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Dell having trouble delivering holiday orders?

updated 02:50 pm EST, Fri December 11, 2009

Part delays hampering Dell holidays

Dell may be having trouble fulfilling orders due to inherent problems with its delivery system, according to multiple anecdotal reports. Those who've ordered say their orders have been delayed as many as four times and in many cases have been pushed back to January. When asked, Dell regularly claims that it's waiting on one or more parts before it can finish building the system and claims that there are a lot of orders due to the holidays.

The setbacks are believed to stem from Dell's approach to custom-ordering systems. Rather than build a pre-configured system and modify it, the PC builder takes a "just in time" approach that gets the components as they're needed for particular orders. The method allows greater flexibility but creates problems when one or more suppliers has trouble, as Dell can't change the order on the fly.

In contrast, vendors like Apple often have the systems nearly or completely pre-assembled and modify them at the last minute. Dell lately has tried to ameliorate this with retail PCs and its pre-made, Fast Track configurations but is known to have faced other delays in the past.

Missed deliveries could potentially compound Dell's declining performance both by delaying revenue as well as by steering customers to rivals with quicker delivery. [via ZDNet]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Athens

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: Jan 2003


    CHRISTMAS you daft dumb P'C' idiots

    Dell having trouble delivering holiday orders?

    should be

    Dell having trouble delivering Christmas orders?

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Not just Xmas

    @ Athens

    Who's daft?
    There's more than ONE holiday. There's Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice, too.

    Regardless, it's nice to see Dell struggling in their only areas of strength, assembly and shipping.

  1. nelsoon

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009



    I don't know who got problem with delivery, for my part i received it 1 week earlier than the date that Dell gave me. I ordered it on Blackfriday.

  1. noibs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007


    Way Too Many Similar Products

    I've been a Mac guy since 1984. However, I have a Dell Mini 9 running Leopard and I'm thinking about buying a Dell Inspiron 11z and putting Ubuntu Linux on it for use as a hobby computer and a really functional, light, portable computer (yeah...why won't Apple offer something like that?). Dell's prices and choices are incredible...and it's killing them.

    Dell laptop lines: Inspiron, Studio, XPS, Vostro, Latitude, Studio XPS, Adamo, Precision Mobile Workstations, Alienware. And, there are many different models within each of the previous lines. And, within each model are many, many different options.

    Dell offers a gazillion different wireless cards, video cards and integrated video options, processor options, etc.

    It's amazing they get anything delivered within a month of a order...but they do. Yet, this model isn't working. Dell's profits and market capitalization have been killed by Apple's--who offer a very small fraction of Dell's products.

    There's a 17" Inspiron laptop and a 17" Studio Laptop. Both can be configured to offer pretty much the same functionality. By all accounts, the Studio is stellar for the price and the Inspiron sucks. So why offer the Inspiron? I could go on.

    Finally, Dell offers so many hardware options they can't be counted. Yet, they only offer a half-dozon or so systems with Linux installed. They are the one best hope that Linux has to achieve a modest market share and they either largely ignore that opportunity or else have been told my Microsoft that they can forget Windows discounts if they offer more Linux systems. I suspect the latter.

    In conclusion, the Dell business model is broken and it's hard to envision a scenario where they can generate significant profits. HP, Asus, Lenovo and others mean that there cannot be ANY profit earned by selling generic Windows computers. And, the people (not companies) who buy Dell products seem to be only interested in the cheapest piece of c***. Corporate buyers have always been interested in supplying their employees with cheap c***.

    Business history suggests that there must be consolidation within the generic PC sector. With consolidation comes oligarchial pricing and more profits. That's probably the only hope Dell has. I was living in Austin, Texas, during the time that Michael Dell started the company. I'll be sad if they don't survive.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    'Performa' nce anxiety...

    Reminds me of the million and a half performa configurations before steve came in and killed the line, saving apple in the process. Dell better do something similar soon or they will end up dead in 10 years.

    - A

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Nothing like Performa

    The performa was 8000 different computers trying to be sold, even though they differed slightly. This was due to Apple trying to appease every type of buyer, but not wanting a build-to-order system.

    Dell doesn't have 16000 different computers. They have several lines, which you can customize to fit your needs (yeah, I know, it's strange).

    And it is amazing that Dell survived for years offering all those choices and models, but somehow now it is 'killing' them. The only think killing Dell is the economy, as businesses aren't buying hardware much these days, and that's where Dell makes most of their money.

    Oh, and note that their problem isn't they can't sell anything, its that they can't meet all their sales by xmas. Yes, they are dying. From being too popular, I guess.

    But they could solve their 'problem', I guess, by just inflating prices, and dropping the low-end completely away. Sure, it'll cut into sales, but at least they won't be selling all those cheap laptops.

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