The Motley Fool's industrial analyst, Isaac Pino recently, attended The Atlantic magazine's Manufacturing Summit for insight into the industry and visited General Electric's (NYSE:GE) 30 Rockefeller offices for a closer look at the $250 billion conglomerate. Isaac and Motley Fool Money host Chris Hill weigh in on the company's transformation over the past few years, its game-changing investments in 3-D printing and the industrial Internet, and the opportunity ahead for GE shareholders.
In the following segment, Isaac takes a closer look at how GE aims to diversify its businesses and grow margins while remaining focused on infrastructure, energy, and transportation. What's the secret? Taking a page from IBM's (NYSE:IBM) book, GE recently invested heavily in building a software hub in San Ramon, Calif. Where IBM saw an opportunity in working clients to use computers, data, and servers more effectively, GE sees a similar opportunity in the industrial market. GE hired more than 400 engineers and invested $1 billion in this Silicon Valley tech center, with an aim to develop digital tools to analyze millions of gigabytes of data generated by machines. Few companies can compete with GE when it comes to large-scale industrial operations, and now the company can differentiate itself by making these businesses smarter. The move paid off for IBM, whose profit margins have tripled since 2002. Will GE's bet pay off like Big Blue's?