Sara Lee Corp. plans to reduce the cost of purchasing and maintaining PCs by using a standard PC platform from one supplier. Sara Lee today will announce the selection of Dell Computer to fulfill a two-year contract that will exceed $60 million.
The Chicago-based consumer goods company, which owns dozens of branded products ranging from Jimmy Dean sausage to L'eggs hosiery, previously allowed its divisions to purchase systems from multiple vendors. But Sara Lee expects significant savings by dealing with just one vendor. "We see standardizing on a single PC platform as a first step toward more standardized technology throughout the corporation," says Judith Sprieser, CFO and senior VP.
Dell's ability to build PCs to Sara Lee's specifications, and to customize system screen images for each division, was a significant factor in the sizable contract award, say Sara Lee executives. Dell CEO Michael Dell said that within the past six months, more customers have expressed an interest in using a single PC supplier. "A lot of companies realize having eight PC suppliers is not only expensive, but also dilutes buying power and makes it difficult to provide support," says Dell.