Paint problems delay Dell's Inspiron deliveries

Issues with producing machines in multiple colours now dog Dell's Inspiron range, after earlier problems with its XPS portfolio

Dell has explained the problem behind the hold-up in deliveries of its Inspiron notebooks. The problem, as with delays last month with its XPS M1330 range, is to do with paint.

Dell offers seven different colours, apart from the traditional grey finish. According to Dell, the complexity involved in producing many different colours on the same production lines is causing the delays.

Lionel Menchaca, Dell's digital media manager, apologised for the problem in the company's blog. "Premium colours and finishes like we use on the Inspiron models introduce complexity into the [manufacturing] process," he wrote. "And that's holding things up."

The problem is that customers' needs are now more challenging to satisfy, Menchaca said. "As long as we have lots of customers waiting for systems like we do now, we have some tough work ahead of us. I can assure you that people at all levels in many departments across the company are working around the clock to resolve all the issues preventing us from shipping your systems. Beyond that, we have added dedicated sales and support resources in the United States and around the world specifically to address the customer-experience issues that these delays cause. We also understand that shipping your system is key, and we'll continue to work to do that."

Menchaca wrote a similar email in July about the problems with the XPS M1330. In that instance, paint was not the only problem, as Dell also had difficulties with components such as a new, thinner screen.

At their launch, the coloured notebooks were trumpeted by the company's founder and chief executive, Michael Dell, as an indication of the "new" Dell.

Dell's share price was hit earlier this month amid delivery concerns.