Why Dell Sucks, From A Business Perspective

Christopher Lawton over at The Post Gazette (via the Wall Street Journal) has an excellent article up about why Dell is just flailing as a company now, after being the darling of the 90’s.

The article mostly talks about how Dell has become completely out-of-touch with the needs of consumers. The majority of their focus is trying to woo the corporate world, but during that time, they ignored the emerging home laptop market, which primarily succeeds in retail, not as an online business.

But no such article would be complete without a mention of Dell’s India-based CSR operations.

    “As the tech downturn ended around 2003, Dell continued cutting costs and focused on being efficient. Around that time, Dell executives decided to hire temporary workers to man their five U.S. call centers, rather than recruit more-expensive full-time staff. By 2005, 75% of Dell’s call-center staff — those who take calls from customers wanting to buy a PC — were temporary workers. Three years earlier, the majority of those staffers were full-time employees.

    The move backfired. By late 2005, Dell noticed its U.S. consumer sales were flattening. Ro Parra, a Dell senior vice president who was asked to look into the problem, pinpointed call-center problems as one cause. He discovered that the temporary call-center workers who wanted full-time jobs weren’t being promoted. Turnover in the centers had soared to 300% a year from 30% in 2002.”

300% turnover of call center employees a year. No wonder you can’t get anyone on the line who knows what they are doing.

Consumer demand, laptop growth leave Dell behind [Post Gazette]