There are many well-known factors that contribute to the success of this top computer manufacturer. The following list has been mentioned frequently in Business School case studies:
Eliminate the middleman
Better quality at lower price
Offer configurable systems
Develop thorough understanding of customer expectations
Unique products & brands for vast market worldwide
Economies of scale
Cutting edge technologies and R & D capabilities
There is however one CSF (Critical Success Factor) that says it all - They figured it out before anyone else that the company could offer customers better quality at a lower price by eliminating the middle man and selling to the end user directly. The key words here are quality and price. They use one-piece flow to guarantee the quality. They keep suppliers' components in their affiliates and use Kanban to consume them only when there are customer orders. Custom configured orders directly go to the shop floor. The mechanism behind the CSF is the lean management practice and ERP implementation of Lean Manufacturing.
Their assembly lines are not that different any other discrete manufacturers. The key is those control points on the assembly line flow.
Microsoft Dynamics AX Lean Manufacturing makes this happen and contributes directly to the CSF.