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Dell Organizational Structure

Dell has a functional organizational structure with some degree of decentralization. This means functional departments share information, contribute ideas to the success of the organization and have some degree of decision-making power.

Introduction

Dell is an American company that sells PCs, servers, data storage devices, software, peripherals, and consumer electronics from other brands, among other things.

Dell is perhaps best known for its direct-sales business model where consumers purchase made-to-order computers. However, parent company Dell Technologies has made several acquisitions in recent years to support the company’s new focus on analytics, cloud computing, and information security.

How is Dell structured?

Dell has a functional organizational structure with some degree of decentralization. This means functional departments contribute ideas to the wider success of the organization and have some level of autonomy in terms of decision-making.

However, the company is less decentralized than it has been in the past. In the 1990s, Dell’s information technology systems were highly fragmented. With most of the company’s applications developed independently across different departments, management lacked the necessary information to make even the most basic of decisions.

Dell realized that this way of doing business contradicted its organizational structure of centralized, functional groups reporting directly to headquarters in Austin, Texas. As the company entered the 2000s, it developed a system called Information to Run the Business (IRB). This system gives all Dell managers basic indicators such as financial performance, product margins, and product quality.

Today, these are managers of function-based groups such as:

  • Product design.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Sales.
  • Service.
  • Corporate systems.

Business markets

Function-based groups are further defined by three different business markets:

  1. Relationship – Dell’s largest or enterprise clients.
  2. Transaction – consumers and small businesses.
  3. International/public – this includes all non-US markets, SMEs, government, healthcare, and educational institutions.

Each of the markets is supported by applications that are contained within some (or all) of the five functional groups listed above.

Geographic regions 

Dell operations are also organized around three geographic regions. These include:

  1. Americas.
  2. Asia-Pacific and Japan, and
  3. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

In the United States, which is one of Dell’s premier markets, the Americas was further divided into three sub-regions: West, Central, and East.

The initiative was designed to limit the time Dell sales reps were spending on the road, with some having to drive over 150 miles to visit a single client.

Hierarchical leadership structure

Michael Dell is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Dell. 

In 2016, the hierarchical leadership structure was altered after Dell acquired computer-storage corporation EMC for $67 billion. In the process, a new company called Dell Technologies was born, with 14 top executives reporting directly to Dell himself.

Some of the members of this executive group are in charge of Dell Technologies companies that run independently. These include Virtustream, VMware, and Secureworks.

Dell also has two COOs beneath him in addition to Chief Officers for customers, marketing, services, human resources, global sales, operations, and finance.

Key takeaways:

  • Dell has a functional organizational structure with some degree of decentralization. This means functional departments share information, contribute ideas to the success of the organization and have some degree of decision-making power.
  • Function-based groups are considered in the context of three business markets, with each market supported by functions from some or all groups. The company is also structured according to three broad geographic regions and three within the Americas to improve sales efficiency.
  • Dell’s leadership structure changed somewhat after it acquired Dell Technologies in 2016. Michael Dell returned to the CEO position with a cohort of 14 executives who report directly to him.

Read Next: Organizational Structure.

Read Also: History of The Internet: From The Internet to Web3

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