Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2003


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

EMGT 540/640


Computer sales are on the rise again according to the Gartner Group, a market research firm for the IT industry. With third quarter “shipments of 161.3 million units”1 reported so far this year, the PC industry will reflect its largest growth since 2000. With all the purchases, there comes the process of selecting the components to make the purchase. At the consumer level, purchases for PC’s can be made via a third party vendor like Best Buy or Circuit City, or dealer direct via the Internet or by phone through vendors like Dell, HP, Gateway, IBM, and various other manufacturers. At these points of sales, the consumer can dictate the type of PC that is purchased, the configuration, and the components. Most consumer level purchases are single PC purchases in which these avenues of sales works well for the consumer. When we look at Corporate and University purchases, depending on their needs, which purchase multiple PC’s have more stringent constraints when purchasing PC’s as opposed to consumer purchases. They have budgets that they need to adhere to and a standardized configuration that is easy to manage. In terms of making the purchase, the avenues are dealer direct, value added resellers, or bulk third party vendors. With specific configuration parameters and budget constraints, the cheapest avenue for an administrator to get pricing and configuration parameters is through the dealer direct. Through dealer direct, an administrator can contact a sales person to get pricing or go through the Internet. The problem that is faced with the corporate administrator is that computer manufacturers website lack the feasibility to configure multiple pc’s in one interface. They are forced to go through multiple rounds of configuration parameters to get what they are targeting. The purpose for this research study is to look at ways to improve the process and to allow administrators to purchase what they need in a single session via the internet. This paper will detail the steps of our research and how we created the model to assist administrators get the mo st performance in purchasing PC’s with the budget at hand.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

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