Dell and the definition of "is"

CEO Kevin Rollins dumps on outsourcing overseas. But then what do you call what Dell's doing in overseas markets?

Dell CEO Kevin Rollins came out swinging against overseas outsourcing in a speech delivered Friday at a conference sponsored by Forrester Research in Boston. For the folks at Dell, who delight in tweaking IBM and Hewlett-Packard, the occasion provided Rollins with a bully pulpit from which he could draw invidious comparisons with his major rivals.

Both IBM and HP are big foreign outsourcers and have taken their PR lumps accordingly. But methinks Rollins was stretching the truth when he suggested Dell was following a different path. Fact is that the company has long had factories and support centers in other countries. And for good reason: Dell, which sells direct, wants to make sure it can deliver products to local markets within days of an order's placement. Why not call a spade a spade?

Dell says it's in a separate category because it's not really shipping American jobs overseas. Rather, it's building up local workforces as part of a natural global expansion by the world's leading PC comnpany.

Maybe I'm still in a fog from staying up too late on Election Day but is that not an example of outsourcing? Guess it all depends on what your definition of "is" is.

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