Most helpful critical review
Gary Wendt and Dennis Nayden
on November 22, 2003
What would GE be like without Gary Wendt, Dennis Nayden, and Mike Neal? Nayden the brainpower to structure big complex deal; Neals the people connections negotiator; and Wendt the idea man and acquistion proposing machine. Wendt and Nayden drove GE towards global growth: The 1983 purchase of American Mortgage , 1984 purchase of Employers Reinsurance Corp (Stanger and Dammerman), private label credit cards, commerical finance deals (Wendt), 1994 $12 billion in asset acquistions, 1995 $25 billion in asset acquistions, Banks in Poland and Czech Republic, (Wendt and Nayden close 400 deals involving $200 billion in assets). The numbers are convincing that the acquistions in themselve created wealth. Welsh did not condemn Wendt's asset collection drive with GEs total assets excessing $400 billion. Wendt and Nayden were the real wealth creators of GE. Harvard Business Review would use GE as a model of successfully integrating acquired businesses. GE's exporting Financial services to a global economy drow GEs growth rate.
Dr. Welsh seems to believe Six Sigma and eBusiness turned GE around. Lets look at the impact of Six Sigma. Six Sigma is about knowing business processes to reduce variance increasing cost savings; Gary Reiner and Bob Nelson projected a $7-10 billion cost savings; 1996, Six sigma rolled out under Mike Harry; a 60 fixed and 40 percent six sigma bonus was established; in the first year 30,000 employees were trained at a cost of $200 million. Six sigma performance enhancements: 99.99 change of getting a person in a call center, 5.7 Sigma purity standard for Sony CDs, CT scanner improvement from 3 minutes to 17 seconds, from 1996-1997 6,000 six sigma projects achieving a revenue of $320 million, 1998, a $750 million six sigma savings, increasing operating margins from 14.8 percent in 1996 to 18.9 percent in 2000. Customer felt the effects of six sigma: plastic product span from 50 days to 5; aircraft engines from 80 days to 5; and mortgage insurance from 54 days to 1 day. The customer received what they wanted when they expected it.
Dr Welsh insightfully explains GE drove customer from traditional outlets and contacts to the internet. GE had the customer demand and purchasing drive and so it was logical to channel that
activity to the internet. GE saw the internet as three parts: the buy, the make, and the sell. In implement the internet, GE did not forget the rule "never let anyone get between you and your customers", meaning they would not destory customer relationships with technology.
In summary, I was amused with the life style of the rich and famous Welch, however, I will spend more time following the career of Wendt, Nayden, and Neal, in my opinion the true geniuses of GE, the creative minds behind the wealth creating machine. Its not difficult to understand GE double digit growth, GE recognized globalization strategies early and expanding into india, Japan, thailand, and South America.