Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dell's memo says get your resume together

I thought I'd be getting an interesting new corporate communique for my collection when I heard that a memo from Michael Dell to Dell's 80,000 employees was making the rounds. Dell's had a tough year or two and as a result, a bunch of the company's senior leaders were "streamlined." Then, a couple of weeks ago, according to Michael's memo, the "complete Executive Leadership Team" met to discuss the company's future. And, what did they come up with? Well, here's the first thing:

Fix our Core Business to be competitive.

The Direct Model has been a revolution, but is not a religion. We will continue to improve our business model, and go beyond it, to give our customers what they need. We will simplify our organization to make it easier to hear customers and respond to them. We've already streamlined our executive leadership structure. We need to streamline our management structure to speed decisions and remove bureaucracy. We're making improvements in pricing, product development and fulfillment, and customer experience. We reorganized the product group to more effectively listen to our customers and develop end-to-end customer solutions. We are now revisiting our entire design process to improve our speed-to-market and focus on what customers truly value. Our new Global Operations organization, led by Mike Cannon, is working to take our supply chain and manufacturing to the next level of efficiency and quality. This group is also partnering with the regions and the product group to pursue new manufacturing and distribution models to address the unique needs of our customers in all markets. More broadly, we plan to eliminate overlaps in our organization and activities to enable us to deliver even more value to our customers. We also need to improve sales productivity. These won't be merely exercises in cost-cutting. We will re-invest those resources in the customer solutions that will build Dell for the future.

The NYT thinks this means that Dell is "rethinking direct sales," but it sounds more like double talk for major lay-offs to me. Of course, Dell repeatedly promises that "we're gonna do better in the future," but I don't see any hard details. If I was a Dell manager and I got this memo, I'd be looking for a better future somewhere else.

No comments: