From jet engines to TV broadcasting; plastics to power plants, General Electric (GE) is plugged in to most businesses that have shaped the modern world. The company produces aircraft engines, locomotives and other transportation equipment, appliances (kitchen and laundry equipment), lighting, electric distribution and control equipment, generators and turbines, nuclear reactors, medical imaging equipment, and plastics.
Its financial arm, which includes commercial finance, consumer finance, equipment management, and insurance businesses, accounts for nearly half of the company's sales, making GE one of the largest financial services companies in the U.S. Other operations include the NBC television network.
General Electric in e-business
GE's approach to e-business involves addressing supply side, manufacturing and demand side aspects, referred to within GE as Buy-side, Make-side and Sell-side respectively. E-business within GE is driven by an e-business strategy and there is a focus on dealing with technology, organization and people issues. Companies with both a virtual and physical or 'click and mortar' presence are coming to dominate e-business, building on experience and existing brand recognition to add strong online capabilities.
Achieving business benefits is the main driving force behind GE's investments in the Internet. Buy-side activities have focused on moving suppliers to on-line purchasing systems, with suppliers offering bids in response to requests made by GE for quotations. GE has made a significant investment in sell-side activities, setting up electronic commerce sites for its customers.
This has involved establishing web sites that provide information, and which enable customers to obtain prices, place and track orders and to order spare parts. GE is now moving towards multi-lingual web sites as it expands its web based operations beyond its US home base into Europe and elsewhere. GE is also using the Internet (in the form of an Intranet) internally to improve communications and to...