| HBS Case Collection
In 1997, Compaq Computer Corp. had become a $25 billion powerhouse. It had accomplished its revenue growth projections, successfully made a number of strategic acquisitions, and increased its gross margins, principally by moving up market into servers, workstations, and networking gear. At the same time, there were a number of strategic challenges facing Compaq in 1998. Compaq seemed to be squeezed by apparently contrary impluses--the need to reduce inventory while also satisfying its distribution channel; the need to build-to-order while also taking on product lines added through acquisition; the need to both fulfill PC orders from a hand-holding position constituency while moving clientele to articulate specifically what it wanted. Managing expectations, increasing margins, making operations more efficient, expanding the product line, and changing distribution: This was a tall order.
Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions;
Customer Relationship Management;
Growth and Development Strategy;
Brands and Branding;
Customization and Personalization;
Wheelwright, Steven C., and Matt Verlinden. "Compaq, 1998." Harvard Business School Case 698-094, April 1998.