100,000 Computers a Day: Dell Lets Math Students See Where and How

Burbank, CA March 5, 2007: As a college student, Lawrence Yu wondered how it was possible to get his fully customized computer in less than a week from a company producing 100,000 computers a day. Today, he buys a billion dollars worth of RAM every year for that very company.

In its latest micro-documentary, The Futures Channel takes students on a rare visit to a manufacturing floor of Dell Inc. in Round Rock, Texas. Going inside the world’s largest computer manufacturer was an opportunity for The Futures Channel producers to do what they do best: show students a real world context for the math they are studying in class.

From the moment an order comes in, Dell employees are looking at the numbers. On average, they can build and deliver a customized computer to a customer within five days. “We have some employees that can assemble as many as 15 computers in one hour. Our builders can build all day and never build the exact same system twice,” explains Clark Ponthier, Dell’s Supply and Demand Director. “Just by removing 2 to 3 seconds multiplied by thousands of employees… building computers every day, that could result in millions of dollars of overall savings, so every second counts,” he explains.

An average day for Yu, Dell’s Global Supply Manager for Memory Supply, includes buying parts, negotiating prices with suppliers, and making sure they have enough parts to support the factory at the lowest cost. And, he’s happy where he is. “You have to just have the confidence in yourself and believe in what you want to do is the best fit for you and you will make it,” he says. “I put a lot of heart into what I love. And, I advise you the same. Pursue what you want, have confidence in yourself and you will get it.”

Since 1999, The Futures Channel has helped teachers across the country give their students access to fascinating professionals and worksites rich in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“I am very impressed with The Futures Channel documentaries,” said Jeffery Gothard, a teacher and educational media specialist. “They provide a critical link: A view of the real-world applications for knowledge that I want my students to strive towards as they learn about technology, art, math and science in school. It helps students understand and look forward to their adult lives with confidence.”



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