Among Dell’s rivals, which one has done the worst job of responding to the challenge posed by Dell?.

Now let us address the following questions: The efforts are described in the case with a minimum of interpretation, on purpose. The intent is to encourage you to analyze what is really going on here. It is easy, however, to lose track of who is doing what when, in response to whom. The exhibit helps to clarify matters.

Among Dell’s rivals, which one has done the worst job of responding to the challenge posed by Dell?
What are the dangers of encouraging channel assembly?
What roles do HP and Gateway play in these dynamics?
How effective have the various attempts to catch Dell been so far? How much of that $300 /13.6% competitive advantage has disappeared between 1996 and 1998?
The central question: Why has it been so hard for rivals to match Dell?
Why don’t IBM and Compaq quit fooling around and really go direct and why can’t a company succeed in both direct and indirect channels?
Why can’t you just piece the Dell system together bit by bit?
What would happen if Gateway really went after Dell’s corporate clients with its Direct Model?
Companies like Compaq and IBM really seem like they’re over a barrel. Taking a step back, how did these companies wind up in this predicament?

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