|Traded as||NASDAQ: DELL|
November 4, 1984
|Headquarters||1 Dell Way|
|Key people||Michael Dell
(Chairman & CEO)
|Revenue||US$ 61.49 billion (FY 2011)|
|Operating income||US$ 3.43 billion (FY 2011)|
|Net income||US$ 2.63 billion (FY 2011)|
|Total assets||US$ 38.59 billion (FY 2011)|
|Total equity||US$ 5.64 billion (FY 2011)|
|Employees||103,300 (January 2011)|
Dell, Inc. (NASDAQ: Dell, HKEX: 4331) is an American multinational information technology corporation based in Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people worldwide. Dell is listed at number 41 in the Fortune 500 list.
Dell has grown by both increasing its customer base and through acquisitions since its inception—notable mergers and acquisitions including Alienware (2006) and Perot Systems (2009). As of 2009, the company sold personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, and computer peripherals. Dell also sells HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players and other electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is well known for its innovations in supply chain management and electronic commerce.
Main article: History of DellFounder Michael Dell with his PCs Limited (the precursor to Dell Inc.) prototype, which is now housed at the Smithsonian InstitutionDell traces its origins to 1984, when Michael Dell created PCs Limited while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. The dorm-room headquartered company sold IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components. Michael Dell started trading in the belief that by selling personal computer systems directly to customers, PCs Limited could better understand customers' needs and provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs. Michael Dell dropped out of school in order to focus full-time on his fledgling business, after getting about $300,000 in expansion-capital from his family.
In 1985, the company produced the first computer of its own design—the "Turbo PC", sold for US$795. PCs Limited advertised its systems in national computer magazines for sale directly to consumers and custom assembled each ordered unit according to a selection of options. The company grossed more than $73 million in its first year of trading.
The company changed its name to "Dell Computer Corporation" in 1988 and began expanding globally—first in Ireland. In June 1988, Dell's market capitalization grew by $30 million to $80 million from its June 22 initial public offering of 3.5 million shares at $8.50 a share. In 1992, Fortune magazine included Dell Computer Corporation in its list of the world's 500 largest companies, making Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company ever.
In 1996, Dell began selling computers via its web site, and in 2002, Dell expanded its product line to include televisions, handhelds, digital audio players, and printers. Dell's first acquisition occurred in 1999 with the purchase of ConvergeNet Technologies. In 2003, the company was rebranded as simply "Dell Inc." to recognize the company's expansion beyond computers. From 2004 to 2007, Michael Dell stepped aside as CEO, while long-time Dell employee Kevin Rollins took the helm. During that time, Dell acquired Alienware, which introduced several new items to Dell products, including AMD microprocessors. To prevent cross-market products, Dell continues to run Alienware as a separate entity but still a wholly owned subsidiary.
Lackluster performance, however, in its lower-end computer business prompted Michael Dell to take on the role of CEO again. The founder announced a change campaign called "Dell 2.0," reducing headcount and diversifying the company's product offerings. The company acquired EqualLogic on January 28, 2008 to gain a foothold in the iSCSI storage market. Because Dell already had an efficient manufacturing process, integrating EqualLogic's products into the company drove manufacturing prices down. In 2009, Dell acquired Perot Systems, a technology services and outsourcing company founded by H. Ross Perot.On September 21, 2009, Dell announced its intent to acquire Perot Systems (based in Plano, Texas) in a reported $3.9 billion deal. Perot Systems brought applications development, systems integration, and strategic consulting services through its operations in the U.S. and 10 other countries. In addition, it provided a variety of business process outsourcing services, including claims processing and call center operations.
Dell is headquartered in Round Rock, TexasDell's headquarters are located in Round Rock, Texas. As of 2010 the company employs about 16,000 people in the facility, which has 2,100,000 square feet (195,000 m2) of space. As of 1999 almost half of the general fund of the City of Round Rock originates from sales taxes generated from the Dell headquarters.
The company previously had its headquarters in the Arboretum complex in northern Austin, Texas. In 1989 Dell occupied 127,000 square feet (11,800 m2) in the Arboretum complex. In 1990 Dell had 1,200 employees in its headquarters. In 1993 Dell submitted a document to Round Rock officials, titled "Dell Computer Corporate Headquarters, Round Rock, Texas, May 1993 Schematic Design." Despite the filing, during that year the company said that it was not going to move its headquarters. In 1994 Dell announced that it was moving most of its employees out of the Arboretum, but that it was going to continue to occupy the top floor of the Arboretum and that the company's official headquarters address would continue to be the Arboretum. The top floor continued to hold Dell's board room, demonstration center, and visitor meeting room. Less than one month prior to August 29, 1994, Dell moved 1,100 customer support and telephone sales employees to Round Rock. Dell's lease in the Arboretum had been scheduled to expire in 1994. The company sponsors Dell Diamond, the home stadium of the Round Rock Express, the AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Texas Rangers major league baseball team.By 1996 Dell was moving its headquarters to Round Rock. As of January 1996 3,500 people still worked at the then-current Dell headquarters. One building of the Round Rock headquarters, Round Rock 3, had space for 6,400 employees and was scheduled to be completed in November 1996. In 1998 Dell announced that it was going to add two buildings to its Round Rock complex, adding 1,600,000 square feet (149,000 m2) of office space to the complex.
In 2000 Dell announced that it would lease 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) of space in the Las Cimas office complex in unincorporated Travis County, Texas, between Austin and West Lake Hills, to house the company's executive offices and corporate headquarters. 100 senior executives were scheduled to work in the building by the end of 2000. In January 2001 the company leased the space in Las Cimas 2, located along Loop 360. Las Cimas 2 housed Dell's executives, the investment operations, and some corporate functions. Dell also had an option for 138,000 square feet (12,800 m2) of space in Las Cimas 3. After a slowdown in business required reducing employees and production capacity, Dell decided to sublease its offices in two buildings in the Las Cimas office complex. In 2002 Dell announced that it planned to sublease its space to another tenant; the company planned to move its headquarters back to Round Rock once a tenant was secured. By 2003 Dell moved its headquarters back to Round Rock. It leased all of Las Cimas I and II, with a total of 312,000 square feet (29,000 m2), for about a seven year period after 2003. By that year roughly 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of that space was absorbed by new subtenants.
In 2008 Dell switched the power sources of the Round Rock headquarters to more environmentally friendly ones, with 60% of the total power coming from TXU Energy wind farms and 40% coming from the Austin Community Landfill gas-to-energy plant operated by Waste Management, Inc.
Dell facilities in the United States are located in Austin, Texas; Nashua, New Hampshire; Nashville, Tennessee; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Peoria, Illinois; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Eden Prairie, Minnesota (Dell Compellent); and Miami, Florida. Facilities located abroad include Penang, Malaysia; Xiamen, China; Bracknell, UK; Manila, Philippines Bangalore, India; Hortolandia, Brazil; Łódź, Poland and Limerick, Ireland.
The US and India are the only countries which have all of Dell's business functions and provide support globally: Research and Development, manufacturing, finance, analysis, customer care.
Its Business/Corporate class represent brands where the company advertising emphasizes long life-cycles, reliability, and serviceability. Such brands include:
- OptiPlex (office desktop computer systems)
- Vostro (office/small business desktop and notebook systems)
- n Series (desktop and notebook computers shipped with Linux or FreeDOS installed)
- Latitude (business-focused notebooks)
- Precision (workstation systems and high-performance notebooks),
- PowerEdge (business servers)
- PowerVault (direct-attach and network-attached storage)
- PowerConnect (network switches)
- Dell/Compellent (storage area networks)
- EqualLogic (enterprise class iSCSI SANs)
Dell's Home Office/Consumer class emphasizes value, performance, and expandability. These brands include:
- Inspiron (budget desktop and notebook computers)
- Studio (mainstream desktop and laptop computers)
- XPS (high-end desktop and notebook computers)
- Studio XPS (high-end design-focus of XPS systems and extreme multimedia capability)
- Alienware (high-performance gaming systems)
- Adamo (high-end luxury laptop)
- Dell EMR(electronic medical records)
Dell's Peripherals class includes USB keydrives, LCD televisions, and printers; Dell monitors includes LCD TVs, plasma TVs and projectors for HDTV and monitors. Dell UltraSharp is further a high-end brand of monitors.
Dell service and support brands include the Dell Solution Station (extended domestic support services, previously "Dell on Call"), Dell Support Center (extended support services abroad), Dell Business Support (a commercial service-contract that provides an industry-certified technician with a lower call-volume than in normal queues), Dell Everdream Desktop Management ("Software as a Service" remote-desktop management), and Your Tech Team (a support-queue available to home users who purchased their systems either through Dell's website or through Dell phone-centers).
Discontinued products and brands include Axim (PDA; discontinued April 9, 2007), Dimension (home and small office desktop computers; discontinued July 2007), Dell Digital Jukebox (MP3 player; discontinued August 2006), Dell PowerApp (application-based servers), and Dell Omniplex (desktop and tower computers previously supported to run server and desktop operating systems).
From its early beginnings, Dell operated as a pioneer in the "configure to order" approach to manufacturing—delivering individual PCs configured to customer specifications. In contrast, most PC manufacturers in those times delivered large orders to intermediaries on a quarterly basis.
To minimize the delay between purchase and delivery, Dell has a general policy of manufacturing its products close to its customers. This also allows for implementing a just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing approach, which minimizes inventory costs. Low inventory is another signature of the Dell business model—a critical consideration in an industry where components depreciate very rapidly.
Dell's manufacturing process covers assembly, software installation, functional testing (including "burn-in"), and quality control. Throughout most of the company's history, Dell manufactured desktop machines in-house and contracted out manufacturing of base notebooks for configuration in-house. However, the company's approach has changed. The 2006 Annual Report states "we are continuing to expand our use of original design manufacturing partnerships and manufacturing outsourcing relationships." The Wall Street Journal reported in September, 2008 that "Dell has approached contract computer manufacturers with offers to sell" their plants.
Assembly of desktop computers for the North American market formerly took place at Dell plants in Austin, Texas (original location) and Lebanon, Tennessee (opened in 1999). The plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (opened in 2005) is scheduled to cease operations in November 2010, while the Miami, Florida facility of its Alienware subsidiary remains in operation. Dell servers come from Austin, Texas.
Dell's desktop plant in Austin, Texas was shut down in 2008. It closed its desktop manufacturing in Lebanon in early 2009. The last major U.S. plant in North Carolina is scheduled to close in November 2010. It is expected that most of the work carried out in North Carolina will be transferred to contract manufacturers in Asia and Mexico, though Dell said some of the work will move to its own factories overseas.
Dell assembles computers for the EMEA market at Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, and employs about 4,500 people in that country. Dell began manufacturing in Limerick in 1991 and went on to become Ireland's largest exporter of goods and its second-largest company and foreign investor. On January 8, 2009, Dell announced that it would move all Dell manufacturing in Limerick to Dell's new plant in the Polish city of Łódź by January 2010. European Union officials said they would investigate a €52.7million aid package the Polish government used to attract Dell away from Ireland. European Manufacturing Facility 1 (EMF1, opened in 1990) and EMF3 form part of the Raheen Industrial Estate near Limerick. EMF2 (previously a Wang facility, later occupied by Flextronics, situated in Castletroy) closed in 2002, and Dell Inc. has consolidated production into EMF3 (EMF1 now[when?] contains only offices). Subsidies from the Polish government did not keep Dell for a long time. Manufacturing Facility in Lodz was sold to Foxconn as announced in Dec 2009.
Dell opened plants in Penang, Malaysia in 1995, and in Xiamen, China in 1999. These facilities serve the Asian market and assemble 95% of Dell notebooks. Dell Inc. has invested[when?] an estimated $60 million in a new manufacturing unit in Chennai, India, to support the sales of its products in the Indian subcontinent. Indian-made products will bear the "Made in India" mark. In 2007 the Chennai facility had the target of producing 400,000 desktop PCs, and plans envisaged it starting to produce notebook PCs and other products in the second half of 2007.
Dell routes technical support queries according to component-type and to the level of support purchased:
- Basic support provides business-hours telephone support and next business-day on-site support/ Return-to-Base, or Collect and Return Services (based on contracts purchased at point of sale)
- Dell ProSupport provides 24x7x365 telephone and online support, a selection of 4 or 6-hour onsite support after telephone-based troubleshooting, and a Mission Critical option with two-hour onsite support, for customers who choose the highest level of support for their most critical hardware assets.
Dell's Consumer division offers 24x7 phone based and online troubleshooting in certain markets such as the United States and Canada. In 2008 Dell redesigned services-and-support for businesses with "Dell ProSupport", offering customers more options to adaptservices to fit their needs. Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, Dell allows various options for its customers.
In addition, the company provides protection services, advisory services, multivendor hardware support, "how-to" support for software applications, collaborative support with many third-party vendors, and online parts and labor dispatching for customers who diagnose and troubleshoot their hardware. Dell also provides Dell ProSupport customers access to a crisis-center to handle major outages, or problems caused by natural disasters.
A board of directors of nine people runs the company. Michael Dell, the founder of the company, serves as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Other board members include Don Carty, William Gray, Judy Lewent, Klaus Luft, Alex Mandl, Michael A. Miles, and Sam Nunn. Shareholders elect the nine board members at meetings, and those board members who do not get a majority of votes must submit a resignation to the board, which will subsequently choose whether or not to accept the resignation. The board of directors usually sets up five committees having oversight over specific matters. These committees include the Audit Committee, which handles accounting issues, including auditing and reporting; the Compensation Committee, which approves compensation for the CEO and other employees of the company; the Finance Committee, which handles financial matters such as proposed mergers and acquisitions; the Governance and Nominating Committee, which handles various corporate matters (including nomination of the board); and the Antitrust Compliance Committee, which attempts to prevent company practices from violating antitrust laws.
The corporate structure and management of Dell extends beyond the board of directors. The Dell Global Executive Management Committee sets strategic directions. Dell has regional senior vice-presidents for countries other than the United States, including David Marmonti for EMEA and Stephen J. Felice for Asia/Japan. As of 2007[update], other officers included Martin Garvin (senior vice president for worldwide procurement) and Susan E. Sheskey (vice president and Chief Information Officer).
Dell advertisements have appeared in several types of media including television, the Internet, magazines, catalogs and newspapers. Some of Dell Inc's marketing strategies include lowering prices at all times of the year, offering free bonus products (such as Dell printers), and offering free shipping in order to encourage more sales and to stave off competitors. In 2006, Dell cut its prices in an effort to maintain its 19.2% market share. However, this also cut profit-margins by more than half, from 8.7 to 4.3 percent. To maintain its low prices, Dell continues to accept most purchases of its products via the Internet and through the telephone network, and to move its customer-care division to India and El Salvador.
A popular United States television and print ad campaign in the early 2000s featured the actor Ben Curtis playing the part of "Steven", a lightly mischievous blond-haired youth who came to the assistance of bereft computer purchasers. Each television advertisement usually ended with Steven's catch-phrase: "Dude, you're gettin' a Dell!"
A subsequent advertising campaign featured interns at Dell headquarters (with Curtis' character appearing in a small cameo at the end of one of the first commercials in this particular campaign).
A Dell advertising campaign for the XPS line of gaming computers featured in print in the September 2006 issue of Wired. It used as a tagline the common term in Internet and gamer slang: "FTW", meaning "For The Win". However, Dell Inc. soon[when?] dropped the campaign.
In the first-person shooter game F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, several computers visible on desks within the game have recognizable Dell XPS model characteristics, sometimes even including the Dell logo on the monitors.
In 2007, Dell switched advertising agencies in the US from BBDO to Working Mother Media. In July 2007, Dell released new advertising created by Working Mother to support the Inspiron and XPS lines. The ads featured music from the Flaming Lips and Devo who re-formed especially to record the song in the ad "Work it Out". Also in 2007, Dell began using the slogan "Yours is here" to say that it customizes computers to fit customers' requirements.
In 2008, Dell received press coverage over its claim of having the world's most secure laptops, specifically, its Latitude D630 and Latitude D830. At Lenovo's request, the (U.S.) National Advertising Division (NAD) evaluated the claim, and reported that Dell did not have enough evidence to support it.
Starting in 2002, Dell opened kiosk locations in shopping malls across the United States in order to give personal service to customers who preferred this method of shopping to using the Internet or the telephone-system. Despite the added expense, prices at the kiosks match or beat prices available through other retail channels. Starting in 2005, Dell expanded kiosk locations to include shopping malls across Australia, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.
On January 30, 2008, Dell shut down all 140 kiosks in the U.S. due to expansion into retail stores.
Dell first opened their retail stores in India.
In 2006, Dell Inc. opened one full store, 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) in area, at NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas. It operates the retail outlet seven days a week to display about 36 models, including PCs and televisions. As at the kiosks, customers can only see demonstration-computers and place orders through agents. Dell then delivers purchased items just as if the customer had placed the order by phone or over the Internet.
In addition to showcasing products, the stores also support on-site warranties and non-warranty service ("Dell Solution Station"). Services offered include repairing computer video-cards and removing spyware from hard drives.
On February 14, 2008, Dell closed the Service Center in its Dallas NorthPark store and laid off all the technical staff there.
In the early 1990s, Dell also sold its products through Best Buy, Costco and Sam's Club stores in the United States. Dell stopped this practice in 1994, citing low profit-margins on the business. In 2003, Dell briefly sold products in Sears stores in the U.S. In 2007, Dell started shipping its products to major retailers in the U.S. once again, starting with Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. Staples, the largest office-supply retailer in the U.S., and Best Buy, the largest electronics retailer in the U.S., became Dell retail partners later that same year.
As of the end of February 2008[update], Dell products shipped to one of the largest office-supply retailers in Canada, Staples Business Depot. In April 2008, Future Shop and Best Buy began carrying a subset of Dell products, such as certain desktops, laptops, printers, and monitors.
Since some shoppers in certain markets show reluctance to purchase technological products through the phone or the Internet, Dell has looked into opening retail operations in some countries in Central Europe and Russia. In April 2007, Dell opened a retail store in Budapest. In October of the same year, Dell opened a retail store in Moscow.
In the UK, HMV's flagship Trocadero store has sold Dell XPS PCs since December 2007. From January 2008 the UK stores of DSGi have sold Dell products (in particular, through Currys and PC World stores). As of 2008, the large supermarket-chain Tesco has sold Dell laptops and desktops in outlets throughout the UK.
In May 2008, Dell reached an agreement with office supply chain, Officeworks (part of Coles Group), to stock a few modified models in the Inspiron desktop and notebook range. These models have slightly different model numbers, but almost replicate the ones available from the Dell Store. Dell continued its retail push in the Australian market with its partnership with Harris Technology (another part of Coles Group) in November of the same year. In addition, Dell expanded its retail distributions in Australia through an agreement with discount electrical retailer, The Good Guys, known for "Slashing Prices". Dell agreed to distribute a variety of makes of both desktops and notebooks, including Studio and XPS systems in late 2008. Dell and Dick Smith Electronics (owned by Woolworths Limited) reached an agreement to expand within Dick Smith's 400 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand in May 2009 (1 year since Officeworks — owned by Coles Group — reached a deal). The retailer has agreed to distribute a variety of Inspiron and Studio notebooks, with minimal Studio desktops from the Dell range. As of 2009[update], Dell continues to run and operate its various kiosks in 18 shopping centres throughout Australia. On March 31, 2010 Dell announced to Australian Kiosk employees that they were shutting down the Australian/New Zealand Dell kiosk program.
Dell's major competitors include Hewlett-Packard (HP), Acer, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony, Asus, Lenovo, IBM, Samsung, Apple and Sun Microsystems. Dell and its subsidiary, Alienware, compete in the enthusiast market against AVADirect, Falcon Northwest, VoodooPC (a subsidiary of HP), and other manufacturers. In the second quarter of 2006, Dell had between 18% and 19% share of the worldwide personal computer market, compared to HP with roughly 15%.
In late 2006[update], Dell lost its lead in the PC-business to Hewlett-Packard. Both Gartner and IDC estimated that in the third quarter of 2006, HP shipped more units[dead link] worldwide than Dell did. Dell's 3.6% growth paled in comparison to HP's 15% growth during the same period. The problem got worse in the fourth quarter, when Gartner estimated that Dell PC shipments declined 8.9% (versus HP's 23.9% growth). As a result, at the end of 2006 Dell's overall PC market-share stood at 13.9% (versus HP's 17.4%).
IDC reported that Dell lost more server market share than any of the top four competitors in that arena. IDC's Q4 2006 estimates show Dell's share of the server market at 8.1%, down from 9.5% in the previous year. This represents a 8.8% loss year-over-year, primarily to competitors EMC and IBM.
The Dell/EMC brand applies solely to products that result from Dell's partnership with EMC Corporation. In some cases Dell and EMC jointly design such products; other cases involve EMC products for which Dell will provide support — generally midrange storage systems, such as fibre channel and iSCSI storage area networks. The relationship also promotes and sells OEM versions of backup, recovery, replication and archiving software.
On December 9, 2008, Dell and EMC announced the multi-year extension, through 2013, of their strategic partnership that began in 2001. In addition, Dell plans to expand its product line-up by adding the EMC Celerra NX4 storage system to the portfolio of Dell/EMC family of networked storage systems, as well as partnering on a new line of de-duplication products as part of its TierDisk family of data-storage devices.
Dell committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its global activities by 40% by 2015, with 2008 fiscal year as the baseline year. It is listed in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics that scores leading electronics manufacturers according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. In October 2010, Dell ranked 10th out of 18 listed electronics makers (increasing its score to 4.9 from 4.3, which it gained in the previous ranking from May 2010).
Dell was the first company to publicly state a timeline for the elimination of toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), which it planned to phase out by the end of 2009. It revised this commitment and now aims to remove these toxics by the end of 2011 but only in its computing products. In March 2010, Greenpeace activists protested at Dell offices in Bangalore, Amsterdam and Copenhagen calling for Dell’s founder and CEO Michael Dell to ‘drop the toxics’ and claiming that Dell’s aspiration to be ‘the greenest technology company on the planet’ was ‘hypocritical’. Dell has launched its first products completely free of PVC and BFRs with the G-Series monitors (G2210 and G2410) in 2009.
Dell became the first company in the information technology industry to establish a product-recycling goal (in 2004) and completed the implementation of its global consumer recycling-program in 2006. On February 6, 2007, the National Recycling Coalition awarded Dell its "Recycling Works" award for efforts to promote producer responsibility. On July 19, 2007, Dell announced that it had exceeded targets in working to achieve a multi-year goal of recovering 275 million pounds of computer equipment by 2009. The company reported the recovery of 78 million pounds (nearly 40,000 tons) of IT equipment from customers in 2006, a 93-percent increase over 2005; and 12.4% of the equipment Dell sold seven years earlier.
On June 5, 2007 Dell set a goal of becoming the greenest technology company on Earth for the long term. The company launched a zero-carbon initiative that includes:
- reducing Dell's carbon intensity by 15 percent by 2012
- requiring primary suppliers to report carbon emissions data during quarterly business reviews
- partnering with customers to build the "greenest PC on the planet"
- expanding the company's carbon-offsetting program, "Plant a Tree for Me".
The company introduced the term "The Re-Generation" during a round table in London commemorating 2007 World Environment Day. "The Re-Generation" refers to people of all ages throughout the world who want to "make a difference" in improving the world's environment. Dell also talked about plans to take the lead in setting an environmental standard for the "technology industry" and maintaining that leadership in the future.
Dell reports its environmental performance in an annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report that follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) protocol. Dell's 2008 CSR report ranked as "Application Level B" as "checked by GRI".
The company aims to reduce its external environmental impact through energy-efficient evolution of products, and also reduce its direct operational impact through energy-efficiency programmes. Internal energy-efficiency programmes reportedly save the company more than $3 million annually in energy-cost savings. The largest component of the company's internal energy-efficiency savings comes through PC power management: the company expects to save $1.8 million in energy costs through using specialised energy-management software on a network of 50,000 PCs.
See also: Lawsuits involving Dell Inc.In the 1990s, Dell switched from using primarily ATX motherboards and PSU to using boards and power-supplies with mechanically identical but differently wired connectors. This meant customers wishing to upgrade their hardware would have to replace parts with scarce Dell-compatible parts instead of commonly available parts. However, company practice in this respect changed in 2003.
In 2005, complaints about Dell more than doubled to 1,533, after earnings grew 52% that year.
In 2006, Dell acknowledged that it had problems with customer service. Issues included call-transfers of more than 45% of calls and long wait-times. Dell's blog detailed the response: "We're spending more than a $100 million — and a lot of blood, sweat and tears of talented people — to fix this." Later in the year, the company increased its spending on customer service to $150 million.
On August 17, 2007, Dell Inc. announced that after an internal investigation into its accounting practices it would restate and reduce earnings from 2003 through to the first quarter of 2007 by a total amount of between $50 million and $150 million, or 2 cents to 7 cents per share. The investigation, begun in November 2006, resulted from concerns raised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over some documents and information that Dell Inc. had submitted. It was alleged that Dell had not disclosed large exclusivity payments received from Intel for agreeing not to buy processors from a rival manufacturer. In 2010 Dell finally paid $100 million to settle the SEC's charges of fraud. Michael Dell and other executives also paid penalties and suffered other sanctions, without admitting or denying the charges.
In July 2009, Dell apologized after the firm offered its Latitude E4300 notebook at NT$18,558 (US$580), 70% lower than usual price of NT$60,900 (US$1900) in its Taiwan website. The firm withdrew orders and offered a voucher of up to NT$20,000 (US$625) a customer in compensation. The consumer rights authorities in Taiwan fined Dell NT$1 million (US$31250) for customer rights infringements. Many consumers sued the firm for the unfair compensation. A court in southern Taiwan ordered the firm to deliver 18 laptops and 76 flat-panel monitors to 31 consumers for NT$490,000 (US$15,120), less than a third of the normal price. The court said the event could hardly be regarded as mistakes, as the prestigious firm said the company mispriced its products twice in Taiwanese website within 3 weeks.[