Refining and extending the business model with information technology: Dell computer corporation

Kenneth L. Kraemer, Jason Dedrick, Sandra Yamashiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The exceptional performance of Dell Computer in recentyears illustrates an innovative response to a fundamental competitive factor in the personal computer industry - the value of time. This article shows how Dell’s strategies of directsales and build-to-order production have proven successful in minimizing inventory and bringing new products to market quickly, enabling it to increase market share and achieve high returnson investment. The Dell case illustrates how one business modelmay have inherent advantages under particular market conditions, but it also shows the importance of execution in exploiting thoseadvantages. In particular, Dell’s use of informationtechnology(IT) has been vital to executing both elements of itsbusiness model - direct sales and build-to-order - and providesvaluableinsights into how IT can be applied to achieve speed and flexibility in an industry in which time is critical. Many ofthe insights gained from this case can be applied more generally to other time-dependent industries, suggesting that the findings from the Dell case will have implications for a growing number of companies and industries in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-21
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Build-to-order
  • Business model
  • Clockspeed
  • Customer relationships
  • Dell computer
  • Direct sales
  • Distribution channel
  • Information technology
  • Time-based competition
  • Virtual integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Cultural Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Political Science and International Relations


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