The fall of Dell from being a trusted company to one despised by its very customers is one that’s almost cinematic in its virtue – but true nonetheless. The company faced much flak in the year 2010 when it was revealed that it had sold defective laptops to its customers, and it has never quite managed to get over the hurdle and establish trust for a second time.
But what’s the story behind Dell? How did a company that’s almost synonymous with the product that it sells become an organization that’s widely hated?
The Initial Years
One of America’s most famous multinational computer technology corporations, Dell Inc. has its base in Round Rock, Texas. The company was previously known as Dell Computer, and got its name from its founder, Michael Dell
Michael Dell was once a student of the University of Texas at Austin. It was during this time in the year 1984 that Dell founded his company, known back then as PCs Limited. The company was based out of his dorm room, and it sold computers that were IBM PC-compatible. After dropping out of school, Dell began to focus on building up his business at a quick pace.
In the year 1985, PCs Limited was able to manufacture a computer that had its own distinct design. This computer was named Turbo PC, and was sold for a sum of seven hundred and ninety five dollars at that time. Later, in the year 1988, the company changed its name to Dell Computer Corporation. The tremendous success of this company made Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company at that point of time.
The company has since been developing, selling, repairing, and supporting computers for years, and has grown by leaps and bounds since then. It managed to do this by expanding its customer base as much as possible.
Dell In The 1990s And After
The success enjoyed by the company from the year 1997 to 2004 was indeed commendable, as Dell Computer Corporation gained a great deal of market share and managed to sustain itself even during difficult times in the economy. In 1996, Dell began selling computers via their website.
In the year 2002, Dell began to expand its saleable products so as to include printers, televisions, and much more, mainly due to the brand name that had been built and its success in the personal computing space. As a result of this major change, the company was renamed Dell Inc. so as to highlight the fact that they no longer dealt with just computers.
Michael Dell then handed over the post of CEO to Kevin Rollins while he himself remained the Chairman of the company.
The Disreputable Fall of Dell Inc.
Ever since its inception, Dell has been considered to be one of the pioneers in computer manufacture and sales, and has gained the trust of the people through the years. It was, at one point of time, considered to be one of the best computer supply chains in the world. The fact that made it a huge success was that the company was able to provide its customers with quality computers that were very affordable.
However, a major turnaround took place when it was discovered that Dell was making use of faulty parts in the manufacturing process of its computers. It was then highlighted that even though Dell knew that those parts were faulty, the company did not attempt to take any corrective action. A Japanese company named Nichicon manufactured the capacitors used in the production of these computers.
It was discovered that these capacitors were defective and there was a ninety-seven percent chance that they would fail and cause complications in the computers. However, Dell refused to accept responsibility for this major mess-up when it came to light, and instead resorted to blaming its customers for not handling their computers properly.
Even though most people chose to blame Kevin Rollins for the deteriorating quality standards, the fact also remained that Michael Dell was very much involved in the situation. What the controversy ultimately managed to do was successfully destroy the company’s reputation, which it had built painstakingly over the years.
Now, even though the company is slowly regaining the trust of its customers, public sentiment is a strong indicator of the fact that things will never be the way they used to be. Numerous customers all over the world feel betrayed by the company after the tremendous trust they had in the organization over the years.