be an x86 boxshifter at this point. It's a swamped industry, there is a major glut of product, and the more quickly they push cheaper boxes out the door, the more quickly they will slit their own throats. And hopefully without sounding like an outright marxist, I'd say that "more efficient" is almost always going to be bad for the employee. More efficient means more work for the same workforce, or fewer workers to do the same job. More efficient hardly ever means redesign processes and make sure people are happy and *want* to do good work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: How about this.....
by Phloptical on Tue 1st May 2007 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about this....."
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Disgruntled employee? Ha. No, actually I've been on the receiving end of a few of those phone calls. I've lost jobs to Asia, but not to India.

Yes, I realize it's a couple of suits who are pushing Dell on the "global economy" but your support should still be regional, at least, for your customer's sake. Level 1 and 2 techs are bad enough, now throw up the language barrier and people start running to HP.

As a northerner over here, it's hard to talk to someone with a strong southern drawl in the US. There's slang involved, dialect, and tempo. Even heavy New York, or that real annoying Bawston accent is hard to discern over a crummy telephone connection.

Companies will pay the premium if they know they are getting a solid return on their investment. The fact that most IT managers shudder at the thought of buying from Dell is the problem. They need to perfect building solid computer systems with earth-shattering customer support first. Once the reputation gets the makeover, they can then focus on becoming the wall-street darling again....instead of Dell on Earth.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How about this.....
by D3M0N on Mon 30th Apr 2007 01:13 UTC in reply to "How about this....."
D3M0N Member since:
2005-07-09

I agree with you 110%, minus the calling them bastards.

Reply Score: 3

korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

:-p

Reply Score: 1

Foundation
by PowerMacX on Mon 30th Apr 2007 00:00 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

If I may quote one of Asimov's works:

"But then," interposed Sutt, "how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin's assurances of Empire support? They seemed " He shrugged. "Well, they seemed satisfactory."

Hardin threw himself back in the chair. "You know, that's the most interesting part of the whole business. [...] I took the liberty of recording all his statements."
[...]
Lundin Crast said, "And where is the analysis?"

"That," replied Hardin, "is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Holk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications in short, all the goo and dribble he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out."

"Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire."

Reply Score: 5

Choice!
by Supreme Dragon on Mon 30th Apr 2007 00:15 UTC
Supreme Dragon
Member since:
2007-03-04

Selling people no OS and Linux computers, is being nice to consumers, not forcing them to buy Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Choice!
by twickline on Mon 30th Apr 2007 00:42 UTC in reply to "Choice!"
twickline Member since:
2005-12-31

I would add that they should offer OpenOffice to people who dont want MS Office!

Reply Score: 2

Simple things...
by theTSF on Mon 30th Apr 2007 01:35 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

Quality. Dells quality had declined over the past 9 years or so. Dells use to be High Quality Computers, now they are just as cheap and crappy as all the rest. If anyone ask me for a good computer I recomend Lenovo, or Apple (Depending if they want to switch OS's or not). When you choose additional hardware for the system make sure it works.

3rd Party Stuff (related to quality) the Default install should be bloaded with Junk a Clean install of the OS, and the Software the person choose to get installed like Office. Give them a clean good install.

Simplify Purchases, Coupons, different and illogical prices for Home, Small Buisness and Large Buisness. Normally confuses and annoys the customer

USB Ports that allow you to plug in at 90 degree angle to the case. (It may be for one model and I think they have fixed it sence but ithat 30 degree USB port is damn annoying)

Reply Score: 1

One word China
by Southern.Pride on Mon 30th Apr 2007 02:59 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

Dell is nothing more than an importer for China made laptops/desktops/servers nothing more - nothing less.


They can't blame it on paying USA wages when everything is made for peanuts in Communist China.

Sounds like some CEO's have been dipping in the jar and now the cash flow is having a drought.

Lastly, they have done this to themselves who wants sub-par inferior products?

Reply Score: 0

RE: One word China
by Johann Chua on Tue 1st May 2007 05:56 UTC in reply to "One word China"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Normally I wouldn't consider "southern pride" to be a euphemism for racist beliefs, but you really don't give yourself an out, Johnny Reb.

Reply Score: 2

Quality
by cvfoss on Mon 30th Apr 2007 03:13 UTC
cvfoss
Member since:
2007-04-30

In particular, Dell will work to make its management, manufacturing, supply chain and customer service more efficient, CEO Dell said in the memo.


They obviously don't understand the problem. They don't need cheaper computers or a more efficient supply chain. They need products that people want to own and want to keep when they do buy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Quality
by sk33 on Mon 30th Apr 2007 08:27 UTC in reply to "Quality"
sk33 Member since:
2007-02-03

I agree with you 100%. I'd like to buy good/reliable systems even though it costs me extra $$$. In my case, I'd love to buy another used Dell Precision Workstation 450/650 than any brand new Dimension series. But for notebook, I will stick to IBM Thinkpad series.

Reply Score: 1

Boomerang Karma
by Quoth_the_Raven on Mon 30th Apr 2007 12:00 UTC
Quoth_the_Raven
Member since:
2005-11-15

For some strange reason, I'm reminded of a comment that Mr. Dell made in regards to Apple a while back...

From a New York Times article:

"In 1997, shortly after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, the company he helped start in 1976, Dell's founder and chairman, Michael S. Dell, was asked at a technology conference what might be done to fix Apple, then deeply troubled financially.

"What would I do?" Mr. Dell said to an audience of several thousand information technology managers. "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."

Reply Score: 2

RE: Boomerang Karma
by Wintermute on Mon 30th Apr 2007 13:44 UTC in reply to "Boomerang Karma"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

LOL, this is going to become the next best thing for Apple fans. You know like the other stuff about how Apple' are always on par in terms of price and so on...

Reply Score: 1

Unless they change, no way
by RedIcculus on Mon 30th Apr 2007 13:37 UTC
RedIcculus
Member since:
2005-08-09

Even though their hardware is relatively inexpensive, I am not going to support them until they stop using Indian call centers. I am a tolerant person, but the cultural and language barrier is too deep to get even simple tasks accomplished by phone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Unless they change, no way
by Johann Chua on Tue 1st May 2007 05:57 UTC in reply to "Unless they change, no way"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Phone support isn't that great with both customer and technician speaking the same native language.

Reply Score: 2