A few weeks ago, I started off my series of supplier case studies examining the effect of supplier size on performance with a post about an experience we had with Dell.

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Well, someone from Dell commented on that post and said that he would forward my story within Dell so that they could use the story to make improvements.

While I was pleasantly surprised at the comment, in the back of my mind, I thought: “Yeah, right.”

A few days later, I was further surprised to receive an email from Rachel Halls, an individual who supports Dell’s global customer contact centers. Honestly, it was the classiest communication I’ve ever received from a supplier.

The email: acknowledged problems, demonstrated a commitment to listening to the customer, and expressed an interest in improvements. It reminded me of something from the book, “How To Win Customers & Keep Them For Life.”

The email offered a very small concession on a future Dell purchase, not unlike the Dell Dollars I was supposed to receive in January.

Now, I did have problems claiming the concession (coupon code not working online, calling the customer service number only to be routed to a non-Dell number, etc.). But I had the Single Point of Contact that I described as so essential when dealing with large suppliers in the article “Are Big Suppliers A Big Supply Risk?

And that made all the difference in the world.

When things didn’t go right, I contacted Rachel (who gave me both her email address and cell phone number). And she knew exactly the person by name, email address, and phone number that I needed to speak with to get things worked out.

So instead of 5 months to receive and claim a coupon, this event only took 18 days. Again, the Single Point of Contact in a large supplier was the key.

This sequence of events restored my faith in Dell. Perhaps they see value in Seth Godin’s philosophies expressed in “Small Is The New Big” (both a book and blog post).

I’ll buy from Dell again.

They have a long way to go to change the culture of an organization with over 90,000 employees. But at least they are trying, showing personal care for their customers, and, in this case, impressing one of their critics.

Which is more than I’ve ever heard or had to say about Yahoo Web Hosting.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President and Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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