Saturday, June 16, 2007

If Dell sells Motorcycles

Computer Maker Dell Inc's business model has been legendary and unparalleled in the industry. Dell deals directly with the customers, allows them to customize their system as they wish and delivers it to them direct. No middlemen involved. I've already written detailed analysis of Dell's Business Model, pros and cons which can be read here: Part 1 and Part 2

In this post I'm taking you through an imaginary customization page, wherein an imaginary company, let us say Bell Bikes allows people to customize their bikes (or other two wheelers for that matter).

Assumption: Motohard is the leading engine manufacturer whose engines Bell Bikes use in their bikes.

I did not have the time to make this page as interactive as Dell's customization page and have used basic XHTML tags to give you a similar usability.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to make fun or any individual or organization, and represents only an imaginary situation as how how things will be if the business model is applied elsewhere. No offense is meant.

Welcome to Bell Speedron 6400 Customization Page

A. Select your Engine
1. Free POS (Peddle Operated System-bike with no IC engine, equivalent to bicycle)
2. 1000 cc Domestic (Option 1 + Rs 18000)
3. 1000 cc Domestic Deluxe (Option 1 + Rs 19600)
4. 1000 cc Cargo Heavy Duty (Option 1 + Rs 22000)
5. 1000 cc Express Highway (Option 1 + Rs 23080)

Though Motohard wanted people to upgrade their engines every year to higher capacity, most of the customers never used to do that. They were comfortable with 1998 model 98cc engine and never bothered to pay for newer engines.
Because of this Motohard has eventually stopped supporting their 98cc engine and you can now only select their latest 1000 cc engines.

Motohard 1000cc engines come with some unique security futures which make driving very safe.
Some of the features:
* Every time you take a turn or enter a new road, Motohard engine will come to a stop, prompt you to verify your action like "You've turned left: Continue/Cancel and go straight", "You're about to enter a new road Are you sure you can trust this road?".
*Bikes with Motohard 1000cc engines can be used ONLY on super highways containing minimum of four lanes or more. You might be able to run your bikes on some three lane expressways but engine performance will immediately drop to that of a 100cc engine (without increase in mileage) till you reach a road with 4 lanes. Forget running your bike on two lane or single lane roads (After all that's for your own safety and security!!!) Motohard has asked municipalities to upgrade their roads to suit Motohard engines but not all have complied. Since Motohard has monopoly in engine manufacturing it expects that roads and vehicles world wide should be re deisgned to suit the engines they produce, not vice versa. After all, if a road is not fit enough to take Motohard engine, its not worth taking at all. When you can cruise on intercity highways at lightening speed, it doesn't make any difference if you cant use the bike to drive in city's old by lanes that doesn't support Motohard

B. Select Wheels
Alloy wheels look stylish and are light weight and give better fuel efficiency
1. 17" Spoke wheels
2. 17" Alloy wheels (Option 1 + Rs 1000)
C. Select Tyres
Consider Tuff up tyres for better reliability and worry free driving experience
1. 17" Standard MRF Tyres
2. 17" Tubeless tyres (Option 1 + Rs 900)
3. 17" Tubeless tyres with Tuff Up and Extra Grip (Option 1 + Rs 1200)
D. Select your Petrol Tank
Be sure to select higher capacity fuel tank to ensure that you never run out of fuel.
1. 12 Liter Standard (2 Litre reserve )
2. 15 Litre Extra Large (2 Litre reserve) (After Free upgrade)
3. 15 Liter Extra Large with protective coating (3 Litre reserve)(Option 2 + Rs 90)
3. 18 Liter Extra Large with protective coating and 5 Litre reserve (Bell recommended for 1000 cc Express highway engines (Option 2 + Rs 250)
E. Select Console
Select what all operational parameters you want to know and how
1. Basic Console (Speedometer, Odometer and neutral light (Analog)
2. Analog Twin Pod console (Speedo, Odo, Tacho and Trip meters) (Option 1 + Rs 170)
3. Digital Console (Option 1 + Rs 491)
F. Select Transmission
Advanced transmissions give you better control on driving speed, pickup and fuel economy.
1. Automatic transmission
2. 4 speed manual, all down style (Option 1 + Rs 332)
3. 5 Speed manual, 1 down 4 up style (Option 1 + Rs 521)
4. Advanced 5 Forward and 1 Reverse (Option 1 + Rs 952)
G. Select braking
Never compromise on safety. Be sure to select a braking system that never betrays you.
1. Drum Brakes (Front and Rear)
2. Front Disc brake, rear drum (After Free upgrade)
3. Front and rear Disc brakes, 120mm ventilated (Option 2 + Rs 998)
H. Select Registration
Registration is a statutory requirement before you can run the vehicle on public roads. Check with your RTO for further details
1. Temporary registration (Valid for 30 days)
2. 1 Year All India Permit Taxi registration (Yello board) (Option 1 + Rs 952)
3. Lifetime Non commercial registration (National) (Option 1 + Rs 2352)
4. International Registration (Option 1 + US $ 400)
5. Go through an RTO agent for faster registration (Agent bribe Rs 1100 Extra)
I. Select insurance
Insure and be secure.
1. 1 Year TPL (Third Party Liability *1)insurance
2. 1 Comprehensive Insurance (Option 1 + Rs 300)
3. 2 Year Comprehensive insurance with No claim bonus (Option 1 + Rs 700)
When Govt says insurance is mandatory for vehicles, what they mean is Third Party liability insurance (Which only covers your liability to third person, if your vehicle causes any damage to others, it doesn't compensate you for damages caused to your vehicle). Most of the insurance companies force customers to take comprehensive insurance and do not allow them to take just TPL.
J. Select Warranty
Upgrade your warranty for a longer peaceful life
1. 1 year next business day puncture repair warranty
2. 1 Year 9 to 5 telephone support (Option 1 + Rs 299)
3. 2 Year OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Warranty (Option 1 + Rs 637)
K. Select lightings
Make your night life more colourful with powerful lighting
1. Basic Lighting
2. Dual lamp bright view lighting (Option 1 + Rs 222)
3. Dual lamp bright view lighting with clear lense and LED tail lamp (Option 1 + Rs 298)
L. Training Material
You should know driving to drive your bike. Try our online/off line courses with objective questions in the end to verify your skills
1. Learn Personal Driving Online training kit (Rs 300)
2. Learn Professional Driving Online training kit(Rs 800)
3. Telephone assistance on driving(Rs 156)
4. none
M. Suspension
Choosing a better suspension will free you from back aches
1. Telescopic front and dual spring rear
2. Telescopic front and mono rear)(Option 1 + Rs 470)
3. Telescopic front and GAS absorbed rear (Option 1 + Rs 480)
N. Select body colour
Give us a colour of your choice. Bell will paint your bike with that colour
1. I'll paint myself
2. Plain colour (Enter hexadecimal value of the colour you want here )(Rs 190)
3. Metalic (Enter hexadecimal value of the colour you want here )(Rs 301)
O. Bike specifications (Included in the unit)

  • Double cradle chassis

  • Aerodynamic design

  • Standard electricals

  • Sulphuric Acid rechargeable battery

  • Owner's manual

  • First Aid Kit

  • Tool kit

  • Basic seating

  • Aircraft style fuel tank lid

  • Extended Indicators

  • Deluxe handle bar with Handlebar balancers

  • Dual rear view mirrors

  • Central locking

  • Central Stand

  • Mud guard

  • 2 PTTP(S)-Petrol Transport and Transfer Port, Secure

  • Standard exhaust system

P. Optional Services
1. Filling Air in tyres (Rs 100 Extra)
2. Extra greasing of wheel chain (Rs 156)
Q. Optional Features
1. Remote locking and fingerprint ignition (Rs 4000 Extra)
2. Side stand with alarm (Rs 106)
3. Turn indicator buzzer (Rs 36)
4. Bluetooth 2.0 with EFR (enhanced fuel & air refil) and wireless fuel and air transfer feature (Rs 967)
5. Cruise control (Rs 1006)
6. Nitrogen boosters (Rs 5092)
7. Face recognition with proximity sensor (Rs 1126)
8. GPS (Rs 1076)
R. Spare accessories
1. Spare tyre (Rs 906)
2. Extra helmet Full face with hairstyle protector and earphone jack(Rs 1055)
3. Extra helmet half face(Rs 457)
4. Bell Branded leather vehicle cover (Rs 316)
5. 4 Liter spare fuel tank (Rs 399)
6. 6 Liter spare fuel tank (Rs 457)
7. Additional baby seat on fuel tank (Rs 198)
8. Crash Guard (Rs 99)
9. Saree guard (Rs 66)
10. Teflon Coating (Rs 216)
11. Self Start with dedicated starter motor (Rs 744)
12. Body coloured mirror (in lieu of regular mirror)(Rs 202)
13. Body coloured mirror (in lieu of regular mirror) with built in indicator lamps (Rs 263)
14. Designer Seat Covers (Rs 156)
Speacial Discounts
1. Free upgrade from 12 litre to 15 litre fuel tank
2. Free vehicle cover (Nylon)
3. Free 0.2 litre petrol preloaded
4. Rs 4000 Cash off
5. No Further discounts apply
6. Includes Bell India delivery charges but excludes taxes
7. Euro II emission test certificate (Valid for 6 months)
8. Free upgrade to Front Disc brake
Now that you've fallen pray to our upselling strategies and total bike price has amounted to three times what you started off with, we're sure you'll have fun with our custom bikes

While it will be great idea to be able to have Pulsar body with a Platina engine, a CBZ extreme body with splendor engine (or Vice Versa), assembly line at the plant will require a redesign to be flexible enough to handle versatile orders.

Shipping cost of a bike will be too much and will erode the price advantage of not having a reseller. If some business tycoons are interested in trying this strategy, they're welcome. Also, will you be comfortable in buying a bike blindly without taking a test drive?

Prices are imaginary and may not reflect realistic value
Tell me what do you think.