Lack of a specific strategy is a "surefire ticket for organizational drift, competitive mediocrity, internal wheel-spinning, and lackluster results (Thomson 2002)."
Second, Thomson argues that business entities need to devise and implement strategies, as the efforts of all the functional areas in the company should be molded into a "coordinated, compatible whole." A comprehensive strategy takes all the business units into account making each action mutually supportive. Without a well-laid out strategic plan, there will be no basis for uniting the efforts of all the functional areas, no clear direction on the business decisions and plans that the business takes, and no conscious business model for profit generation.
Strategic management is therefore one of the most crucial areas in management. Coming up with a specific strategy, which will be the basis of company's actions, processes and decisions is a must. A well-crafted strategy is indispensable to the company's long-term success. It is therefore important that a business entity comes up with a unique strategy tailored for the achievement of its goals and objectives. Devising a purposeful and efficient strategy is a tedious task and managers should be armed with different techniques in diagnosing the company in order to prescribe the "right" strategy. Different models are employed to aid managers in this strategy making process.
This paper will look at the two models, which are typically employed by managers in order to ascertain the needed strategy for the company namely, value chain and SWOT analysis. In order to fully look at the strengths and limitations of these models, they will be utilized to assess the performance of Dell Incorporated, one of the leading computer manufacturers and distributors.
I. COMPANY PROFILE: DELL, INCORPORATED
Michael Dell, who is also regarded as the computer industry's longest tenured chief executive officer, founded Dell Computer Corporation in 1984. Later in 2003, the company changed its name to Dell, Incorporated. The company is one of the most famous manufacturers of computer worldwide, which caters to the needs of individual and corporate clients with a very unique business concept (About Dell 2004). Dell Incorporated is headquartered in Rock Round, Texas.
Dell, Inc. and its subsidiaries are actively involved in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, sale, and support of a range of computer systems and services worldwide. The main business activity of Dell is in the provision of products and services to customers, which enables them to establish their information technology and Internet infrastructures.
Dell offers a wide array of products and services to its clients. The company's broad product line incorporates enterprise systems which includes servers, storage, workstations, and networking products; client systems, such as notebook and desktop computer systems; printing and imaging systems; and software and peripherals, including titles, monitors, plasma and LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) televisions, MP3 players, handhelds, and notebook accessories (Dell Inc. 2005).
Aside from these products, Dell also offers a wide range of services, including information techn