Dell Computers (A): Field Service for Corporate Clients
Used as part of the first module of a course on Managing Service Operations, which addresses managing the operating role of customers (606-032). Explores the highly successful PC and low-end server manufacturer's entry into the large-scale server market in the United States. A key difference of this new market is the intense service element required to support the larger hardware. Specifically, the industry standard is to have a technician onsite with a required part within four hours of problem diagnosis. This type of service presents a problem for Dell, as its potential customers are widely dispersed throughout the United States. Should Dell create an in-house field service team to ensure service quality and maintain control of its customer relationships or outsource the field service to a third-party provider? Complicating the issue is the presence of IBM, the biggest player in the large-scale server market.