Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The future of GE appliances with the use of Firebuild

GE, or General Electric is a company that is based on serving many markets, including engineering and selling home appliances. Recently they have been focusing on a new idea, FirstBuild. FirstBuild is both an online and physical community that focuses on the process of creating futuristic home appliances. It allows a wide community of engineers and scientists to go from having an idea to building and selling an actual product. To bring FirstBuild to life, GE partnered with the company Local Motors. They are currently using an on site Microfactory, where ideas can quickly be turned into physical products. One component that was important in this article was the fact that GE is allowing entrepreneurs and experts to collaborate and come up with new ideas through FirstBuild rather than having ideas just come from within their company. By allowing outsiders to have input on new innovations for future products or current flaws all through their home computers, they will be able to collect data and input that they otherwise could have missed out on. Another one of the main focuses of this concept that I thought was important to FirstBuild was the Microfactory. Without being able to produce a physical prototype of either a customer or engineers’ idea, this process would be useless. In order to test or work out flaws, I think the creators behind FirstBuild had the right idea to include the Microfactory for rapid prototyping. The Microfactory transforms ideas sent online into physical samples of products. One last point I wanted to reflect on was one of the positive outcomes of FirstBuild. If FirstBuild turns out to be successful, the results will include more environment friendly and efficient appliances that will make any activities involving GE appliances easier for the modern family. For example, one product that’s already been through the FirstBuild process and Microfactory is the Green Bean Maker Module. This product allows you to control all of your GE appliances from the convenience of your phone. For example, with this product you would be able to control the temperature on the stove or receive a text when your laundry is dry.

An issue I had with FireBuild was wondering how they are sorting ideas coming in. It is inconvenient to have people go through each idea; they should eventually create an online database to sort all incoming ideas. Another issue with GEs IT innovation is concerning the issue of people voting on which products to send to the Mircrofactory. What if majority of these people voting aren’t GEs big buyers? Sending products people wont buy to the Microfactory, due to retrieving the wrong information will lose GE a lot of money. Lastly, I think some of the finished FirstBuild products had a few issues, such as the Green Bean. I think it is dangerous that a person can control appliances such as the oven from their phone; what if they forget to turn it off? Overall, I think FirstBuild will turn out successfully for GE.


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