General Electric’s Operations Management & its Competitive Advantage in the Global Environment
“GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies take on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health, home, transportation, and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE Works.” (GE’s company statement)[i]
This report will analyze GE’s management of its operations by first listing the various products and services within their operational infrastructure and by breaking down GE’s competitive environment. It will then describe ...view middle of the document...
From air conditioners to holiday lighting, GE is one of the largest manufacturers of appliances, electronics and electrical distribution systems in the world. Those are probably the segments for which they are most known. The company is also a leader in aviation with their production of jet engines for commercial, corporate and military use. Providing energy and supplying water treatment services to more than 120 countries, GE helps bring essential resources to the millions of people who cannot access them easily. Other services include software solutions, railway technologies and even financing for everyday consumers as well as businesses.[iv] This broad range of products and services exemplifies the importance of GE’s global role and the massive operational efforts that must be conducted to make sure production runs smoothly.
When the scope of a company’s products and services are as extensive as GE’s, the competitive environment of that company must be just as broad. It is hard to determine exactly who GE’s biggest competitors are unless they are examined within the various segments individually. To start, let’s consider the major players in the appliances category. The most known would be Whirlpool, Electrolux, Samsung, Bosch, Maytag and Frigidaire. GE also competes against Samsung in lighting and electrical components along with Sylvania and Phillips. Coming in fourth on the list of top electrical distributors, GE trails Graybar Electric, Wesco Distribution, and Anixter Inc.[v] The top three positions in the aviation engine sector belong to GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney.[vi] As an energy supplier, GE’s biggest competitors are Alstom and Siemens AG[vii] while 3M’s Water Purification, Inc. vies for the top spot against GE’s water treatment facilities[viii]. Amongst all these sectors, and the few still left that were not mentioned, GE uses the same winning strategies to compete in each respective environment—and those strategies are: to be innovative, maintain commercial excellence, and be a leader in technology. Most of all, there is one characteristic that all GE businesses share and that is, “each harnesses the power of imagination to make life better for our customers and for consumers around the world.”[ix]
In order to achieve the above mentioned competitive strategies, General Electric’s key operational processes must align with the company’s goals and ensure that all of the businesses run smoothly. The most important functionality of operations management is in the design process of products and services because every company wants to create the best product at the lowest price. In particular, GE’s current focus is to design for the betterment of the environment. Due to the world’s rapidly depleting resources, consumers not only want a product that is high in quality and low in cost but they also want it to have a positive environmental impact with few hazardous materials. GE believes that their customers should be...