In early 2002, Joe Hogan, president of General Electric Medical System Division (GEMS), faced the challenge of whether he should modify the Global Product Company (GPC) concept by adopting an “In China for China” policy so as to focus on the China market. At that time, technological changes represented by advances in genomics and healthcare information technology were making personalized diagnostics possible. This was due to the two emerging ideas in healthcare; personalised medicine and a move from a focus on cure to a focus on prevention. Both such trends required advances in diagnostic imaging.
These could drastically change GEMS’s business model as it had to embrace a move away from its engineering heritage toward bio-chemistry. Besides, developing new imaging techniques would prove to be a challenge for GEMS as these techniques required expertise in biomedical sciences. Moreover, GEMS would be required to collaborate with the pharmaceutical companies that developed the viruses and chemical reagents that the imaging equipment had to detect. On the other hand, GEMS primarily face competition from three other companies, namely Siemens, Philips and Toshiba.
Although GEMS has the leading market share in all regions and majority of the modalities, the growing healthcare IT market is lead by Siemens followed by GEMS. GEMS penetrated the global market through joint venture and acquisition of companies. Global Products Company (GPC) was therefore introduced to reduce manufacturing cost by shifting from high cost to low cost countries. Implementation of performance measurements increased the effectiveness of GEMS supply chain which then enabled it to face any economic crisis without major losses.
GEMS’ emphasis on the best technology was in par with its 2 step transition planning which was to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to develop equipments and focusing on selling and servicing equipment. Besides that, GEMS generally relies on wholly-owned direct sales organization depending on the market size. However, GEMS had to deal with marketing challenges on product customization, marketing used products and introducing newer generation products and services. Nevertheless, having highly competent managers of local and international talents helped GEMS to tap into the global market.