Category Archives: GE – General Electric

Huge Fire at General Electric’s Appliance Park

A fire that broke out at a building at General Electric’s Appliance Park Friday morning has been contained.

AppliancePark

Numerous fire departments remain on the scene at Building 6 and a shelter-in-place order has been issued for an area within a two-mile radius of Appliance Park. are on the scene of a massive blaze at General Electric’ s Appliance Park.

Authorities expanded the original half-mile radius area shortly after noon but reduced it back down to a half-mile due to changing weather conditions. Shelter-in-place means residents are recommended to go inside, close doors and windows, turn off air conditioning or heating systems, and turn on the radio or TV for more information.

The blaze consumed the building and it appears to be a total loss. All employees are accounted for and safe. Several other buildings at the park were empty because employees were off for Good Friday.

GE issued the following statement on the fire and how the facility will proceed in the short-term:

The fire at GE Appliance Park has been contained. There were no injuries, however building six – a non-production building which warehouses production parts and contains offices for several hundred employees – has extensive damage. Firefighters remain at the scene.

ApplianceParkFire02

Our first priority today has been to keep people safe and get the blaze under control. We want to thank fire officials and emergency responders for their outstanding service in that regard. We feel very fortunate that due to Good Friday being a holiday for employees that there were limited personnel working in Appliance Park today.

We now are shifting our focus to resuming operations.

A Big Year For General Electric Shareowners: GE Store, New Focus, Great Ideas

The LEAP engine, which took its maiden flight last fall, has 3D printed parts and components made from next-generation materials called ceramic composites.

GE’s industrial shift also brings benefits like the GE Store. “It means that every business in GE can share and access the same technology, markets, structure and intellect,” Immelt writes. “The value of the GE Store is captured by faster growth and higher margins; it makes the totality of GE more competitive than the parts.”

The GE Store allows the company to take FAA-certified alternators from its jet engines and use them to build better oil pumps. It can also use medical imaging technology to inspect subsea pipelines. “No other company has the ability to transfer intellect and technology as GE can through the Store,” Immelt writes.

GEPowersTheWorld

A group of analysts who recently visited GE’s research headquarters in Schenectady, N.Y., seem to get the point. “Everyone shops at the GE store,” wrote Nigel Cole, analyst at Morgan Stanley. “We believe the cross pollination of technologies strongly endorses the conglomerate structure.”

GE has also taken its cue from startups and started innovating its product development process and working closer to customers. “We have put everything on the clock, launching a process called ‘FastWorks,’ based on the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley,” Immelt writes. “We are already seeing shorter product cycles, quicker IT implementation, and faster customer response than any of our competitors.”

Steve Winoker, Sanford Bernstein analyst, recently noted that these changes are what underpins the long view for investors in GE. “Our long term investment thesis is predicated on portfolio transformation, simplification, and cultural change—all of which are on track,” Winoker wrote.

GEMeatball

Since GE is following the trend in Healthcare now, will they follow it in Pensions in the immediate future?

In our organization, our Ancien Hippie is actually a General Electric Pensioner, but he wanted me to write the article so it would be unbiased (besides he wanted to cover the Comets game.) His only comment (I could publish) was “hope it is not a disaster like the 401K.

This article describes the trend in Pensions. It is interesting to note that Towers Watson is mentioned since they have provided the counsel on healthcare and are managing the GE program via their subsidiary, OneExchange
AARP THE MAGAZINE
The Great Pension Sell-Off

Should you take a lump sum or an insurer’s annuity? by Eileen Ambrose, AARP The Magazine, June/July 2014

Carl Monheit’s former employer reliably mailed his monthly pension check to him for 17 years. A year and a half ago things changed. The Hackensack, New Jersey, resident, along with thousands of other retired managers, learned he would no longer be part of Verizon’s pension plan. Instead, the telecommunications giant bought them an annuity. While payments would stay the same, future checks would now come from an insurance company.

“It was kind of a shock,” says Monheit, 67, who retired after 30 years from a company that became what is now Verizon. “Why are they changing things that worked for so many and worked well, and provided so much comfort and security to people who built their business?”
It’s a question more retirees and older workers likely will be asking as U.S. companies move to get expensive pension obligations off their books. Companies call this new approach “de-risking.” Some firms purchase annuities for their pensioners, while others offer cash to buy them out. And some — most notably General Motors in 2012 — try a combination: first offering a lump sum and then buying an annuity for those who don’t take the money.

A report by benefits consultant Towers Watson last year found that 58 percent of companies surveyed had offered lump sums to former employees or plan to do so, while 38 percent expect to transfer pension obligations to an outside company within the next five years.

Story by Founder and CEO Rothschild Strategies Unlimited, LLC

Find out about Better Life and Fair Promise

 

Rebalancing Your Sourcing Strategy

Outsourcing and offshoring have been the rage for quite a while, but there are now more onshoring initiatives in both the manufacturing and service industries that possibly a major trend reversal is occurring. At the beginning of last year, we predicted that companies might start looking at the best way of sourcing instead of just saying “let’s outsource”. Then we pointed to a place it was happening successfully: General Electric’s Appliance Park (now Electrolux)
Are we jumping up and down saying: ONSHORE? Not until YOU look at the impact on the whole supply chain. Think about coordinating B2B and B2C. Think about an end-to-end supply chain. Think about good in-house systems before you go out and try to lead your supply chain. Think about your forecasting accuracy.

Find out about FEATS and Fairpromise

General Electric Bids To Acquire Alstom’s Energy Units For $13.5 Billion

Image

GE announced April 30, 2014 that it made a binding offer to acquire the thermal power, renewable energy and electricity grid businesses of the French engineering conglomerate Alstom for $13.5 billion in cash.

GE said in a press release that the Alstom board “positively received” its offer and appointed a committee of independent directors to review the bid by June 2. The deal is expected to close in 2015.

Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the strategic bid would allow GE to boost its presence and scale in the growing global power generation sector. Immelt said power and water was “core to the future of GE” and one of the company’s “higher growth and [higher] margin industrial segments.”

The International Energy Agency estimates that global electricity generation will double by 2030. More than 50 percent of new power capacity over the next decade will come from gas and steam turbines, the technology that forms the crux of the deal.

Patrick Kron, Alstom’s chairman and CEO, said that “the combination of the very complementary energy businesses of Alstom and GE will create a more competitive entity to better service customer needs.” He said that Alstom’s employees would join “a well-known, major global player with the means to invest in people and technology to support worldwide energy customers over the long term.”

Kron said that the deal would allow Alstom to expand its transport business as a standalone company. A strong balance sheet would give it the ability to capitalize on opportunities in the dynamic rail transport market.

Immelt said that Alstom’s energy businesses were “very complementary in technology, operations, and geography” to GE’s power and grid businesses. “We expect a collaborative and prompt integration that will yield efficiencies in supply chain, service infrastructure, commercial reach, and new product development,” Immelt said.

GE expects that fast integration will generate more than $1.2 billion in annual synergies within five years and that the transaction will be “immediately accretive” for GE shareholders.

Alstom’s power business had €11 billion in sales ($15 billion) in fiscal year 2013 and employes 46,000 workers in France, U.K. and other countries.

“Alstom, like GE, is a company built on engineering, innovation and technology,” Immelt said. “We respect and value the deep industry and technology expertise of Alstom employees and expect them to add to our proven track record of developing talent and leadership in France and globally.”

There are many common roots between the two companies. They are almost like “kissing cousins”.

In 1892, Thomas Edison’s Edison General Electric Company merged with Elihu Thomson’s Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form GE. Thomson-Houston’s co-founder Charles A. Coffin became GE’s first chief executive officer and president.

In 1928, Thomson-Houston’s French subsidiary combined with France’s Sociéte Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques to create Alstom. The company developed into a major builder of power plant technology, including gas turbines built around technology licensed from GE.

In 1999, GE acquired Alstom’s heavy duty gas turbines business and the two companies have remained close. Their facilities in the northern French city of Belfort stand next to each other, divided only by a road and a fence, and their top executives live in the same neighborhoods.

In 2011, GE also bought Alstom’s former power conversion business, which became GE Power Conversion. The unit is now developing next-generation energy storage and power systems for a broad range of industries including oil and gas, mining, renewables and shipping.

GE has been present in France for decades and the company currently employs 10,000 workers in the country.

Forty years ago, GE formed an aviation joint-venture called CFM International with France’s Snecma (Safran). Since then, CFM has delivered some 26,000 jet engines to 530 operators. CFM has more than 6,000 orders valued at $78 billion for its latest engine, the LEAP, which will enter service in 2016.

GE has also decades-long relationships with industrial leaders in France such as EDF, GDF SUEZ, Total, Technip and Air France.

“GE has an excellent track record of creating shareholder value from investments in Europe,” Immelt said. “Across Europe, we have built strong global competitors from European champions in oil and gas, aviation and healthcare.”

Not the first time GE has bought a “kissing cousin”. In 1986, GE bought RCA for $6.4 billion. RCA had been founded in 1919 as Radio Corporation of America. The US Anti-Trust Division forced GE to divest the company a dozen years later.