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Dell sets up a supply chain school

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A Dell PC store in Shanghai. The United States-based company will cooperate with Chinese academic institutions to help local companies establish effective supply chains and share Dell’s practices in customer-driven supply chain management. Jing Wei / for China Daily

BEIJING – Dell announced the establishment of its first Dell Supply Chain Management Institute in China on Feb 20. Located in Xiamen, the Institute will cooperate with two universities to explore the theories and new concepts of supply chain management, along with the challenges faced by enterprises in manufacturing, service, energy and other organizations such as governments, healthcare and educational industries in the globalized market.

Famous for its earlier direct-sale business model, the US-based company was rated No 2 on US-based IT research company Gartner’s list of top supply chain companies in 2011. Work at the institute will focus on research that helps companies establish effective supply chains and share Dell’s practices in customer-driven supply chain management.

Charles Cheung, managing director of Dell China and executive director of its global supply chain operation, said: “Dell Supply Chain Management Institute will cooperate with Tianjin University, China’s first modern university, and the Antai College of Economics Management of Shanghai Jiaotong University to generalize Dell’s supply chain management experience into theories and provide academic research institutions with supply chain management cases.” He said the main aim for the institution is to promote the development of China’s supply chain.

During 2011, Dell purchased supply chain goods worth up to $38 billion and supported more than 5,000 factory equipment and 600 production lines in 180 countries.

Today’s customers are facing three major challenges in the changing business environment: The lack of transparency in an evolving supply chain, customers’ requirements for fast innovation at a low price while maintaining high quality and service and rapidly fluctuating prices,” said Alex Yung, vice-president and general manager for Dell’s China Large Enterprise and Public Division.

Yung also mentioned that supply chain management is one of Dell’s core competencies and its entire value chain is built on information technology.

The institute will focus on supply chain management, corporate strategies, application of information system models, partnership on the whole supply chain, change management and risk control. Tutors will be senior experts from Dell along with renowned professors from universities. Each workshop will include a case study, a Dell site tour, exercises and Kaizen events.

He said there are six classes this year for government-recommended Chinese enterprises and executive-level managers. This model will be extended to the US, Europe and Brazil by the end of this year.

The company ships 680,000 kilograms of cargo every year.

“Around 65 percent Dell’s supply chain is located in China. Our company has the most experience in supply chain management in this country,” said Yung.

He said Dell has reduced inventory turnover from 55 days to 9 days while improving the rate of ocean shipping of exported products by 148 percent compared with the year before.

“Supply chain management is vitally important for many industries including manufacturing, energy and logistics. The cooperation between Tianjin University and Dell marks a good example of the combination of theory and practice in China’s supply chain field and will actively promote the improvement of supply chain management in China,” said Zhao Daozhi, director of the Institute of Modern Manufacturing and Logistics at Tianjin University.

Xiamen Deputy Secretary-General Chen Yongmao said: “The establishment of The Dell Supply Chain Management Institute in Xiamen provides valuable resources for local enterprises to improve their supply chain management and will proactively drive industrialization and informatization in Xiamen city as well as the rest of Fujian province.”

China Daily

(China Daily 03/05/2012 page22)

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