A Store for Sharing Technology and ‘Shopping’ for Innovation

GE’s DNA as a global company and industry leader is something that employees frequently cite as one of the factors attracting them to GE. Often, however, workers get bogged down with projects, not benefiting from the knowledge and research gathered by their colleagues that could be perfectly suited to enhancing their work. GE hopes to remedy this with the development of the GE Store.

GE’s subject matter expertise spans a variety of industries, from healthcare to transportation to oil and gas. Sometimes technologies or research developed by one sector can be applicable to another. For example, a device made to scan pipes for gunk build-up in an oil refinery may also be adaptable for scanning for corrosion in arteries in the healthcare application.

This birthed the idea of the GE Store, an exchange of knowledge, technology and tools across GE that enables the company to leap from industries to drive innovation, performance and outcomes across every business and geography while driving up speed and efficiency. The store is designed to encourage horizontal thinking teams and offers employees the opportunities to take and contribute to the store for the benefit of the over 200,000 employees across the globe.

“When I was in university studying engineering, I would often be given case study problem sets to solve. I would work out the problems and develop my own solutions. I would later meet with a study group who would offer other solutions I realised I’d never even considered,” said Santhosh Pillay, Localisation Leader, GE South  Africa. “This, in essence, is what we hope for the GE Store. People coming together to share new solutions.”

Beyond the sharing of ideas, the GE Store is a great resource for enhancing customer service. Though customers may only interact with a local sales representative, they now have access to the wealth of knowledge and research housed in the GE network.

“Let’s say you’re working on a project in Mozambique. Without the GE Store, you would have to start from the beginning, duplicating processes that have already been developed,” said Jeff Sommer, General Manager, Global Supply Chain, Sub-Saharan Africa, at GE. “With the GE Store, you can see what contracts and projects have been completed for that type of project, and localise them to work in Mozambique.”

The GE Store is further bolstered by the opening of the Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg this past June. “The Innovation Centre is a physical manifestation of the GE Store,” continued Jeff. “It has learning and development facilities and the knowledge our staff builds there can be shared globally for GE’s benefit.”

This article first appeared on GE Reports sub-Saharan Africa


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