Boeing Co. has awarded its giant commercial card contract to a General Electric Co. financial services unit.

Boeing's will probably be one of the top 10 commercial programs in terms of transaction volume, with more than 60,000 likely holders of MasterCards, the companies said.

They did not specify a dollar amount.

The GE Capital Services affiliate, GE Capital Financial Inc., is a beneficiary of Boeing's acquisitions of Rockwell International Corp. defense assets for $3.2 billion in 1996 and of McDonnell Douglas Corp. for $13.3 billion in 1997.

Each aerospace company had maintained separate systems for travel and entertainment, purchasing, and fleet expenses, said a Boeing spokeswoman.

"Now we have our first companywide process," she said. "We're hoping to get a greater efficiency in managing travel-related costs, hopefully realizing a savings of up to 30% in travel management."

Stamford, Conn.-based GE Capital Financial supplied commercial cards to McDonnell Douglas for more than three years before it was bought by Boeing.

Boeing "went through a very rigorous process before they decided to consolidate the card business with us," said Mitch Gross, vice president of marketing at GE Capital Financial. "We're delighted. It certainly is a large account."

Jeff Dye, senior vice president of corporate expense management services at GE Capital Financial, said Boeing will be one of the three largest of his company's more than 150 corporate card clients. "We're implementing right now and plan to be fully up and running by yearend," he said.

GE Capital Financial is also responsible for issuing the GE Rewards MasterCard and Exxon MasterCard. Its corporate expense management business develops and markets corporate card programs for large and midsize companies.

Boeing said its card program is part of a cost-saving initiative of the Boeing shared services group, which supplies computing, telecommunications, information management, and other support services.

"Boeing is serious about driving down infrastructure costs," said Candace Ismael, director of supplier management and procurement in the shared services group. "Consolidation and integration of our purchasing strategies is key to our aggressive cost-reduction activities."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.