Dell’s Supply Chain

Write a 600-800 word white paper for a consulting company about the supply chain and distribution strategy of a manufacturing company, based on a library article.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

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Competency 1: Design a supply chain to support an organizational strategy.

Explain why a company’s supply chain strategy is successful.

Competency 2: Improve efficiency in the supply chain.

Describe the main challenges facing a company.

Competency 3: Manage a supply chain in order to satisfy customers.

Describe how a company has changed its supply chain to satisfy its customers.

Competency 4: Communicate in a professional manner that is consistent with expectations for supply chain managers and participants.

Exhibit proficiency in writing, critical thinking, and academic integrity by appropriately attributing sources.

Competency Map

CHECK YOUR PROGRESSUse this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.

Toggle DrawerContextSupply Chain Basic Functions

The functions basic to all supply chains are:

Planning.
Sourcing.
Making.
Delivering.
SHOW LESSFundamental decisions are required from supply chain managers to define strategy in developing a supply chain that will effectively meet these four requirements.

Supply Chain Planning

Planning or forecasting includes decisions needed to define operations of the other four supply chain functions. Three approaches to supply chain planning are:

Demand forecasting.
Product pricing.
Inventory management.
Sourcing or procurement involves decisions that determine the source of the resources that a firm requires for operations. This function traditionally included activities such as purchasing, consumption management, vendor selection, contract negotiation, and contract management. Recent global developments and trends in outsourcing have made this a dynamic changing role for supply chain managers.

Making or producing is the economic process of converting resources into goods and services. Typical activities in this function include product development and design, operations facility management, and production scheduling.

Distribution or delivering can include order management, delivery scheduling, and order processing. Inventory placement and delivery centers are of prime importance in supply management as the cost effectiveness of the entire system can rely upon the efficient delivery function

Toggle DrawerQuestions to ConsiderTo deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

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Why is it important to consider uncertainty when evaluating supply chain design decisions?
What are the major sources of uncertainty that can affect global supply chain decisions?

Consider the financial, logistic, political, natural, cultural, and technological sources of uncertainty.

Toggle DrawerResourcesRequired Resources

The following resources are required to complete the assessment.

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

Gray, M. (2007). Revolving around the customer [supply chains customisation]. Manufacturing, 86(6), 28-31. doi:10.1049/me:20070603.
Kapuscinski, R., Zhang, R. Q., Carbonneau, P., Moore, R., & Reeves, B. (2004). Inventory decisions in Dell’s supply chain. Interfaces, 34(3), 191-205. doi:10.1287/inte.1030.0068.
Blanchard, D. (2012). Dell taps into innovation to reach emerging markets. Industry Week/IW, 261(11), 45.
SHOW LESSSuggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Capella Multimedia

Click the links provided below to view the following multimedia pieces:

Uncertainty Impacts the Supply Chain | Transcript.
Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

Blanchard, D. (2010). Supply chain management best practices. (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Drake, M. (2011). Global supply chain management. New York, NY: Business Expert Press.
Greeff, G., & Ghoshal, R. (2004). Practical e-manufacturing and supply chain management. Oxford, England: Newnes.
Farooqui, S. U. (2010). Encyclopedia of supply chain management: Volume I. Mumbai, India: Himalaya Books Pvt.
Farooqui, S. U. (2010). Encyclopedia of supply chain management: Volume II. Mumbai, India: Himalaya Books Pvt.
Farooqui, S. U. (2010). Encyclopedia of supply chain management: Volume III. Mumbai, India: Himalaya Books Pvt.
Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3022 – Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management library guide to help direct your research.

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

Malik, Y., Niemeyer, A., & Ruwadi, B. (2011). Building the supply chain of the future. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Building_the_supply_chain_of_the_future_2729
Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sustainable-scf.org/
Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific -FP (FlexPath) course designation.

Chopra, S. (2019). Supply chain management: Strategy, planning and operation (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Assessment Instructions: For this assessment, consider that you work as a business analyst for a consulting firm that specializes in helping clients improve their operations and associated processes. Your manager asked you to write a white paper that they will use to demonstrate how your firm can help clients implement best practices in their supply chains and distribution channels, and you and your manager selected Dell as the subject of the white paper.

Dell has been selling computers for over 25 years with its unique, direct build-to-order sales model.

As part of your research into Dell’s supply chain and distribution strategy, you identified related articles in the Capella library (linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading) that you decided to use to help you write your white paper. You and your manager decided your white paper should address the following points:

Analyze why Dell’s supply chain strategy is successful.
Describe the main supply chain challenges that Dell is now facing and provide strategies to effectively overcome the challenges.
Analyze how Dell has changed its supply chain to satisfy its customers. As an example, was Dell’s decision to sell its products via retail outlets a viable solution? Do you agree with this distribution strategy? Why or why not?
Based on the intended audience, your report should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Target 600-800 words. Attributing sources in your professional and academic work supports your analysis and conclusions and demonstrates ethical behavior and academic honesty. Following APA rules for attributing sources provides consistency and ensures that readers can locate original sources if desired.

Academic Integrity and APA Formatting

As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:

When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed in your references page.
When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation and the source must be listed in your references page.

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