SWOT Analysis of General Electric Company

STRENGTHS

Global recognition: General Electric has ventured into the world market thus gaining global recognition for its unique goods and services.  In the year 2009, Forbes magazine ranked GE as the world's largest company.  Hurbert (2007) notes that General Electric's brand is the world's most recognized brand.  This kind of recognition has given it a competitive edge over other companies due to its ability to attract more customers.

Global strength and competitiveness:The Company’s products have been recognized for their quality and the company is known for meeting customer-specific needs (General Electric, 2009).  As a result, it has attracted numerous clients including corporations and government agencies and its competitive position is quite favorable.  GE is the biggest lender in many of the countries where it invests with exception of the United States (Hurbert, 2007).  Its power generation equipment generates a quarter of the world's electricity everyday.

Excellent Management: GE utilizes a unique management style, whereby business operations are divided into business units.  Each business unit plays a distinct role within the company and has its own independent management.  Examples include GE Commercial Finance, GE Equipment Services, GE Energy, GE Insurance, and GE Consumer Finance among others.  This kind of management style increases productivity due to the high level of accountability and efficiency that business unit managers are expected to maintain.

Diversified lines of operation:GE has invested in a wide range of products under its units.  These activities range from technology, energy, automotives, and aviation and home appliances to financial services and insurance services among other undertakings.  This kind of diversification shields the company from risks in case of misfortunes.

Environmental initiatives:  GE has ventured into environmental initiatives as it embraces the green economy and increased social responsibility.  Its 'Ecoimagination' program is undertaking the production of environmentally friendly technologies, energy sources such as solar, low emission engines for airplanes, hybrid locomotives and water purification (Makower, 2005).  This has earned a good reputation for the company which is considered socially and environmentally responsible.

WEAKNESSES

Under-performing energy sector:Following the global crisis and the serious fluctuations in fuel prices, the energy sector is not performing as expected (Hurbert, 2007).   Fluctuations in prices of oil and gas have mostly been caused by supply shortages and this has threatened the company's profitability.

Threat to flexibility:Too much diversification is often considered dangerous for a company.  This is because it results in over-stretching which usually slows down decision making.  At GE, the numerous units require attention and could prove hard to manage if excessive diversification occurs.

OPPORTUNITIES

Mergers and acquisitions: GE has performed several mergers in the recent past. These not only help the company to expand globally but to diversify its activities into new areas thus increasing productivity. Some of the companies include Interbanca S.P.A, Whatman Plc, VetcoGrey and Turbomecanica Combustor Products (General Electric, 2009). The merger of NBC with Vivedi opens better opportunities for GE in the media business.

Research and development:Intensified research and development characterize the company's activities as it seeks to maintain a competitive edge over others in the same industry.  A substantial amount of resources are committed in the company's relentless efforts to ensure the production of innovative products which meet current customer demands (Hurbert, 2007).

THREATS

Competition: Operating in an environment where stiff competition is present is a threat in itself.  Just like any other company, GE risks losing its customers to competitors.  Competition could be intensified by better production techniques and technology among competitors such that the company's goods may be outdone in the market.

Information security:When it comes to information security, every company faces a threat of losing important information through hackers, natural disasters and employee dishonesty.  Loss of information could greatly affect the company's activities and cause a slow-down in production.

Financial crisis: The global financial crisis has had an effect on most companies in the world today.  The rises in prices and shrinking bank lending rates have deprived businesses of the much needed profits and capital respectively.

Media depictions: Depictions put forth by the media on certain occurrences about a company could ruin its operations.  GE has been a victim of media deception and was associated with the Enron scandal which brought a lot of criticism and loss of investor confidence.  The documentary named 'deadly deception' aired in 1991 displayed GE as a threat to human life for participating in testing and building of nuclear weapons (Chasnoff, 1991).  Such depictions could be used by competitors to tarnish the company's name.

Evaluation and Analysis

It is notable that GE has a number of strengths that work to its advantage by enhancing profitability.  Its global recognition, strengths and competitiveness put GE at a favorable position as compared to other companies in the same sector.  The use of business units for management presents an effective way to manage the expansive company.  This not only reduces the possibility of overwhelming senior management with work but also promotes productivity based on accountability expected from the business unit managers.  The company undertakes numerous activities which highly contribute to profitability.  This is enhanced by the mergers and acquisitions that have diversified the company's product range and in turn leading to improvement on profits incurred.

The strengths and opportunities however have not come without constraints.  Various threats and weaknesses threaten the performance of the company by presenting constraints on the company's management.  High levels of competition, financial crises and threat of information loss are a threat to the company’s survival.  Weaknesses within the company including the poor productivity of the energy sector and flexibility threat could impact negatively on the company.

In order to reduce the impact of threats and weaknesses, the company could use the strengths and opportunities to mitigate them.  For example, the company's established research and development could be used to curb competition by coming up with innovative products from time to time.  The efficient management can also be used to prevent loss of data through implementing proper control measures and to avoid losses which could exemplify the situation caused by the financial crisis.

References

Chasnoff, D. (1991). Deadly deception: General electric, nuclear weapons and our environment. Newday.

General Electrical. (2009). Our company. Retrieved from www.ge.com

Hurbert, P. (2007). General electric company profile. United States: Market Research.

Makower, J. (2005). Ecoimagination: Inside GE’s power play. World Changing.

Comments 2 comments

monicamelendez profile image

monicamelendez 4 years ago from Salt Lake City

Interesting hub. My cousin works for G.E. in Dallas and he's dong really well with them!


Gautham 3 years ago

such a great company

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