Technology is no longer an afterthought in forming business strategy, but the actual cause and driver. Networking and data storage & analysis technologies enabled GE to gain a competitive advantage by providing unique products and services to their customers. What were those services? For GE Energy and GE healthcare it was remote monitoring and diagnostics of equipment and GE invested a lot into this. An interesting note abut GE energy from the case is how unlike many of their competitors had at that time was GE’s ability to send a technician ahead of a failure based upon the constant remote monitoring of its products. Other companies’ techs were on a planned schedule or using assumptions to provide their service. It a turbine failed than it was too late. This is especially important because for their power turbine business the customers were major utilities and downtime because of failures created huge opportunity costs and hefty regulatory compliance fees. The customers also had the benefit of having diagnostic info at hand and GE also provided instructions on the use. The obvious benefit to this for GE is that they can charge a premium. Most competitors could not charge more than $100/hr for their techs, but with GE’s unique strategy they could charge $500 to $600 per hour.
For GE Healthcare it’s along the same lines of unique strategy that provides added benefits for their customers. These customers were typically Medical radiology clinics that use an MRI machine. What was unique was that GE typically leased their MRI machines whereas their competitor’s strictly sold them. That meant customer had a huge upfront cost. If you know anything about the healthcare industry you know that getting these expenses financed was not an
References: Centricity Advance: Ahead in the clouds. GE Healthcare Newsroom. June 15, 2010. Retrieved Jun. 19th, 2010 from: http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com/articles/cellular-magic-on-show-in-times-square1/ CIO.com. The 2010 CIO 100 Winners: Driving Future Business Growth with Technology Innovation. June 1, 2010. Retrieved June 19th, 2010 from http://www.cio.com/cio100/2010/1