• United States

Customer focus keeps Dell productive

Apr 21, 20032 mins

With its ‘customer is king’ mantra, Dell ends Palm’s two-year reign as the most productive NW200 company.

The ongoing technology slump has done little to dampen spirits at Dell, which edged out PDA makers Palm and Handspring in 2002 to become the most productive Network World 200 company, defined in terms of revenue per employee. Dell, which has been expanding beyond its PC roots into a variety of network sectors, made nearly $901,000 per employee in 2002, compared with $797,000 per employee in 2001.

Dell CEO Michael Dell says the reason for his company’s success, even in these tough economic times, is simple: staying in touch with customers.

“We have a relentless focus on our customers. There are no superfluous activities here,” he says. “Once we learn directly from our customers what they need, we work closely with partners and vendors to build and ship relevant technologies at a low cost.”

And by putting the focus on the customer, employees feel a greater connection with the work they do, Dell says.

“Our employees feel a sense of ownership when they work directly with customers,” he says. “Direct relationships are what the company was built on and how Dell continues to thrive.”

The five most productive NW200 companies

(Determined by 2002 revenue per employee)

Revenue per


Rank 2002



Infonet Services$660,32772

Dell also has an internal program called Business Process Improvement (BPI) through which “we empower employees to come up with better ways to improve the customer experience, lower costs and increase productivity,” Dell says.

Dell says the company saved more than $800 million through its BPI program last year. “It’s in our DNA to always look for improvement and do things better,” he says.

As for Palm and Handspring, they’re still among the most productive NW200 companies – just not the top seat.