Executing E-Business Strategies - The GE Way|IT and Systems|Case Study|Case Studies

Executing E-Business Strategies - The GE Way

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Case Details:

Case Code : ITSY020
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1995-2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : GE
Industry : Varied
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Any company, old or new, that does not see this technology literally as important as breathing, could be on its last breath. But for those of us, including GE, who are capturing it, energized by it and see it as the greatest opportunity in our history, the excitement is like nothing we've ever experienced."1

- Jack Welch, on GE's E-Business Initiative.


In June 2000, Internet Week (a leading IT publication in the US) recognized GE2 as the "E-Business of The Year." GE won this award in the general manufacturing category. The award was given for GE's efforts to transform from a 'brick & mortar' company into a 'click & mortar' company. Jack Welch (Welch), the former CEO of GE, had spent million dollars to implement his e-business strategy and had sought to nurture a corporate culture that was technology oriented and Internet savvy.

GE, which had "almost missed the e-business boat,"3 had made major efforts to introduce and implement a comprehensive e-business strategy.

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According to analysts, GE had demonstrated that speed and execution were the most critical factors of any successful e-business strategy.

The company had adopted the Internet as an 'enabler' of all business functions in the value chain.

GE had used the Internet to re-engineer its business processes by removing obsolete and redundant activities, thus cutting costs dramatically, reducing the cycle time, and improving the quality of its services. Explaining how the Internet was being used by GE, Jeanne Terrile, a financial analyst at Merrill Lynch, said, "The key revelation is that the Internet is primarily a productivity tool, and secondarily a selling and procurement tool. They're using the Internet to eliminate paperwork and run operations a lot more efficiently."4

Excerpts >>

1]  In the article titled "GE, e-business," by Paul V. Arnold, MRO Today magazine, October/November 2001.

2]  Established in 1878 by Thomas A. Edison, GE is a diversified manufacturing and services company with operations in aircraft engines, power generation, financial services, medical imaging, and plastics. GE has operations spread across 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people globally.

3]  In the article titled "While Welch Waited," in The Economist dated May 19, 2001.

4]  In the article titled, "GE's E-Biz Turnaround Proves That Big Is Back," by Joachim David, InternetWeek, April 3, 2000.

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