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A competitive move by one firm can be expected to have a noticeable effect on its competitors and thus may cause retaliation or coun-terefforts. For example, the entry by direct marketing companies such as Dell and Gateway into a PC industry previously dominated by IBM, Apple, and Compaq increased the level of competitive activity to such an extent that any price reduction or new product introduction is now quickly followed by similar moves from other PC makers.

When competitors are few and roughly equal in size, such as in the auto and major home appliance industries, they watch each other carefully to make sure that any move by another firm is matched by an equal countermove. Any slowing in passenger traffic tends to set off price wars in the airline industry because the only path to growth is to take sales away from a competitor. A product can be unique, with many qualities differentiating it from others of its kind or it may be a commodity, a product like gasoline, whose characteristics are the same, regardless of who sells it.

General Business Management

Because airlines must fly their planes on a schedule regardless of the number of paying passengers for any one flight, they offer cheap standby fares whenever a plane has empty seats. If the only way a manufacturer can increase capacity is in a large increment by building a new plant as in the paper industry , it will run that new plant at full capacity to keep its unit costs as low as possible—thus producing so much that the selling price falls throughout the industry.

Exit barriers keep a company from leaving an industry. The brewing industry, for example, has a low percentage of companies that leave the industry because breweries are specialized assets with few uses except for making beer. This happens often in retailing. Substitute products are those products that appear to be different but can satisfy the same need as another product. Tea can be considered a substitute for coffee. If the price of coffee goes up high enough, coffee drinkers will slowly begin switching to tea.

The price of tea thus puts a price ceiling on the price of coffee. Sometimes a difficult task, the identification of possible substitute products or services means searching for products or services that can perform the same function, even though they may not appear to be easily substitutable. Buyers affect an industry through their ability to force down prices, bargain for higher quality or more services, and play competitors against each other.

Suppliers can affect an industry through their ability to raise prices or reduce the quality of purchased goods and services. Some of these other stakeholders are governments if not explicitly included elsewhere , local communities, creditors if not included with suppliers , trade associations, special-interest groups, shareholders, and complementors. A complementor is a company e. The importance of these stakeholders varies by industry. For example, environmental groups in Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and Iowa successfully fought to pass bills outlawing disposable bottles and cans, and thus deposits for most drink containers are now required.

This effectively raised costs across the board, with the most impact on the marginal producers who could not internally absorb all of these costs. Do Industries Evolve Over Time? Most industries evolve over time through a series of stages from growth through maturity to eventual decline. The strength of each of the six competitive forces described in the preceding section varies according to the stage of industry evolution. The industry life cycle is useful for explaining and predicting trends among the six forces that drive industry competition. For example, when an industry is new, people often buy the product regardless of price because it fulfills a unique need.

This usually occurs in a fragmented industry in which no firm has large market share and each firm serves only a small piece of the total market in competition with others e. As new competitors enter the industry, prices drop as a result of competition. Companies use the experience curve discussed in Chapter 4 and economies of scale to reduce costs faster than their competitors.

Companies integrate to reduce costs even further by acquiring their suppliers and distributors. By the time an industry enters maturity, products tend to become more like commodities. This is now a consolidated industry —dominated by a few large firms, each of which struggles to differentiate its products from the competitors. As buyers become more sophisticated over time, they base their purchasing decisions on better information.

Products become more like commodities in which price becomes a dominant concern given a minimum level of quality and features, and profit margins decline. The automobile, petroleum, and major home appliance industries are current examples of mature, consolidated industries, each controlled by a few large competitors. To the extent that exit barriers are low, firms will begin converting their facilities to alternative uses or will sell them to another firm. The industry tends to consolidate around fewer but larger competitors.

The tobacco industry is an example of an industry currently in decline. How are International Industries Categorized? World industries vary on a continuum from multidomestic to global see Figure 3. A global industry, in contrast, operates worldwide, with MNCs making only small adjustments for country-specific circumstances. A global industry is one in which the activities of an MNC in one country are significantly affected by its activities in other countries.

MNCs produce products or services in various locations throughout the world and sell them all over the world, making only minor adjustments for specific country requirements. Examples of global industries are commercial aircraft, television sets, semiconductors, copiers, automobiles, watches, and tires. The largest industrial corporations in the world in terms of dollar sales are, for the most part, MNCs operating in global industries.

The factors that tend to determine whether an industry will be primarily multidomestic or primarily global are 1 the pressure for coordination within the MNCs operating in that industry and 2 the pressure for local responsiveness on the part of individual country markets. To the extent that the pressure for coordination is strong and the pressure for local responsiveness is weak for MNCs within a particular industry, that industry will tend to become global.

In contrast, when the pressure for local responsiveness is strong and the pressure for coordination is weak for MNCs in an industry, that industry will tend to become multidomestic. Between these two extremes lie a number of industries with varying characteristics of both multidomestic and global industries. These are regional industries, in which MNCs primarily coordinate their activities within regions, such as the Americas or Asia. What is a Strategic Group? They generally have very little in common and pay little attention to each other when planning competitive actions.

Consequently they are strong rivals and are organized to operate in a similar fashion. Strategic groups in a particular industry can be mapped by plotting the market positions of industry competitors on a two-dimensional graph using two strategic variables as the vertical and horizontal axes see Figure 3. First, select two broad characteristics, such as price and menu, that differentiate the companies in an industry from one another. Second, plot the firms using these two characteristics as the dimensions.

Name each strategic group in the restaurant industry with an identifying title, such as quick fast food or buffet-style service. Other dimensions, such as quality and degree of vertical integration, can also be used in additional graphs of the restaurant industry to show how the various firms in the industry compete. In analyzing the level of competitive intensity within a particular industry or strategic group, it is useful to characterize the various competitors for predictive purposes. A strategic type is a category of firms based on a common strategic orientation and a combination of structure, culture, and processes consistent with that strategy.

According to Miles and Snow, competing firms within a single industry can be categorized on the basis of their general strategic orientation into one of four basic types: defenders, prospectors, analyzers, and reactors. This cost orientation makes them unlikely to innovate in new areas. An example would be Dean Foods, a company specializing in making low-cost imitations of leading products marketed by supermarkets and drug stores. This sales orientation makes them somewhat inefficient. They tend to emphasize creativity over efficiency. In the stable areas, efficiency is emphasized; in the variable areas, innovation is emphasized.

Their often ineffective responses to environmental pressures tend to be piecemeal strategic changes. By allowing Target to take the high end of the discount market and Wal-Mart the low end, Kmart was left with no identity and no market of its own. Dividing the competition into these four categories enables the strategic manager not only to monitor the effectiveness of certain strategic orientations, but also to develop scenarios of future industry developments discussed later in this chapter.

What is Hypercompetition? Hypercompetition describes an industry undergoing an ever-increasing level of environmental uncertainty in which competitive advantage is only temporary. For example, industries that once were multidomestic like major home appliances are becoming global. New flexible, aggressive, innovative competitors are moving into established markets to rapidly erode the advantages of large, previously dominant firms. Distribution channels vary from country to country and are being altered daily through the use of sophisticated information systems.

Closer relationships with suppliers are being forged to reduce costs, increase quality, and gain access to new technology. In hypercompetitive industries such as computers, competitive advantage comes from an up-to-date knowledge of environmental trends and competitive activity coupled with a willingness to risk a current advantage for a possible new advantage. Companies must be willing to cannibalize their own products replacing popular products before competitors do so in order to sustain their competitive advantage.

Key success factors are those variables that can affect significantly the overall competitive positions of companies within any particular industry. They are usually determined by the economic and technological characteristics of the industry and by the competitive weapons on which the firms in the industry have built their strategies.

An industry matrix summarizes the key success factors that face a particular industry. As shown in Table 3. The matrix also specifies how well various competitors in the industry are responding to each factor. All weights must sum to 1. Assign a rating to each factor from 5 Outstanding to 1 Poor based on how well that company is currently dealing with each key success factor.

An average company should have a total weighted score of 3. The industry matrix can be expanded to include all the major competitors within an industry simply by adding two additional columns for each additional competitor. Information is obtained from a variety of sources, such as customers, suppliers, bankers, consultants, publications, personal observations, subordinates, superiors, and peers.

A study of product innovation found that 77 percent of all product innovations in the scientific instruments and 67 percent in semiconductors and printed circuit boards were initiated by the customer in the form of inquiries and complaints. Sometimes called business intelligence, this is one of the fastest growing fields in strategic management. Close to 80 percent of large U. Firms such as A. Nielsen Co. Strategists can use these data to spot regional and national trends as well as to assess market share. Many business corporations have established their own in-house libraries and computerized information systems to deal with the growing mass of available information.

Some companies, however, choose to use industrial espionage or other intelligence-gathering techniques to get their information straight from their competitors. For example, Avon Products hired private investigators to retrieve documents some of them shredded that Mary Kay Corporation had thrown away in a public dumpster. To combat the increasing theft of company secrets, the U. The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals at www. The society states that illegal activities are foolish because the vast majority of worthwhile competitive intelligence is available publicly via annual reports, Web sites, and libraries.

The resulting forecasts are, however, usually based on a set of assumptions that may or may not be valid. Why can Assumptions be Dangerous? Faulty underlying assumptions are the most frequent cause of forecasting errors. Nevertheless many managers who formulate and implement strategic plans rarely consider that their success is based on a series of assumptions. Many long-range plans are simply based on projections of the current situation. Sales of large cars plummeted as demand for fuel-efficient autos escalated.

In another example, many banks made a number of questionable mortgages based on the assumption that U. What Forecasting Techniques are Available? Various techniques are used to forecast future situations, and each has its proponents and critics. The most popular forecasting technique is extrapolation—the extension of present trends into the future. Trend extrapolation rests on the assumption that the world is reasonably consistent and changes slowly in the short run. Approaches of this type include time-series methods, which attempt to carry a series of historical events forward into the future.

The basic problem with extrapolation is that a historical trend is based on a series of patterns or relationships among so many different variables that a change in any one can drastically alter the future direction of the trend. As a rule of thumb, the further into the past one can find relevant data supporting the trend, the more confidence one can have in the prediction.

Brainstorming and statistical modeling are also popular forecasting techniques. Brainstorming is a nonquantitative approach in which ideas are proposed without first mentally screening them and without criticism by others. All that is required is the presence of people with some knowledge of the situation to be predicted. Ideas tend to build on previous ideas until a consensus is reached. Expert opinion is a nonquantitative technique in which experts in a particular area attempt to forecast likely developments.

This type of forecast is based on the ability of a knowledgeable person s to construct probable future developments based on the interaction of key variables. One application, developed by the RAND Corporation, is the Delphi technique, in which separated experts independently assess the likelihoods of specified events.

Statistical modeling is a quantitative technique that attempts to discover causal or at least explanatory factors that link two or more time series together. Examples of statistical modeling are regression analysis and other econometric methods. Although very useful in the grasping of historic trends, statistical modeling, like trend extrapolation, is based on historical data. As the patterns of relationships change, the accuracy of the forecast deteriorates. Scenarios are focused descriptions of different likely futures presented in a narrative fashion. Scenario writing appears to be the most widely used forecasting technique after trend extrapolation.

The scenario thus may be merely a written description of some future state, in terms of key variables and issues, or it may be generated in combination with other forecasting techniques. It is a scenario that is developed by analyzing the probable impact of future societal forces on key groups in a particular industry. The process may operate as follows 1. Examine possible shifts in the natural and societal variables globally. Identify uncertainties in each of the six forces of the task environment e. Make a range of plausible assumptions about future trends. Combine assumptions about individual trends into internally consistent scenarios.

Analyze the industry situation that would prevail under each scenario. Determine the sources of competitive advantage under each scenario. Select those scenarios that are either most likely to occur or are most likely to have a strong impact on the future of the company. Use these scenarios as assumptions in strategy formulation. The higher the weight, the more important this factor is to the current and future success of the company.

Each rating is a judgment regarding how well the company is currently dealing with each external factor. The total weighted score indicates how well a particular company is responding to current and expected factors in its external environment. The score can be used to compare the firm to other firms in its industry. The total weighted score for an average firm in an industry is always 3.

As an example of this procedure, Table 3. According to Porter, what determines the level of competitive intensity in an industry? Compare and contrast trend extrapolation with the writing of scenarios as forecasting techniques. Key Terms listed in order of appearance environmental scanning 31 natural environment 31 societal environment 31 task environment 31 industry analysis 31 STEEP analysis 32 multinational corporation MNC 34 issues priority matrix 36 industry 37 new entrants 38 entry barrier 38 rivalry 38 substitute products 39 bargaining power of buyers 39 bargaining power of suppliers 40 relative power of other stakeholders 40 fragmented industry 41 consolidated industry 41 multidomestic industry 41 global industry 42 strategic group 42 strategic type 43 hypercompetition 44 key success factors 45 industry matrix 45 competitive intelligence 46 extrapolation 47 scenarios 48 EFAS Table 48 Notes 1.

Edwards and P. Sharp, , p. This summary of the forces driving competitive strategy is taken from Porter, Competitive Strategy, pp. Hatten and M. Miles and C. This process of scenario development is adapted from M. Even though many manufacturers were hoping to introduce cheap small cars into India and other developing nations, Tata Motors seemed to have significant advantages that other companies lacked.

The dashboard contained just a speedometer, fuel gauge, and oil light. It lacked a radio, reclining seats, or power steering. It came with a small cc engine that generated only 70 horsepower, but obtained miles per gallon. More importantly, Tata Motors would save money by using an innovative distribution strategy. Instead of selling completed cars to dealers, Tata planned to supply kits that would then be assembled by the dealers. Given that Tata Motors was able to acquire Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford later in the year, other auto companies had to admit that Tata was on its way to becoming a major competitor in the industry.

Strategic managers must also look within the corporation itself to identify internal strategic factors—those critical strengths and weaknesses that are likely to determine if the firm will be able to take advantage of opportunities while avoiding threats. What are Core and Distinctive Competencies?

They include tangible assets, such as plant, equipment, finances, and location; human assets, in terms of the number of employees and their skills; and intangible assets, such as technology, culture, and reputation. They consist of business processes and routines that manage the interaction among resources to turn inputs into outputs.

A capability is functionally based and is resident in a particular function. Thus, there are marketing capabilities, manufacturing capabilities, and human resource management capabilities. When these capabilities are constantly being updated and reconfigured to make them more adaptive to an uncertain environment, they are called dynamic capabilities. A competency is the cross-functional integration and coordination of capabilities.

A core competency is a collection of competencies that cross divisional boundaries, is widespread within the corporation, and is something that a corporation can do exceedingly well. Thus new product development would be a core competency if it goes beyond one division. For example, a core competency of Avon Products is its expertise in door-to-door selling. FedEx has a core competency in its application of information technology to all of its operations. A company must constantly reinvest in a core competency or risk its becoming a core rigidity, that is, a strength that over time matures and becomes a weakness.

In general, the more core competencies are used, the more refined they get and the more valuable they become. When core competencies are superior to those of the competition, they are called distinctive competencies. General Electric, for example, is well known for its distinctive competency in management development. Its executives are sought out by other companies hiring top managers.

Value : Does it provide competitive advantage? Rareness: Do no other competitors possess it? Imitability: Is it costly for others to imitate? Organization: Is the firm organized to exploit the resource? If the answer to these questions is yes for a particular competency, it is considered to be a strength and thus a distinctive competency.

Appraise the profit potential of these capabilities and competencies in terms of their potential for sustainable competitive advantage and the ability to harvest the profits resulting from their use. Are there any distinctive competencies? Identify resource gaps and invest in upgrading weaknesses. The ability of a firm to use its resources, capabilities, and competencies to develop a competitive advantage through distinctive competencies does not mean it will be able to sustain it.

This is the type of knowledge that competitive intelligence activities can quickly identify and communicate. It is the ability of competitors to gather the resources and capabilities necessary to support a competitive challenge. This continuum is depicted in Figure 4. These resources and capabilities are distinctive competencies because they provide a sustainable competitive advantage. To the extent that a company has fast-cycle resources, the primary way it can compete successfully is through increased speed from lab to marketplace.

Otherwise, it has no real sustainable competitive advantage. This is especially important when analyzing Internet-based companies. It includes the key structural and operational characteristics of a firm— how it earns revenue and makes a profit. The simplest business model is to provide a good or service that can be sold so that revenues exceed costs and expenses. Other models can be much more complicated. Some of the many possible business models are provided here. The Customer Solutions Model is one in which a company like IBM makes money not by selling products, but by selling its expertise as consultants.

In the Multi-Component System, a company like Gillette sells razors at break-even in order to sell highermargin razor blades. In the Advertising Model, a company like Google offers free Web services to users in order to expose them to the advertising that pays the bills. Financial planners, mutual funds, and realtors use the Switchboard Model, in which a firm acts as an intermediary to connect multiple sellers to multiple buyers for a fee.

In the Efficiency Model, a company like Dell or Wal-Mart waits until a product or service becomes standardized and then enters the market with a low-priced, lowmargin product appealing to the mass market. Figure 4. The focus of value-chain analysis is to examine the corporation in the context of the overall chain of value-creating activities, of which the firm may only be a small part. Industry Value-Chain Analysis The value chains of most industries can be split into two segments: upstream and downstream halves. In the petroleum industry, for example, upstream refers to oil exploration, drilling, and moving the crude oil to the refinery; whereas, downstream refers to refining the oil plus the transporting and marketing of gasoline and refined oil to distributors and gas station retailers.

Even though most large oil companies are completely integrated, they often vary in the amount of expertise they have at each part of the value chain. Amoco, for example, had its greatest expertise downstream in marketing and retailing. British Petroleum, in contrast, was more dominant in upstream activities like exploration. The merger of these two firms combined their core competencies and created a stronger overall firm. In analyzing the complete value chain of a product, note that even if a firm operates up and down the entire industry chain, it usually has an area of primary expertise where its primary activities lie.

This process is called vertical integration. Because most corporations make several different products or services, an internal analysis of the firm involves analyzing a series of different value chains. Which activities can be considered strengths competencies or weaknesses? Linkages are the connections between the way one value activity e. In seeking ways for a corporation to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace, the same function can be performed in different ways with different results. For example, quality inspection of percent of output by the workers themselves instead of the usual 10 percent by quality control inspectors might increase production costs, but that increase could be more than offset by the savings obtained from reducing the number of repair people needed to fix defective products and increasing the amount of time devoted by salespeople to selling instead of exchanging already-sold, but defective, products.

Examine the potential synergies among the value chains of different product lines or business units. Each value element, such as advertising or manufacturing, has an inherent economy of scale in which activities are conducted at their lowest possible cost per unit of output. If a particular product is not being produced at a high-enough level to reach economies of scale in distribution, another product could be used to share the same distribution channel. This is a way to achieve economies of scope defined later in the chapter. Functional resources include not only the financial, physical, and human assets in each area, but also the ability of the people in each area to formulate and implement the necessary functional objectives, strategies, and policies.

The capabilities include the knowledge of analytical concepts and procedural techniques common to each area and the ability of the people in each area to use them effectively. If used properly, these capabilities serve as strengths to carry out value-added activities and support strategic decisions. What are the Typical Organizational Structures? Although an almost infinite variety of structural forms are possible, certain basic types predominate in modern complex organizations.

Generally speaking, each structure tends to support some corporate strategies over others. Employees tend to be generalists and jacks-of-all-trades. Employees tend to be specialists in the business functions important to that industry, such as manufacturing, marketing, finance, and human resources. General Motors, for example, groups its various product lines into the separate divisions of Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac.

Management attempts to find some synergy among divisional activities through the use of committees and horizontal linkages. SBUs are divisions or groups of divisions composed of independent product-market segments that are given primary responsibility and authority for the management of their own functional areas. An SBU may be of any size or level, but it must have 1 a unique mission, 2 identifiable competitors, 3 an external market focus, and 4 control over its business functions.

The idea is to decentralize on the basis of strategic elements rather than on the basis of size, product characteristics, or span of control and to create horizontal linkages among units previously kept separate. For example, rather than organize products on the basis of packaging technology like frozen foods, canned foods, and bagged foods, General Foods organized its products into SBUs on the basis of consumer-oriented menu segments: breakfast food, beverage, main meal, dessert, and pet foods.

The unrelated nature of the subsidiaries prevents any attempt at gaining synergy among them. One example of a conglomerate is Berkshire Hathaway. Advanced structural designs are discussed in Chapter 8. What is Corporate Culture? The term corporate culture generally reflects the values of the founder s and the mission of the firm. It gives a company a sense of identity. But if the corporate culture is not compatible with the proposed strategy, it is a serious weakness.

Corporate culture has two distinct attributes: intensity and integration. Cultural intensity or depth is the degree to which members of a unit accept the norms, values, or other culture content associated with the unit. Organizations with strong norms promoting a particular value, such as quality at BMW, have intensive cultures, whereas new firms or those in transition have weaker, less intensive cultures.

Employees of a company with an intensive culture tend to exhibit consistency in behavior, that is, they tend to act similarly over time. Cultural integration or breadth is the extent to which units throughout an organization share a common culture. Organizations with a pervasive dominant culture, such as a military unit, may be hierarchically controlled and power oriented and have highly integrated cultures.

All employees tend to hold the same cultural values and norms. In contrast, a company that is structured into diverse units by functions or divisions usually exhibits some strong subcultures e. Corporate culture shapes the behavior of people in the corporation. A strong culture should not only promote survival, but also create the basis for a superior competitive position by increasing motivation and facilitating coordination and control. What are the Strategic Marketing Issues? Market position refers to the selection of specific areas for marketing concentration and can be expressed in terms of market, product, and geographical locations.

Through market research, corporations are able to practice market segmentation—tailoring products for specific market niches. These variables are product, place, promotion, and price. Within each of these four variables are several subvariables, listed in Table 4. Table 4. One of the most useful concepts in marketing insofar as strategic management is concerned is that of the product life cycle. As depicted in Figure 4. This concept enables a marketing manager to examine the marketing mix of a particular product or group of products in terms of its position in its life cycle.

For further information, see C. Austin, TCX. A brand can thus be an important corporate resource. What are the Strategic Financial Issues? The financial manager must ascertain the best sources, uses, and control of funds. Cash must be raised from internal or external sources and allocated for different uses.

The flow of funds in the operations of the organization must be monitored. Benefits, in the form of returns, repayments, or products and services, must be given to the sources of outside financing. All these tasks must be handled in a way that complements and supports overall corporate strategy. The mix of externally generated short-term and long-term funds in relation to the amount and timing of internally generated funds should be appropriate to the corporate objectives, strategies, and policies.

Financing company activities by selling bonds or notes instead of through issuing stock boosts earnings per share: The interest paid on the debt reduces taxable income, but fewer stockholders share the profits. High leverage may therefore be perceived as a corporate strength in times of prosperity and ever-increasing sales or as a weakness in times of a recession and falling sales because leverage magnifies the effect of an increase or decrease in dollar sales on earnings per share. Capital budgeting is the analyzing and ranking of possible investments in fixed assets such as land, buildings, and equipment in terms of the additional outlays and additional receipts that will result from each investment.

A good finance department will be able to prepare such capital budgets and rank them on the basis of some accepted criteria or hurdle rate e. The company must make available the resources necessary for effective research and development. For example, the computer software and drug industries spend an average of Not only should the corporation make a consistent research effort as measured by reasonably constant corporate expenditures that result in usable innovations , it should also be proficient in managing research personnel and integrating their innovations into its day-to-day operations.

A company should also be proficient in technology transfer, the process of taking a new technology from the laboratory to the marketplace. For example, Xerox Corporation has been criticized because it failed to take advantage of various innovations such as the mouse and the graphical user interface for personal computers developed originally in its sophisticated Palo Alto Research Center. The best measurements of ability in this area are the number of successful new products introduced and the percentage of total sales and profits coming from products introduced within the past five years.

According to Richard Foster of McKinsey and Company, technological discontinuity is the displacement of one technology by another. It is a frequent and strategically important phenomenon. Such a discontinuity occurs when a new technology does not simply enhance the current technology but actually substitutes for that technology to yield better performance. For each technology within a given field or industry, according to Foster, the plotting of product performance against research effort and expenditures on a graph results in an S-shaped curve.

He describes the process depicted in Figure 4. Later, progress comes more easily. And then, as the limits of that technology are approached, progress becomes slow and expensive. That is also—not so incidentally—when a competitor who has bet on a new technology can sweep away your business or topple an entire industry. Their reluctance to switch technologies even when the firm is aware of the new technology and may have even invented it! The new technology is generally riskier and of little appeal to the current customers of established firms. New entrepreneurial firms are typically more interested in the new technology because it is one way to appeal to a developing market niche in a market currently dominated by established companies.

Even though the new technology may be more expensive to develop, it offers performance improvements in areas that are attractive to this small niche, but of no consequence to the customers of the established competitors. The primary task of the operations manufacturing or service manager is to develop and operate a system that will produce the required number of products or services, with a certain quality, at a given cost, within an allotted time. Objective SWOT analysis is to recommend strategies to ensure the best alignment between internal and external environment, and choosing the right strategy can be beneficial organization in order to adapt their strengths to opportunities, minimize risks and eliminate weaknesses.

International audience; SWOT analysis has over a period spanning several decades enjoyed considerable popularity in the business community. In this paper management fashion theory is used as a theoretical lens to understand the history and evolution of SWOT as a management idea. The analysis shows that SWOT 's evolution pattern diverges in several respects from that of other comparable management ideas.

The findings from the analysis have several implications for research on SWOT and, more gen Organizations to maintain and achieve optimal growth and development and increase its competitiveness need to be a comprehensive and coherent plan for the mission and goals of the strategic plan. The purpose of this study is providing strategic planning and optimal strategies for using SWOT.

The company is investigating the territory south of the oil industry. The questionnaire has been used as a research tool containing the questions is Research data from interviews with managers, exper Strategic planning is a process of decision making and action for long-term activities in an organization. The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats SWOT analysis has been commonly used to help organizations in strategizing their future direction by analyzing internal and external environment.

However, SWOT analysis has some limitations as it is unable to prioritize appropriately the multiple alternative strategic decisions. Nevertheless, another important aspect has raised concerns on obtaining the decision that is the reliability of the information. Decision makers evaluate differently depending on their level of confidence or sureness in the evaluation. An example using a local authority in the east coast of Malaysia is illustrated to determine the strategic options ranking and to prioritize factors in each SWOT category.

This article was written in early December , combined with the historical development and the latest data on the Chinese Petroleum carried SWOTanalysis. This paper discusses corporate resources, cost, management and external factors such as the political environment and the market supply and demand, conducted a comprehensive and profound analysis. A SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis of a teacher education program, or any program, can be the driving force for implementing change.

A SWOT analysis is used to assist faculty in initiating meaningful change in a program and to use the data for program improvement. This tool is useful in any undergraduate or degree…. Our article aims to study audit sampling in audit of financial statements. As an audit technique largely used, in both its statistical and nonstatistical form, the method is very important for auditors.

It should be applied correctly for a fair view of financial statements, to satisfy the needs of all financial users. In order to be applied correctly the method must be understood by all its users and mainly by auditors. Otherwise the risk of not applying it correctly would cause loose of reputation and discredit, litigations and even prison.

Since there is not a unitary practice and methodology for applying the technique, the risk of incorrectly applying it is pretty high. The SWOT analysis is a technique used that shows the advantages, disadvantages, threats and opportunities. We applied SWOT analysis in studying the sampling method, from the perspective of three players: the audit company, the audited entity and users of financial statements. The study shows that by applying the sampling method the audit company and the audited entity both save time, effort and money.

The disadvantages of the method are difficulty in applying and understanding its insight. Full Text Available Sustainable urban development is a new concept of fundamental environmental metropolitan management that not only creates the demand for changing the concepts of economic development, but also affects social development. The data was collected by having a review of similar studies and field research on the subject and therefore the effective factors were identified. After accomplished proceedings, the questionnaire was prepared and the results were used in SWOT charts' grading after analyzing at interior and exterior matrix.

Ultimately, quantitative strategic planning matrix QSPM was performed based on the results and analysis. This process provided a comprehensive model for sustainable urban development as sustainable development urban landscape pattern. In recent years, strategic planning has become one of the subjects that many institutions work on to ensure the institutions' appropriate management based on realistic results. Basically, the manager of strategic planning,….

Being a basic method used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of organizations, and detect the existing opportunities and threats, the SWOT makes it possible to see the current situation of an organization. Objective of this study is to analyze the current situation of primary and secondary schools through the method of swot analysis , and evaluate the internal and external factors affecting school.

In order to ensure that the participants reveal their perceptions related to the current s Full Text Available Legal framework for privatization in Croatia was based on two key laws: the Transformation Act of , and the Privatization Act of , amended in Early start of privatization process in s in Croatia was marked by the transformation of socially-owned companies into stock holding companies or limited liability companies. The first step of this process of almost companies which entered privatization was their evaluation and transformation into private ownership entities.

The second step consisted of privatization of CPF portfolio. The portfolios change constantly, not only as a result of privatization but also because companies themselves change, as does their position in the market. The third step in the privatization process was voucher privatization. Privatization of large infrastructure and utility companies designated as public enterprises began in Croatian Telecom and INA in public enterprises are privatized on the basis of separate laws.

Attempts to discuss privatization in Croatia in terms of SWOT analysis have been motivated by the stark difference among Croatian professional economists in an appraisal of Croatia's performance during the transition process in general and of the privatization process in particular.

Therefore we considered the elements of SWOT analysis to be an acceptable way to delve into the confusing world of bickering arguments on the state and perspective of the Croatia's privatization process. In this paper we have tried to provide an impartial approach by employing two criteria i. Strength of the overall privatization process can be mostly ascribed to the institutional swiftness on micro as well as on macro level.

Full Text Available The article examines the conditions for companies' successful development, combining strategic PR-planning and marketing tactics based on sociological measurements. For this purpose the author studies the environment by estimating the activities of the competitors, suppliers and consumers, and analyzes the current position and opportunities of the enterprise itself, with its technical, technological, financial, raw material and other resources. The author shows the mechanism of applying the SWOT-analysis as a matrix of primary strategic analysis.

This method allows to carry out an integrated research of various aspects of the external and internal environment and to choose an optimal marketing strategy. Full Text Available Electronic Health Record EHR is one of the most important achievements of information technology in healthcare domain, and if deployed effectively, it can yield predominant results.

The aim of this study was a SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis in electronic health record implementation. This is a descriptive, analytical study conducted with the participation of a member work force from Hospitals affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences TUMS. The data were collected by using a self-structured questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS software. Based on the results, the highest priority in strength analysis was related to timely and quick access to information.

However, lack of hardware and infrastructures was the most important weakness. Having the potential to share information between different sectors and access to a variety of health statistics was the significant opportunity of EHR. To facilitate successful adoption of electronic health record, some organizational, technical and resource elements contribute; moreover, the consideration of these factors is essential for HER implementation.

Electronic Health Record EHR is one of the most important achievements of information technology in healthcare domain, and if deployed effectively, it can yield predominant results. Finally, the most substantial threats were the lack of strategic planning in the field of electronic health records together with physicians' and other clinical staff's resistance in the use of electronic health records. The analysis resulted in defining goals for the future development of intermodal transportation, as well as possible problems generated by strategic management.

The main aim of this study was to improve the analytical dimension of SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis with group decision-making, which underlines the analysis of internal and external environments that in turn, will improve the definition of corporate strategy within the strategic planning process. The main issue of the study was how to select the most appropriate strategy by taking into consideration different effects of each factor of SWOT analysis on strat SWOT analysis for safer carriage of bulk liquid chemicals in tankers.

The application of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats SWOT analysis to formulation of strategy concerned with the safe carriage of bulk liquid chemicals in maritime tankers was examined in this study. A qualitative investigation using SWOT analysis has been implemented successfully for ships that are designed to carry liquid chemicals in bulk.

The originality of this study lies in the use of SWOT analysis as a management tool to formulate strategic action plans for ship management companies, ship masters and officers for the carriage of dangerous goods in bulk. With this transportation-based SWOT analysis , efforts were made to explore the ways and means of converting possible threats into opportunities, and changing weaknesses into strengths; and strategic plans of action were developed for safer tanker operation. Since the early 's, the Czech Republic has been one of the countries that carry out a radon programme on its territory, with the aim of protecting people from unnecessary long-term exposure in their homes.

Since that time, many achievements have been registered, and many unexpected difficulties have cropped up. This may be the right moment to take some time out to analyse the state of the programme and to determine the direction for its future development. An extended SWOT analysis can serve as a useful tool for this purpose.

Originally, SWOT analyses were used exclusively by for-profit organisations aiming to evaluate their perspectives, develop strategies and make plans in order to achieve their objectives. More recently, it has been used in a wide range of decision-making situations when a desired end-state is to be defined.

Here, an extended SWOT analysis is used to formulate possible beneficial strategies for advancing anti-radon policy in the Czech Republic. Since the early s, the Czech Republic has been one of the countries that carry out a radon programme on its territory, with the aim of protecting people from unnecessary long-term exposure in their homes. Published by Oxford University Press.

For Permissions, please email: journals. Full Text Available SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis is a commonly used and an important technique for analyzing internal and external environments in order to provide a systematic approach and support for a decision making. SWOT is criticized mostly for considering only qualitative examination of environmental factors, no priority for various factors and strategies, and no vagueness of the factors under fuzziness.

Nuclear power plant site selection, which is a strategic and important issue for Turkeyrs energy policy making, is considered as an application case study that demonstrated the applicability of the developed fuzzy SWOT model. Full Text Available Different regions, countries or areas have identified the development of the tourism industry as a strategic objective in their policies, at both the microeconomic and macroeconomic levels.

These regions, obviously, expect the tourism industry to generate economic effects to residents both households and local businesses. Over time, our country was considered an important tourist destination for the market in South-East Europe, supporting and promoting Romania's image and especially coastal tourism, spas, cultural programs and monasteries in Bucovina. The Romanian tourist offer did not do profound changes in relation to the tourism demand and to the requirements of comparative tourism products on the international market, requirements that, over time, proved to be increasingly demanding.

There are several approaches that aim at diagnosing the business of accomodation industries but a method commonly used for this is the SWOT analysis Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, i. Psychiatric disorders are highly prevalent and remains a huge burden on the society. In spite of that persons with mental illness are marginalized and mental health is largely being neglected. There is an acute shortage of mental health professionals in India, and also there is inadequate exposure to psychiatry during the medical undergraduate training in India.

Moreover, the perception towards psychiatry and psychiatrists is not favorable among medical fraternity and policy makers. This is reflected in the fact that in spite of clearly deficient undergraduate psychiatry curriculum, no steps have been taken towards improving it and recommendations are not being implemented in true spirit.

This review tries to identify the gaps in undergraduate curriculum, present a SWOT analysis of current situation and recommend the possible ways to address the deficiencies particularly in India. Full Text Available SWOT analysis is one of the most well-known strategic management tools and is used in practice bytourism enterprises to guide the strategic decision in choosing an option that matches a rational framework.

Before managers define their effective strategy to gain a competitive advantage, they need to carefully look atthe situation of the tourism enterprise's competitiveness, which involves assessing the environmental andorganizational factors which influence the company's ability to compete. Through this article, the author argues the need to use the SWOT analysis in the strategic planningactivity of the tourism enterprise to ensure competitiveness in relation to the competitive environment. In order to determine the performance and the quality of the activity carried out by a preuniversityeducation institution it starts from identifying strengths and weaknesses, threats andcapitalizing on opportunities.

This is possible by using the SWOT analysis. Describes how SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats analysis can be used by business educators to find the best match between environmental trends opportunities and threats and internal departmental capabilities strengths and weaknesses. An example from accounting education is provided. Insight into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats SWOT of planning support systems PSS is fragmented between users and system developers.

The lack of combined insights blocks development in the right direction and makes potential users hesitant to apply PSS in planning. Full Text Available Our time is marked by the increasingly dynamic changing environment. The new conditions in which we operate are characterized by increasing complexity and labor activities that require more responsible behavior. The rising levels of stress and the increasing lack of free time for relaxation and recreation require a new look at the possibilities for the prevention of personal health.

The plane of the consumer society in which we live is increasingly shifted by aspiration and vision of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The focus here is the implementation of a multilevel wellness concept that changes qualitatively the status quo and seeks for ways to harmonize the body with the nature. One of the options is the practice of SPA tourism in whose genesis is the multilayered beneficial impact of a series of procedures and actions. This new alternative through its economic dimensions is an attractive business niche which over time becomes an industry.

The current state of the SPA tourism in Bulgaria is controversial despite existing achievements and introduced best practices. Traditions in this direction and the presence of favorable basis for its approval, however, are not sufficient to achieve stability and an upward trend in development. There are existing a number of weaknesses and negative aspects that create frustration in users, which is a real threat to its future. The proposed SWOT-analysis as part of a comprehensive and multilateral study of the state of SPA tourism in Bulgaria reveals some of the existing problems.

There have been some suggestions to minimize the impact of weaknesses and eliminate the errors found in leading business organizations managing processes.

A detailed analysis and evaluation of the formulated conclusions is ahead, as well as concluding on ideas to improve the state of the sector — a subject of a further investigation by the author. This historical review uncovers the institutionalisation and diffusion of the SWOT analysis by assessing academic literature, seminar materials, proprietary research reports and interviews with experts from the virus theory perspective.

We suggest that reviews of the SWOT analysis using the. SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis is a widely used method of evaluation employed in the business and planning worlds, including tourism planning, but there is little documentation on SWOT analysis in the academic tourism or geography literature. In this study SWOT analysis was applied more systematically in these areas, and rules for using it are suggested.

The objective of this research is to show how SWOT analysis can be made more attractive, useful and accur The present investigation is a case study of Lucknow, the main metropolis in Northern India, which succumbs to a major problem of municipal solid waste and its management. A qualitative investigation using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis SWOT has been successfully implemented through this community participation study.

This qualitative investigation emphasizes the limited capabilities of the municipal corporation's resources to provide proper facilitation of the municipal solid waste management MSWM services without community participation in Lucknow city. The SWOT analysis was performed to formulate strategic action plans for MSWM in order to mobilize and utilize the community resources on the one hand and municipal corporation's resources on the other. It has allowed the introduction of a participatory approach for better collaboration between the community and municipal corporation in Lucknow India.

With this stakeholder-based SWOT analysis , efforts were made to explore the ways and means of converting the possible "threats" into "opportunities" and changing the "weaknesses" into "strengths" regarding a community-based MSWM programme. By this investigation, concrete strategic action plans were developed for both the community and municipal corporation to improve MSWM in Lucknow. With this stakeholder-based SWOT analysis , efforts were made to explore the ways and means of converting the possible 'threats' into 'opportunities' and changing the 'weaknesses' into 'strengths' regarding a community-based MSWM programme.

Purpose Organizations have to evaluate their internal and external environments in this highly competitive world. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats SWOT analysis is a very useful technique which analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization for taking strategic decisions and it also provides a foundation for the formulation of strategies. But the drawback of SWOT analysis is that it does not quantify the importance of individual factors affecting the organization and the individual factors are described in brief without weighing them.

The paper aims to discuss these issues. Findings SO strategy providing best facilitation and care to the medical tourists at par to developed countries is the best strategy which matches with the four elements of S, W, O and T of SWOT matrix and 35 strategic indicators.

To minimize resistance, the author has used TOPSIS as it involves group thinking, requiring every manager of the organization to analyze and evaluate different alternatives and average measure of each parameter in final decision matrix. Munoz-Baell, Irma M. This article reports on a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats SWOT analysis using a nominal group process undertaken to identify and tackle significant factors, both internal and external, affecting those current Deaf bilingual practices in Spain which promote or prevent the processes through which more inclusive barrier-free ….

Underscores the applicability of marketing principles to minority student recruitment and retention at community colleges. Considers the development of a plan for action based on the SWOT analysis. Full Text Available Bangladesh is a small country with enormous natural beauty and cultural attractions. These gorgeous natural and cultural traits make this country as one of the important tourist destinations in the world but, this potentiality has been overlooked.

The tourism industry is facing several challenges, and development efforts of this industry are not sustainable. This paper maps out a way to sustainable growth of the tourism industry in Bangladesh using the SWOT strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats model and a derived matrix out of it. The data used for this study were derived from multiple sources, including literature review and interviews with professionals. To analyze strategic factors of the tourism industry in the country, internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats were determined to be followed by development of strategic planning based on the SWOT matrix.

Results showed that existing tourism activities in Bangladesh are unsustainable. To develop a sustainable tourism industry to attract tourists, this study suggests different WT weaknesses- threats strategies such as ensuring safety and security of tourists, effective planning for sustainable economic benefits, strict implementation of environmental regulations for ecological sustainability, alerting people about the importance of sustainable tourism development, and infrastructure development.

Perhaps the findings of this study would be important in the effort to develop and promote a sustainable tourism industry in beautiful Bangladesh. Full Text Available Tax havens have long been under the attention of numerous Governments and International Organizations which triggered the concern of an uneven playing field in the taxation area.

As a result numerous amendments have been made to both their commercial and tax legislations in order to be in line with the internationally agreed tax standards. The aim of this article is to conduct a SWOT analysis on the offshore corporate structures found in the Caribbean landscape.

Based on a selection process of the most commonly recognized tax havens in the Caribbean region and an analysis of their offshore companies at the level of incorporation, administration, activities conducted and costs, a set of frequently met characteristics have been identified which stand at the basis of the SWOT analysis.

The results stand to present a comprehensive four dimension framework of the offshore corporate structures in regards to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Can cloud computing benefit health services? In this paper, we discuss cloud computing, the current state of cloud computing in healthcare, and the challenges and opportunities of adopting cloud computing in healthcare. The paper concludes that cloud computing could have huge benefits for healthcare but there are a number of issues that will need to be addressed before its widespread use in healthcare.

Using a methodology derived from management and organizational studies, the author reviews the future of Jungian analysis. The methodology is termed SWOT - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. A selected list in each of these categories is presented. The author is transparent in allowing for the fact that the paper not only derives from a public lecture on the topic, but also retains the immediacy and the contrarian and opinionated style of such a lecture.

The retailer was convinced that a strong a Full Text Available Research has shown that foreign direct investments benefit the economic development of a host country. However, numerous examples of an inadequate investment structure point to the possible damages for an economic, as well as socio- political development of a country.

The purpose of this paper is to looks into the structure of total foreign direct investments realised in the Republic of Croatia and, by using scientific methods, analyse the importance and the effect of foreign direct investments on the Croatian economy. Despite numerous existing conventions and protocols, a desired degree of adjustment to international conventions has not yet been achieved, which hinders investment. The Government should create a protection mechanism in order to keep the investors in the times of crisis, as well as policy of attracting the strategically oriented investments that will facilitate long-term economic growth.

The first method through which it is possible to define a strategy of attracting strategically oriented investments into the economy, is the qualitative identification of the Republic of Croatia as an investment destination through SWOT analysis. Full Text Available The main objective of this study is to find the model business for small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs with management strategy and business strategy approach.

This research to help researchers, owners of SMEs and government in developing a framework for management strategy and business strategy on how the best result of business models. This study is valuable considering the limited among of empirical work previously done on the topic in question.

The result of management strategies is internal and external factor analysis than analysis with strength, weakness, opportunities, and treatment SWOT. Maintenance Process Strategic Analysis. The performance and competitiveness of manufacturing companies is dependent on the availability, reliability and productivity of their production facilities. Low productivity, downtime, and poor machine performance is often linked to inadequate plant maintenance, which in turn can lead to reduced production levels, increasing costs, lost market opportunities, and lower profits.

These pressures have given firms worldwide the motivation to explore and embrace proactive maintenance strategies over the traditional reactive firefighting methods. The traditional view of maintenance has shifted into one of an overall view that encompasses Overall Equipment Efficiency, Stakeholders Management and Life Cycle assessment. From practical point of view it requires changes in approach to maintenance represented by managers and changes in actions performed within maintenance area. Managers have to understand that maintenance is not only about repairs and conservations of machines and devices, but also actions striving for more efficient resources management and care for safety and health of employees.

The purpose of the work is to present strategic analysis based on SWOT analysis to identify the opportunities and strengths of maintenance process, to benefit from them as much as possible, as well as to identify weaknesses and threats, so that they could be eliminated or minimized. SWOT analysis and revelation in traditional Chinese medicine internationalization. Traditional Chinese medicine TCM is currently the best-preserved and most influential traditional medical system with the largest number of users worldwide.

In recent years, the trend of TCM adoption has increased greatly, but the process of TCM internationalization has suffered from a series of setbacks for both internal and external reasons. Thus, the process of TCM internationalization faces formidable challenges, although it also has favourable opportunities.

These findings can serve as references for TCM enterprises with global ambitions. Stakeholder perspectives on the use of pig meat inspection as a health and welfare diagnostic tool in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; a SWOT analysis. The final SWOT framework comprised two strengths, three opportunities, six weaknesses, and five threats.

Issues around relationships and communication between producers and their veterinary practitioner, processors and producers were common to both the strengths and weakness clusters. Practical challenges within the processing plant were also named. Ir Vet J , regarding problematic issues within the current system of information feedback on meat inspection especially within the Republic of Ireland, and the wider challenges of communication and problems of distrust.

Ir Vet J , , that trust between all stakeholders across the supply chain will be essential for the development of an effective environment in which to realise the full diagnostic potential of MI data. Further stakeholder engagement could seek to apply the findings of the SWOT analysis to a policy Delphi methodology, as used elsewhere. Strategic environments SWOT for nuclear energy innovation in the In prospecting the role of nuclear energy in a future society, it is necessary to foresee the social attitudes towards energy, economy and environment, and to analyze their interactions with the exploitation of nuclear energy itself.

As those issues, this article looks upon the change of the socio-economic environment, the concerns about nuclear power and eco-environment, and the sustainability and limits of the energy resources, etc. This is the decade of data analytics and big data, but not everyone agrees with the definition of big data.

Some researchers see it as the future of data analysis , while others consider it as hype and foresee its demise in the near future. No matter how it is defined, big data for the time being is having its glory moment. The most important…. The use of SWOT analysis is a means through which geography students can investigate key concepts in economic geography and essential topics in regional economic development.

This article discusses the results of a course project where economic geography students employed SWOT analysis to explore medium-sized metropolitan areas across the southern…. The purpose of this study was to conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats SWOT analysis of the health education profession and discipline in India. Strengths of health education in India include an elaborate…. Thailand is one of the developing countries encountering medical workforce shortage.

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From the national registry in , there were 33 physicians: There is no current data to confirm the effectiveness of the national policy to increase physician production. We demonstrate our findings from the strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat SWOT analysis in medical students and the potential impact on national workforce planning. We introduced SWOT analysis to medical students during the academic years, with the objective of becoming "a good physician in the future".

The percentages of medical students who described themselves as "do not want to be a doctor" and "do not want to work in rural or community areas" increased from 7. Further intervention should be considered in order to change the medical students attitudes on the profession and their impact on Thai health system. Full Text Available Collaboration among academia and industry is a long aspiring vision of every country to promote innovation and commercialization. A deeper analysis of collaborative efforts among this triad may reveal significant aspects to look for well informed decision making.

The purpose of this research is to conduct the SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis of collaboration in engineering education, research and practices in Pakistan. The study attempts to identify strengths and weaknesses of the current collaborative strategies; opportunities for establishing strong and rewarding relationships, and threats that may hinder development of this association.

It further provides practical schema to establish productive association between the two partners through creative leadership, effective strategic partnership, and systematic modus operandi to way forward with implications for academics, researchers, and industry. This will bring a reduction in their traffic and will also take prospective advertisers to those sites as their sites are now more attractive to the users.

There have been allegations against the company about abuse of power. According to The European Commission EC , the company lowers the ranking of outstanding competitive results. This is only one among numerous allegations against the company. Google has been on its toes in keeping up with the intense competition coming from different angles. In their line of business, there is the need for the frequent introduction of new services and product.

There is competition from every aspect of their business from the search engine to the social networks, as well as other advertising networks using television, radio, and others. NIKE Inc. It is no doubt that NIKE is one of the leading suppliers of footwear for athletes all over the world.

S, they were listed as one of the top 30 of most valuable brands in Each of the brands specializes in different aspects, for example, the Jordan is more focused on the collection of athletic wear for basketball players. They focus on technical innovation that brings more comfort, while also reducing injuries for athletes. They also make use of the services of experts in athletes such as the coaches, trainers, and athletes who they consult to produce better products.

NIKE distributes their merchandise through retail stores, but both online and physical as well as other channels. They own a lot of retail stores all over the world, and they also distribute their products through a mix of independent distributors and licensees. In total, NIKE has retail stores all over the world, and they also sell their products through their website www. Their multi-channel approach has substantially increased their reach and their customer base in total. NIKE largely depends on independent manufacturers outside of United States to supply it fabrics and also to produce most of its products.

Hence they have limited control on the quality of their product. Some of the countries where they have contract manufacturers include China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This means that any mistake on the part of the contract manufacturers affects them too. Recently, there has been tremendous growth in the total revenue generated from footwear. There was an increase of about 4. There has been a preference to shop online by customers recently.

This is evident in the statistics of the amount spent on online stores by citizens of the United States increasing every year and recently at a high rate. A similar trend has also been recorded in Europe in respect to this. With the increase in internet usage, there is no doubt that there will be a bad side to this.

It has aided the full spread of counterfeit product all over the world. NIKE is involved in one of the most competitive businesses in the United States as well as in the world. It operates in the United States, the UK, as well as other countries. With a current workforce of about 33, people, more than 16 billion dollars was generated in revenue in the year , and a net profit of 2 billion dollars was recorded.

The company has a strong market position which has been its major competitive advantage; however, there has been a recent increase in the pressure on internet retailers to collect sales taxes which has been scaring away potential customers from the online store. The company eBay operates unites both the sellers and the buyers, therefore eliminating the need for intermediaries. The company is also segmented. The main store is eBay. The way the business is structured, also naturally makes it easy for more people to make use of their platform thereby leading to more revenue. The company has enjoyed wide recognition as being popular both within the United States and all over the world.

Towards the end of the year , there were over million active members of the platform. This shows that they have a larger chunk of the market share of online stores, which therefore gives them a competitive advantage as well as a real bargaining power. There was an increase in the net profit generated as well.

Given their financial strength, this has helped their expansion activities. As the overall number of sales on eBay increases, so the number of counterfeit goods on the platform also increases. Only a little could be done by eBay to rectify this, as there is no way they could verify the location of the sellers. There has been a marked increase in the number of people looking into online shopping over the years. In the United States, in the year , there was an increase of A similar trend of growth in the number of people and amount spent on online stores was also seen in other countries such as U.

K and others. Recently, customers prefer to pay through the virtual form of payments such as debit card processing, PayPal, and the likes in place of cash and cards. With the acquisition of PayPal in the year and other payment platforms, eBay has an edge in respect to this. In recent years, there has been an improvement in online advertisement. This trend was also seen in other countries as well. In , eBay employed the services of Triad Retail Media to help with its display business, and they now manage all the on-site adverts on eBay.

In a bid for the government to increase its revenue, it has been putting much pressure on online merchants to pay tax on goods sold online. This has been discouraging a lot of people from patronizing online stores, however. Just like most online stores, eBay is open to a lot of online scams such as the sale of fake products, as well as credit card fraud. Walt Disney has grown to become a household name both within and beyond the United States.

As a current employer of about people, the company generated a total revenue of over 52 billion dollars in the year , and a net profit of over 8 billion dollars which is an improvement over what was generated the previous year. Walt Disney is a worldwide entertainment and media company that has grown to diversify their business over the years. The company currently has a vast customer base, and with the intense competition springing up from other companies, there is the possibility that they are going to be sharing their customer base.

Walt Disney, without doubt, has a very great cable network that covers a vast area. The cable business has over a hundred channels available in about 34 languages and in countries. They have about million subscribers all around the world. Several networks owned by Disney Channels have huge numbers of subscribers running in the millions, their FYI, H2 and LMN had 69 million, 70 million, and 82 million subscribers respectively at the end of the year The huge extent and influence of their networks have given them an edge that will take a pretty long time to compete with.

Their huge number of subscribers also gave them a very wide margin which is responsible for the high revenue generated every year. They also get to enjoy additional revenue through advertising sales. The company has some of the best media brands in their possession. This makes them vulnerable to the regulation of these areas. Even with the big figures being recorded as their net profits yearly, they still have a net liability amounting to about almost three billion dollars in unpaid pensions.

There has been a major improvement over the years regarding internet services which have brought about the rise in the demand for online video, among others. Walt Disney has been working their way to reaching more customers through online videos. The increase in internet speed and the advancement in the quality of games have created more growth for the gaming industry. The company has been looking into this lately and has been investing a lot in this regards. Due to the advancement of technology, piracy of videos and other media has been made quite easy.

This has led and will probably result in more losses on the part of the company. It will reduce the revenue generated from the sale of their DVDs, for example. There is very high competition in the entertainment industry, which poses a major threat to Walt Disney. There is everything to compete for, ranging from the consumers to the advertisers. Adobe is a customer focused business which provides digital products and services to business and individuals.

They create innovative tools, many of which are cloud-based, for managing documents at home, school or work. It is one of the largest software businesses in the world, with its headquarters in San Jose, California. Adobe converted its business model to subscription based by introducing adobe creative cloud that allows users to download and install the newest versions of all its products. The company has a world-wide reach with product distributers in all areas across the globe. Its field offices are spread in a wide range of countries.

Adobe has made a mark across the world that is good from a financial as well as marketing standpoint. Adobe has an excellent list of products and services that have and are being used by all areas of the market and on many major operating systems and devices. The company provides remarkable digital media tools that allow businesses to enhance their content. Adobe has also made a name in the digital marketing industry and provides marketing solutions to major players in different industries.

It puts restrictions planning and possible changes in the company. The debt puts undesirable effects on the financial cash flow and stability. With its digital marketing services adobe can generate great revenues from the growing marketing industry. With cloud computing becoming the next big thing worldwide cloud expenditure is expected to increase by The company is expected to increase its revenues and consumer base through this opportunity with the help of its Creative Cloud services.

Adobe announced Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform for its cloud services, whereas, Microsoft referred to Adobe Marketing Cloud as the preferred marketing solution for its latest products. Adobe faces intense competition from many companies for most of its products and services. Many products from open source enterprises pose great threat to the company; for example, the digital media segment of the company faces threat from major social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and the like.

These competitors force price cuttings and restrict profits. Adobe receives confidential information from its customers that is vulnerable to viruses, malicious software or hackers that may breach the security system of the company. This sensitive information if leaked could be used by third parties in illegal deeds or fraud and could result in a bad reputation and decline in the brand name and customers of the company.

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Adobe operates globally and, thus, is prone to foreign exchange currency fluctuations. An estimated amount of These foreign exchange currency fluctuations may be harmful to the financial stability of the company. Adobe has a program that protects it exposure to foreign currency fluctuations but it merely covers a portion of the effects that could occur in a situation of unfavourable foreign currency fluctuations. Facebook is a growing social media network that has enabled millions of people to stay connected to each other through posts, photos, videos and much more.

You can stay in touch with family and friends; you can follow celebrities and politicians; you can advertise your business and undertake a pay-per-click marketing campaign.

With the growing use of mobile phones and introduction of Facebook app, a precedent increase is seen in the overall usage has occurred. According to FY, Facebook had about million daily account users which is a big number as compared to the previous years. It also captured major markets in US, Brazil and India. Another thing that goes in the favour of Facebook is the fact that it has a loyal customer base, means every user regularly has their personal data and applications set up on Facebook which they regularly update and thus are active users.

Thus, Facebook enjoys the status of non-replicable competitive advantage.

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Their goal is to offer developments on day to day basis, such that user engagement is achieved at maximum level. This attracts advertisers on the large scale too. Given that Facebook is known for making the user experience better, we see different new products offered by Facebook. The concept of degree photos, Notify and Facebook live are best examples of how well their user engagement has developed over the years by offering innovation.

Facebook has another competitive advantage of collecting lucrative databases. The company also has a record of strong financial performance which makes it resilient in the market. Facebook generates its revenues only through advertisement and thereby it is one of its weak points. These advertisers allocate a small budget for Facebook advertising and their commitments are also short lived. Along with that the marketers may not like some of the products offered by Facebook and the may be willing to quitdoing business with Facebook or pay less than the due amount for advertising.

The company must sign long term commitment deals with advertisers in order to grow. Digital marketing is here to stay in business for a while and Facebook is well positioned to gain maximum profits out of it. It is believed by the industry that about shares of U. S digital display ad market will see an increase of Target audience marketing for advertisers is one of the strong points for Facebook. Not only does it understand the demographics, interests, activities and connections of its user, it also helps generate the traffic based on offers, news and events. This attracts advertisers on a large level and their most convenient option for advertising, nevertheless, is Facebook.

Mobile advertising is also another opportunity for Facebook. In December , the daily average users for mobile increased to about 25 percent primarily due to introduction of smart phones and tablets. Facebook can earn more profits through mobile advertising, availing this growth in the user base of mobile apps. Recently a large number of social sites like Facebook are coming in the front line and have developed strong competition with Facebook.

These social sites are developing tools like Facebook applications to engage the consumers and are becoming successful. In addition to that, there are mobile businesses which can provide audience information like Facebook does and are attracting advertisers too. These apps or mobile businesses can be a huge threat for Facebook too. Another threat for Facebook is the large number of spammers who make the user experience unattractive and a large number of people may leave Facebook due to their unnecessary display of repetitive information.

SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment. It is the first stage of planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. A strength is a positive internal factor. A weakness is a negative internal factor.

An opportunity is a positive external factor. A threat is a negative external factor. We should aim to turn our weaknesses into strengths, and our threats into opportunities. Then finally, SWOT will give managers options to match internal strengths with external opportunities. The main purpose of the analysis has to be to add value to our products and services so that we can recruit new customers, retain loyal customers, and extend products and services to customer segments over the long-term.

Once key issues have been identified with your SWOT analysis, they feed into marketing objectives. So SWOT is a very popular tool with marketing students because it is quick and easy to learn. During the SWOT exercise, list factors in the relevant boxes. A word of caution — it can be very subjective. Do not rely on SWOT too much. Two people rarely come-up with the same final version of SWOT. TOWS analysis is extremely similar. Some of the problems that you may encounter with SWOT are as a result of one of its key benefits i. Since SWOT analysis can be used in a variety of scenarios, it has to be flexible.

However this can lead to a number of anomalies. Having arrived on this page you have probably surfed the Internet and scoured books and journals in search of the history of SWOT Analysis. There are a number of contrasting, if not contradictory views on the origin of SWOT. Here are a few of the leading thinkers on the topic and if you have more please let us know so that we can add them. Would you like a lesson on SWOT analysis? When Yahoo!! Read more…. Disclaimer: This case study has been compiled from information freely available from public sources.

It is merely intended to be used for educational purposes only. Williams-Sonoma is a US based specialty retailer of higher-end lifestyle and home furnishing products. They sell their merchandise through three channels: retail stores, catalogs and six websites. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Williams-Sonoma Company Overview. Retrieved on September 8, from www. Charles E. Williams established the first Williams-Sonoma store in Sonoma, California in The company began its direct-to-customer DTC business in by launching its flagship catalog, under Williams-Sonoma brand.

They acquired Pottery Barn, a retailer of casual home furnishings, in , from The Gap. The first Pottery Barns Kids store was opened in , and its website followed a year after. Williams-Sonoma is a US-based multi-channel retailer of lifestyle products that focuses on home furnishing and accessories. The company offers home products ranging from culinary, and serving equipment such as cookware, cookbooks, cutlery, informal dinnerware, glassware, table linens, specialty foods, cooking ingredients to home furnishings.

Williams-Sonoma markets these products through retail stores, catalogs and through the Internet. Williams procures the merchandise for the company from foreign and domestic manufacturers and importers located in about 43 countries, located primarily in Asia and Europe. The company operates through two segments: retail and direct-to-customer DTC. It was born with the idea to provide a grocery store featuring good, wholesome food; not a "health food" store filled with pills and potions.

Sales doubled each year for the first four years. What a ride. Back in , we started out with one small store in Austin, Texas. We still honor our original ideals, and we think that has a lot to do with our success. The company employs 1. The company is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and employed about 3, people as of December In , at the young age of 25, Charles Lazarus began a business totally dedicated to kids and their needs just in time for the post-war baby boom era.

He had no idea that his first baby furniture store in Washington D. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of indivduals who make up the Toyota family, Toyota has become the forth biggest automaker in North Amercia. Here you will find some of the many figures behind that fact. The company also boasts nearly 50 websites internationally, such as People.

Also, AOL revenues as a percentage of total revenues declined The company has formed alliances with several leading companies in the media and entertainment industry. These are just some of the multiple partnerships which will enable the company to extend its reach and increase its subscriber base in the coming years. Time Warner has formidable competition in each of its major business segments. Broadband access providers also compete against AOL for internet subscribers. With so many competitors in the industry there may be a scarcity of producers, directors, writers, actors and other skilled areas.

Such intense competition as described above, could impact Time Warner pricing decisions and in turn effect revenues and market share. Time Warner is increasingly impacted by the piracy of its television, motion pictures programming, DVD, and video games. Piracy is on the rise due to technological advances which allow thieves to create, transmit and distribute high quality unauthorized copies of content. Time Warner is also vulnerable to content theft in countries where it operates if those countries have weak laws protecting intellectual property or enforcement is lax.

In addition any unilateral change Google may make in pricing, algorithms or advertising terms, could have a significant negative impact. Time Warner Inc. Its presence even reaches into the contemporary cartoon genre such as the Cartoon Network including Adult Swim, an overnight block of contemporary animation airing in , which boasted approximately Time Warner is also prominent in the classic movie and cable television news areas. Its television news services, reached over 95 million US television households in Time Warner produces and distributes theatrical motion pictures, television shows, animation and other programming such as videogames.

Pictures, Warner Bros. The company began in and has produced more than 4 million vehicles. Tata Motors Limited is the largest car producer in India. It manufactures commercial and passenger vehicles, and employs in excess of 23, people. Since we first opened our doors, we have focused on designing and manufacturing innovative solutions that are unparalleled in the field of personal safety and protection.

Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson formed their partnership in in Norwich, Connecticut, with the aim of marketing a lever action repeating pistol that could use a fully self-contained cartridge. This revolver was the first successful fully self-contained cartridge revolver available in the world. Sony is a corporate brand whose identity is deeply rooted and very well established in the minds of potential customers.

The brand remains healthy despite dropping from 25th to 29 in name recognition according to InterBrands ranking. The Consumer Electronics Market is expected to grow at a rate of 7. Sony is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this increase. As one of the largest global companies in the industry Sony has the capacity to tap into changes in consumer demands as they emerge. The firm plans on following its model of success experienced in India where it emphasized its television film, and music product content.

The company has a goal of doubling its revenues in the BRIC markets. As the economic slump lingers, consumer confidence remains low and Sony has felt the impact in decreased revenues. Sony leadership has acknowledged that the downturn exposed weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the firm that have needed addressing for some time. Sony is vulnerable to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and exposed to fluctuations in the value of the Japanese yen, the US dollar and the Euro.

The firm acknowledges the need to implements effective hedging strategies to counter foreign exchange translation effects. Smuggled goods and counterfeit products have really plagued the electronics manufacturing industry in recent times. These knockoffs, although cheaper and of less quality still the potential to divert revenues from Sony. Environmental, health and safety compliance laws which impact Sony operations and production may be burdensome and have a negative impact on profits.

To maintain compliance the firm must incur capital and other expenditures. Potential expenditures related to regulations are not limited to compliance, but may also be felt in fines and penalties in the wake of non-compliance. It was chosen for its simple pronunciation that is the same in any language. Sony products and services are available throughout the world in approximately countries and territories. The United States market accounted for This diversification helps to minimize the impact of adverse conditions that may arise in any one geographic region.

In the U. S Revenues were down Sizeable unfunded post retirement benefits would force the company to make periodic cash contributions, diverting money away from production related uses. Sony benefits from the flexibility to enter into key join ventures and execute key corporate acquisitions. For example, established a joint venture project with Sharp to produce and sell large-sized LCD panels and modules.

Sandals Beaches is a Caribbean Based Resort Hotel Chain, that was only recently established, but has proved to be highly successful, based on their innovative marketing concepts. Sandals and Beaches resorts offer an innovative concept in their all-inclusive environments, contrived to give vacationers completely worry-free accommodations. Guests do not have to pay for food, activities, babysitting, or entertainment while at their resorts. This allows guests to relax and more effectively utilize their vacation time.

They employ guest coordinators, trained to be experts in human relations, to make guests feel at home, coordinating the guest activities and making sure that everything works the way it should. They practice TQM throughout all levels of staff. In the couples only market that they created they cater to different markets by offering three different levels of suites: the basic all-inclusive suites, the crystal suites that have their own private pool and the millionaire suites that are separate villas with butler service.

In this economic downturn, Americans want to feel good about spending their money in socially responsible ways and the Green Globe Certification is highly prestigious. They spent a huge amount of capital setting up a new resort in Barbados, only to have it sit there, unoccupied. The government of Barbados does not allow their beaches to be blocked off with fences, and Sandals requires that their guests be kept separate from other people to prevent crime and interlopers.

They have been at odds about this issue since and their fully completed resort there has yet to see its first guest. As with all tourist destinations, they are dependent on a healthy economy in countries whose citizens have more discretionary income to spend, and vacation regularly. The American trend toward "staycations" will cause their revenue to decrease. They need to better position themselves against competition, other luxury resorts, Breezes All-Inclusive Resorts and other popular destinations for honeymoons and families.

They can make use of high definition, interactive sales pitches that will allow honeymooners and families to book their vacations on the spot. In addition, they will introduce Martha Stewart Crafts classes for adults at Sandals Resorts and craft camps for families at Beaches Resorts in One threat that cannot be controlled is the weather. Hurricanes are bad for business all over the Caribbean; however, they can offer guarantees so their guests will feel more secure when booking a vacation. There are several ethical arenas that need to be understood when dealing with the tourism industry.

If any of these becomes a problem or causes bad PR it can affect the company and eventually their profit margin. Akrofi, J. Jul 27, PR Newswire. New York. With no prior experience, the investor envisioned a marketing plan for the resort to cater to couples only. Sandals Montego Bay became the first all-inclusive vacation concept, and by year-end of , Sandals refined and perfected concepts, such as, swim-up pool bars, royal treatment with private beaches, breakfast in bed, and beachfront gourmet meals.

With thriving expansions, Sandals currently holds locations in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, and the Bahamas, totaling 12 resorts. A long way from one, run down hotel on a private sandy beach! Today, the resort offers luxury package vacations, fine dining, night entertainment, scuba diving and water sports, golf and land sports, spas, and wedding packages.

They created the idea of a couples only resort by introducing the Sandals resort; they also opened Beaches, a family luxury resort; Royal Plantation, three exclusive luxury oriented resorts with butler service and private airplanes; and the Grand Pineapple, a value resort for families.