Case Study: General Electric (GE) Analysis using Porter’s Approach
By: Johnny Cantrell
General Electric, or GE as it is better known, is a diversified technology, media, and financial services company. Their primary objective as stated is “focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems”. Their slogan, which is “imagination at work”, truly says everything there is to know about the vision of the company. Inside GE they truly believe if you can imagine it, it is possible. While GE is one of the most diversified companies in the world, they are primarily viewed as an industrial company as well as a financial services company. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) assigned to the “consumer financial services” industry in the “financial” sector, but recently has shown signs that it may be focusing more of an interest in its industrial units.
The company currently sells everything from wind turbines to jet engines to locomotives. A lot of emphasis was placed on this unit in late 2009 and early 2010 and due to laggings sales was held largely responsible for company missing market expectation on Wall Street. Many experts believe this focus is due to the slump in the financial markets, but also due to the many contracts and commitments the company has made to focus more on “green” energy initiatives. In addition, GE has invested heavily in water processing technology as well as medical imaging. The company conducts operations globally and even trades on foreign markets. Along with balancing the vast diversification of products in multiple markets GE also owns NBC, the television network and is also the recipient of one of the more lucrative agreements with the Department of Defense (DOD). For the DOD they work in “research & development”, which primarily involves but is not limited to, their jet engine unit. They both design and sale jet engines that are flown in aircraft around the world.
What makes GE unique isn’t only that it could very well be the most diversified company in the world, or that its stock is traded on multiple foreign markets, but more because of its outreach of products. In GE’s case, the world truly is its market and its products are designed, built, and sold to everyone in the world. Whether it is their appliances for consumers, credit services for consumers, wind-powered turbines for business and government, or jet engines for the military, GE has a product and market. In my opinion this is clearly what makes GE unique. Realistically speaking, what other company can claim the world as their market? The company has done an exceptional job of integrated its products into the market place. It has done this so well that its name truly sells its products, with very little promotion needed. Not only has the integration been successful for sales, but the continued development of existing products along with the introduction of new products that are “state of the art” has also fit nicely into the business integration strategy for the market place. What also makes the company and its products unique is that all products are designed with a specific purpose, objective, and target market in mind. The GE business units provide products that help people live better. This can be by making innovative energy-efficient appliances or by introducing products and services that help developing regions participate in the global economy. Many of GE’s products are introduced with the objective of helping developed regions upgrade with cleaner, more efficient technologies. This appears to be the same position the company initially began taking here in the United States which ultimately made it become a household name. Perhaps one day, if it isn’t already, GE will be a multi-cultural, world-wide household name.
Associated Press: Featured Article. (2010, October...