General Electric Co. (GE) is well known for its commitment to various types of
technologies. Not only does the company supply its customers with the highest quality of technologically-advanced products; GE has also been able to incorporate effective technological solutions into all elements of its value chain management. Digitization of workplace processes is the necessary prerequisite for the stability, profitability, and cost-effectiveness of all value initiatives within the company.
Technology Value Chain Assessment
General Electric – Primary Activities
General Electric Co. (GE) is well known for its commitment to various types of technologies. Not only does the company supply its customers with the highest quality of technologically-advanced products; GE has also been able to incorporate effective technological solutions into all elements of its value chain management. All Primary Activities, from inbound logistics to service are characterized by the growing weight of technologies, which improve the quality and speed of product and service delivery to consumers. Since 2000, GE has been developing its chain of technological ideas in the three different directions – e-Sell, e-Buy, and e-Make. While e-Sell was primarily concerned with attracting customers to make online purchases from GE, e-Buy and e-Make were designed to improve the quality of GE’s supply chains, location and distribution of raw materials, and to reduce the time required to coordinate business relationships with suppliers and different manufacturing departments.
GE has digitized its purchasing cycle. Currently, web technologies enable the company’s staff to track supplier performance. “Suppliers are able to track purchase orders, submit shipment notices and invoices and check account balances” (Computer Weekly, 2000). Proactive notifications for delayed material and a detailed variance analysis are just two out of many benefits technology offers to GE sales and production management. Lotus workflow package is used to manage workflow processes along the value chain line (Computer Weekly, 2000).
In 2008, GE was named among the 50 most innovative multinational companies (General Electric, 2008). For its technologically advanced image, GE owes to its Primary Activities: from supply chains to shipping processes, the use of network-based technologies is the essential component of all organizational initiatives, including internet marketing, online auctions, and effective pricing strategies that grow from the detailed technology-based analysis of consumer responses and needs.
2. General Electric and the use of Internet
GE is well-known for the extensive use of Internet in HRM, competitive analysis, and
customer service. The company’s official website offers substantial opportunities for people seeking job online. GE maintains close relationships with Asian Pacific American Forum, Women’s Network, and Hispanic Forum which confirm diversity-driven HRM principles and the growing role of Internet in hiring and training staff at GE (General Electric, 2008). To guarantee that the staff is capable of managing electronic procurement processes and networked customer relations, each employee is required to go through a 40-hours web training cycle (Computer Weekly, 2000).
In customer relationships, GE has already adopted a new set of web solutions, which allow customers to purchase and track their orders online (GE Aviation, 2008). Technological approach to sales is extremely helpful in researching competitive sides of GE products through customer feedback. Polymersland.com is the bright example of the way GE uses Internet to improve the quality of its customer-oriented initiatives: “Polymersland’s salespeople can watch buying patterns to see if business from a specific customer is slacking off and then try to determine why. The Internet is a great disseminator of information, but humans create services” (McGee, 2000). Here, Internet is used to serve GE customers better than the company’s competitors.
Technology reflects GE’s striving to provide better quality of customer service for a lower cost. GE’s Customer Web Center is designed to turn customer relationships into a reliable analytical tool: the integration of all customer-related services into one web framework guarantees that different departments at different locations are able to coordinate their activities in ways that satisfy customer needs (Computer Weekly, 2000). As a result, digitization of workplace processes is the necessary prerequisite for the stability, profitability, and cost-effectiveness of all value initiatives within the company.
Computer Weekly. (2000). Lights shine brightly at General Electric. Computer Weekly.com.
Retrieved January 22, 2009 from http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2000/09/07/175329/lights-shine-brightly-at-general-electric.htm
GE Aviation. (2008). Global order tracker. GE Aviation Systems. Retrieved January 22, 2009
General Electric. (2008). Our people. GE.com. Retrieved January 22, 2009 from
McGee, M.K. (2000). E-business makes General Electric a different company. Information
Week. Retrieved January 22, 2009 from http://www.informationweek.com/771/ebi2.htm