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Strategic Operations Management in General Electric (GE)


General Electric (GE) has experienced significant operational difficulties in recent years. GE services global markets in a vast array of industries, such as electricity, renewable energy, aviation, and healthcare, and is subject to many external influences. Financial difficulties such as declining revenues, rising debt levels, and disruptions in the supply chain have been the most prominent manifestation of these issues. To overcome these obstacles, GE requires efficient operational systems to address its financial difficulties root causes (Wong et al., 2011). In the current economic climate, businesses like GE must continually adapt and enhance their operational procedures to remain profitable and grow over the long term. Recognizing, evaluating, and implementing operational changes is essential to increase productivity, reduce expenses, and satisfy customers. By adopting this strategy, businesses can increase their bottom lines and gain a competitive advantage.

The first essential process that GE must consider is lean operations. Throughout the entire value chain, Lean operations search out and eliminate all wasteful sources (Herzog and Tonchia, 2014). This method assists businesses in eliminating superfluous processes, concentrating on high-value tasks, and optimizing their resources (Hunt, 1996). Adopting lean principles permits GE to reduce waste, increase production, and save money, all contributing to improved financial performance. GE should also regard project management as an essential operational function. Whether devising aircraft engines or constructing power facilities, GE constantly engages in enormous, high-stakes endeavors. Utilizing effective project management strategies throughout these endeavors can result in numerous advantages, including on-time completion, cost control, and quality assurance. GE could improve its financial performance by implementing efficient project management processes and technologies to reduce project delays, cost overruns, and customer dissatisfaction.

GE’s inventory management operations must be enhanced to surmount its financial difficulties. To reduce transport costs, stockouts, and obsolescence, businesses operating in sectors with high-value and high-cost inventory must implement effective inventory management. GE’s use of demand forecasting, just-in-time inventory systems, and inventory turnover analysis enables the company to align inventory levels with customer demand, reduce waste, increase cash flow, and strengthen its financial stability. Due to its financial difficulties, GE requires generally efficient operational procedures. GE’s financial performance can be enhanced by implementing lean operations, efficient project management, and streamlined inventory management. By implementing these operational changes, GE will be better able to adapt to shifting market conditions, maintain its competitive advantage, and generate sustainable growth.

Section 2: Lean Operations

General Electric (GE) may emerge from its current financial predicament with the aid of a management strategy known as lean operations, which seeks to increase productivity while concurrently reducing expenses and augmenting consumers’ value (Ocasio and Joseph, 2008). GE’s financial performance could be enhanced by implementing lean concepts that optimize production while minimizing waste and inefficiency. The first stage in GE’s implementation of lean operations is categorizing the numerous types of waste already present in the company’s operations (Bruun and Mefford, 2004). Overproduction, excess products, unnecessary transportation, extra waiting time, errors, and unused expertise are all examples of waste. If GE can identify these areas of inefficiency, it will be in a better position to focus its efforts and better manage its resources.

General Electric uses value stream analysis as a primary instrument to comprehensively understand its operations and identify expansion opportunities. The overarching objective of this study is to generate a diagram depicting the entire value chain, commencing with the procurement of basic materials and concluding with the sale of finished goods. By mapping the process, General Electric can identify inefficiencies in data and resources, such as duplication and waste. Using value stream analysis, GE can identify the processes that require the most optimization and, as a result, increase their overall productivity (Joseph and Ocasio, 2012). Another essential component of lean business practices is the use of defined work processes. Priority number one is to synchronize and streamline all procedures across the board. By establishing standard operating procedures, GE will be able to increase productivity while simultaneously reducing waste. There is only one set of instructions, one set of instruments, and one set of apparatus, and the duties must be completed in a predetermined order. Standardization promotes productivity, consistency, and quality by establishing a set of consistent procedures for completing tasks. All individuals adhere to these procedures.

The success of lean operations, which is based on the principle of continuous improvement, depends on a culture that encourages employees at all levels to identify and implement moderate improvements that yield incremental benefits (Herzog and Tonchia, 2014). The premise of lean operations is that waste can be reduced by eliminating superfluous processes and excess inventory. GE will likely cultivate a culture of continuous improvement by instituting suggestion processes, training employees, and establishing cross-department improvement teams. Continuous development is crucial to GE’s ability to foster innovation, increase productivity, and maintain its market leadership position over the long term (Decuseară, 2013). In this scenario, GE could reduce the waste it generates and increase its productivity by implementing a pull-based system similar to the just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing method. As the output in a pull-based system is determined by actual customer demand instead of forecasts, there is no longer any need for stockpiling. GE’s overproduction, carrying costs, and cash flow may decrease if it can more precisely match output to customer requirements. Predicting future demand to implement a pull-based system accurately and successfully is essential. In addition, it is essential to maintain positive relationships with suppliers and coordinate operations across the supply chain.

Total Productive Maintenance, also known as TPM, is a lean maintenance strategy that seeks to increase the time machinery is operational while minimizing unscheduled repairs (Piercy and Rich, 2015). GE may employ TPM methods to ensure that all of its apparatus is always in proper operating condition and available for use. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) components include preventative maintenance techniques and frequent equipment inspections. For GE to increase operational efficiency and decrease financial burden, equipment uptime, and equipment failures must be increased (Wong et al., 2011). Another essential component of lean business processes is visual management. It is common practice to utilize displays and other types of visual aids to communicate vital information, monitor progress, and identify emerging issues. General Electric (GE) can improve its cooperation, transparency, and problem-solving capacity by employing visual management techniques such as visual work instructions, Kanban boards, and performance dashboards. With the assistance of visual management, employees have an easier time identifying problems, monitoring progress, and taking corrective action, all of which contribute to a rise in operational efficiency and earnings.

Section 3: Agile Project Management

Agile project management is a strategy that enables businesses to effectively deliver high-quality products or services in response to fluctuating customer demands. This is achieved by employing the dynamic and adaptable agile methodology. General Electric (GE) can improve project collaboration, execution, and outcomes by applying agile project management principles. In this instance, the foundation of agile project management consists of various concepts (Schwaber, 2004). According to a recent study, consumers should be involved in all phases of project creation, especially during contract negotiations. By operating in this manner, GE can adapt to its consumers’ ever-changing desires and needs and create projects that meet their specific requirements.

The second guiding principle is that adaptability is preferable to intransigence in the face of change. Agile project management recognizes and plans that a project’s requirements will almost undoubtedly alter as the project progresses. Rather than adhering to a predetermined plan, General Electric is flexible enough to adjust its strategy accordingly (Ocasio and Joseph, 2008). Key to the company’s ability to complete the project is GE’s ability to adapt to new opportunities and challenges as they arise. According to a further guiding principle, individuals and relationships should be regarded as more important than systems and apparatus. An agile project management team members must be able to collaborate and communicate with one another effectively. GE can shape its culture so that it places a high value on exchanging information and learning from one another across all departments. By encouraging effective communication among its employees, GE can capitalize on the combined knowledge of its personnel and obtain the resulting benefits.

In agile project management, delivering truly functional solutions takes primacy over the documentation of each process phase. It is more essential to provide functional prototypes or minimum viable products (MVPs) that can be evaluated and modified based on consumer feedback than to create exhaustive documentation. General Electric can solicit customer feedback and steer the project in the right direction by focusing on satisfying customer requirements early in the development process (Hunt, 1996). Agile initiatives undergo several iterative phases that permit progressive refinement and consistent feedback throughout the process. During “initiation,” the first phase of the project, GE determines the project’s overarching objectives and prioritizes the activities. Essential project stakeholders are identified during this phase, and project teams are formed. When all participants have the same understanding of the project’s objectives and parameters, the groundwork has been laid for a productive and fruitful endeavor.

GE advances to the iteration planning phase after the project has been initiated. At this stage, the project is divided into brief cycles known as sprints. The team members reach a consensus on the user stories, also known as assignments, that will be worked on during the sprint. After establishing effort estimates, the next stage is to create the sprint manifest, which defines the tasks that must be completed during the sprint. General Electric will transition immediately from the sprint planning phase to the sprint execution phase. The project team members work on the tasks outlined in the sprint manifest to complete them within the sprint’s allotted timeframe. The team holds a daily stand-up meeting to discuss the work that has been completed, assess any potential obstacles, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. At this juncture, close coordination and clear communication will be required to maintain momentum and address potential new issues.

General Electric holds a meeting after each sprint to evaluate the previous sprint. At this meeting, stakeholders in the project and customers will view the completed product. We pay close consideration to the feedback provided by our consumers and make any necessary adjustments. Due to the process’s iterative nature, GE can incorporate the feedback of the pertinent stakeholders, which increases the likelihood that the solution will meet the customer’s requirements and expectations. GE will then conduct the sprint retrospective after completing the sprint review. During the retrospective, a phase for reflection and development, the project team’s performance is evaluated, problem areas are identified, and the tasks for the next iteration are outlined. General Electric (GE) can improve how it executes projects and how its teams interact by instituting a culture of continuous improvement that emphasizes learning from mistakes and adjusting appropriately.

General Electric emphasizes iterative development at every stage of an agile project’s lifecycle. With each iteration, the project team develops upon and incrementally improves the product or service being developed (Schwaber, 2004). The team’s efforts are concentrated on producing more value, with the utmost priority determined by customer feedback and the current state of the market. Using this iterative process, GE can create a product or service that is more in tune with the desires and needs of consumers (Joseph and Ocasio, 2012). GE may test hypotheses, collect real-time feedback, and make adjustments as necessary to achieve this objective. GE is aware that interdepartmental collaboration is necessary to administer agile initiatives efficiently. Agile teams are made up of people who work together to achieve a shared goal. These people come from various backgrounds and have various experiences (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017). Because it hires experts from several sectors, GE is better equipped to take advantage of the knowledge integration of its staff. GE can provide better outcomes as a consequence. Cross-functional teams are more creative, different, and successful at addressing challenges because their members have a variety of backgrounds and skill sets.

The use of cross-functional teams and a range of agile project management tools may be advantageous for GE’s project execution. This category includes tools for managing projects and keeping tabs on their progress, like Jira and Trello. Monitoring a project’s progress using visual tools like burndown charts and agile boards is significantly easier. These technologies make it possible to have more transparent communication channels, to be more visible, and to react more quickly to changes in the project’s specifications. A supportive and empowered work environment that supports agile project management principles and goals must also be fostered by GE (Augustine et al., 2005). The group’s members must be encouraged to have honest and open conversations to do this. Team members are more inclined to express their thoughts, worries, and readiness to take chances when they feel at ease being themselves with one another. The atmosphere is upbeat and inspires people to work together, think creatively, and advance constantly.

GE can extend the advantages of agile project management beyond the scope of specific projects by using agile portfolio management. Due to agile portfolio management, GE can determine priorities and allocate resources in light of the company’s strategic goals and the shifting market circumstances (Ocasio and Joseph, 2008). By regularly reviewing its portfolio, GE can better align initiatives with its goals, react to market changes faster, and deploy resources most effectively. The effectiveness of GE’s agile project management practices must be regularly assessed and evaluated. The effectiveness of agile projects may be assessed using a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) (Augustine et al., 2005). Project completion, customer happiness, team productivity, and flexibility are a few of them. With the help of these numbers, GE can evaluate the performance of its agile project management approach and make any required improvements to guarantee that it remains effective.

Section 4: Optimizing Inventory Management Processes

The profitability and efficiency of an organization’s operations are directly proportional to the quality of its inventory management. Inventory management is the process of monitoring and regulating supply levels to have the exact amount of a product or material on hand when required. By enhancing their inventory management operations, businesses such as General Electric (GE) can save money, increase consumer satisfaction, and enhance productivity (Teplická and Čulková, 2020). Forecasting demand is essential for effective inventory management. In order to better serve its consumers, GE relies on precise demand forecasting to anticipate their needs and adjust inventory levels accordingly. The meticulous analysis of past purchases, current market conditions, and client preferences enables GE to predict future demand (Decuseară, 2013). This ensures that clients can access the right products at the right time, prevents stockouts and excess inventory, and reduces carrying costs.

Using machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence are two examples of cutting-edge technology that GE could employ to enhance the accuracy of its demand forecasts. These tools efficiently process enormous data sets, illuminating patterns and trends that human analysts would overlook. By incorporating these insights into the demand forecasting process, GE may improve its inventory planning and reduce the risk of stockouts or overstocks. Implementing efficient replenishment strategies is also essential for improving inventory management. As part of this procedure, you will determine the optimal stock levels and reorder points for each item. GE may use economic order quantity (EOQ), just-in-time (JIT), and vendor-managed inventory (VMI) to enhance its replenishment operations (Teplická and Čulková, 2020).

By comparing the cost of maintaining stock to the cost of placing orders, the EOQ method determines the optimal order quantity. GE can save money and maintain an optimal inventory level if it reduces the frequency of its orders and the interval between purchases. On the other hand, Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing and delivery emphasizes the expeditious arrival of raw materials and finished products to reduce stockpiling. This method requires suppliers to collaborate closely to ensure on-time delivery and reduce inventory. When vendors and consumers collaborate, the former is responsible for inventory management and replenishing at the latter’s location (Michalski, 2009). By providing vendors with real-time access to stock and consumer demand data, GE can reduce the tension of inventory management and maintain optimal stock levels.

In addition to efficient replenishment procedures, GE may employ inventory optimization measures, including ABC analysis, safety stock management, and periodic evaluations. By categorizing products based on their relative value and frequency of use, ABC analysis enables GE to concentrate its efforts on where they will have the greatest impact. Management of safeguard stocks requires the maintenance of a surplus supply of products. GE may reduce the likelihood of stockouts by determining adequate safety stock levels based on variables such as lead time variability and service level objectives. Audits and stock counts are essential to periodic inventory evaluations, as they help identify inconsistencies, assess inventory accuracy, and identify obsolete or slow-moving materials. GE may employ inventory management software tools to facilitate effective supply management. These programs aid in demand forecasting and order administration by displaying real-time stock levels and locations. Utilizing such tools to automate inventory-related duties could save GE time and effort while improving data accuracy and accessibility (Teplická and Čulková, 2020). Radio frequency identification (RFID) and barcode scanning are two additional methods that GE could investigate for enhancing inventory accuracy and transparency. These innovations reduce the need for manual data entry and enhance real-time inventory management.

GE should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate and monitor inventory performance to ensure the efficacy of its enhanced inventory management operations. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the stockout rate, carrying cost, and order fulfillment lead time can be utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of inventory management. By consistently monitoring these data, GE can identify problem areas, implement corrective measures, and enhance its inventory management procedures (Michalski, 2009). Overall, if companies like General Electric (GE) want to save money, make their customers happier, and operate more efficiently, they must optimize their inventory management procedures. GE can find the optimal balance between stock availability and cost-effectiveness by utilizing precise demand forecasts, effective replenishment plans, inventory optimization techniques, and inventory management software solutions.

How do these operations link together to add value and meet customer and client needs

Through the coordinated efforts of lean operations, agile project management, and optimal inventory management, value is added, customer and client demands are fulfilled, and corporate issues are resolved. In a lean business model, waste is reduced, productivity is increased, and consumer value is increased. By standardizing processes, reducing lead times, and eliminating non-value-added duties, lean operations enable a business to provide products or services more swiftly and efficiently (Herzog and Tonchia, 2014). This is valuable because it increases productivity, lowers expenses, and increases consumer satisfaction. Lean operations help businesses address issues such as inefficiency, bottlenecks, and quality concerns by promoting continuous improvement and the elimination of waste.

Agile project management, on the other hand, emphasizes adaptability, collaboration, and iterative development. It enables businesses to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions and customer expectations. Agile project management ensures that customer requirements are met efficiently by dividing large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks and by encouraging regular customer input and interaction with stakeholders. This increases the value of the project by reducing customer complaints regarding delays, misalignment, and inferior results. Effective inventory management is required to always have the appropriate number of items or resources on hand. Maintaining optimal inventory levels requires accurate demand forecasts, efficient replenishment processes, and inventory optimization strategies (Ocasio and Joseph, 2008). Delivery on time is made possible, stockouts are decreased, carrying costs are decreased, and operational efficiency is improved. When issues such as excess stock, stock-outs, and inefficient stock control are resolved, and customer satisfaction is increased due to optimized inventory management, the bottom line of an organization benefits.

The integration and alignment of these three operational processes have a synergistic effect that adds significant value, satisfies client and customer demands, and resolves corporate issues. Agile project management is predicated on the streamlined and effective processes that result from lean operations. Utilizing lean principles throughout the project lifecycle, including eliminating waste and pursuing continuous refinement, enhances the final product’s quality (Herzog and Tonchia, 2014). Maintaining an effective inventory management system is essential to minimize project setbacks and interruptions. Consequently, material shortages and surpluses are less likely to occur during the project’s execution. By adjusting inventory levels in response to alterations in project demands, businesses can reduce administrative costs while maintaining a constant supply of essential items and components.

Lean operations and enhanced inventory management are also compatible with agile project management’s iterative and customer-centric methodology. Lean and streamlined inventory management operations are motivated by both customer value and continuous improvement. Agile project management permits frequent feedback and revisions in order to ensure that the final deliverables meet client expectations. A comprehensive and customer-focused operations strategy is realized in this scenario through the combination of lean operations, agile project management, and enhanced inventory management. When these measures are taken, operational efficiency, costs, project outcomes, and customer satisfaction all increase. By resolving obstacles such as inefficiencies, delays, poor project results, excessive inventory, and stockouts, these operational procedures create value and contribute to the overall performance and competitiveness of the business.

Section 5: Conclusion

Lean operations, agile project management, and effective inventory management are analyzed to demonstrate how they contribute to the company’s bottom line, satisfy client and customer demands, and resolve the highlighted problems. These procedures increase operational efficiency, an improvement in project outcomes, a reduction in expenses, and an increase in customer satisfaction. When businesses adopt lean practices, waste is reduced, productivity is enhanced, and consumer value is enhanced. By refining processes, reducing lead times, and promoting continuous improvement, organizations can save money, boost productivity, and enhance product quality. This improves operational performance and customer satisfaction and eliminates the organization’s inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and quality issues.

Agile project management is an iterative methodology that prioritizes client requirements. Organizations can better align their solutions with consumer expectations by dividing projects into simpler tasks, involving stakeholders, and incorporating regular feedback. The absence of delays, misalignment, and poor project outcomes is a tremendous relief for any business. Agile project management adds value as a result of improvements in project delivery, client satisfaction, and responsiveness to market shifts. Inventory optimization ensures that a product or resource is always available in sufficient quantity. With the assistance of demand forecasts, replenishment plans, and inventory optimization strategies, businesses can save money, reduce stockouts, and increase overall efficiency. Issues with overstocking and inadequate inventory management are resolved, as well as related issues within the organization. Enhanced product availability and on-time delivery can increase customer satisfaction when inventory management is optimized.

These functional processes must be intricately intertwined. In agile project management, efficient operations facilitate project execution, and streamlined inventory management guarantees that resources are always accessible. By coordinating these activities, businesses can respond to client requests more effectively, resolve internal concerns, and increase their profitability. For these operational procedures to be successfully implemented, they must also be evaluated, refined, and adapted to ever-changing market conditions. Businesses must perpetually innovate, incorporate new technology, and derive actionable insights from their data to maintain a competitive advantage. By incorporating lean operations, agile project management, and optimal inventory management, organizations can boost operational efficiency, improve project outcomes, reduce expenses, and better meet customer and client expectations. In today’s dynamic business environment, organizations can achieve sustainable development, higher profitability, and long-term success by addressing identified corporate challenges and delivering value through simplified processes, customer-centric methods, and optimal resource utilization.


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