SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for QPL Intl (Hong Kong)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , QPL Intl is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing energy prices, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, technology disruption, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies,
competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing commodity prices, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that QPL Intl can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the QPL Intl, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which QPL Intl operates in.
According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.
SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix
SWOT analysis of QPL Intl can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of QPL Intl
2. Improving business portfolio management of QPL Intl
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Hong Kong
4. Making a Semiconductors sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of QPL Intl
Strengths of QPL Intl | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of QPL Intl are -
Diverse revenue streams
– QPL Intl is present in almost all the verticals within the Semiconductors industry. This has provided QPL Intl a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.
Training and development
– QPL Intl has one of the best training and development program in Technology industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.
Ability to recruit top talent
– QPL Intl is one of the leading players in the Semiconductors industry in Hong Kong. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Hong Kong. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Superior customer experience
– The customer experience strategy of QPL Intl in Semiconductors industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
- QPL Intl is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at QPL Intl is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at QPL Intl emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
– QPL Intl is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Semiconductors industry. The technology infrastructure of Hong Kong is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.
Successful track record of launching new products
– QPL Intl has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. QPL Intl has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that QPL Intl has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Semiconductors industry
– QPL Intl has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled QPL Intl to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Semiconductors industry. The sustainable margins have also helped QPL Intl to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
Ability to lead change in Semiconductors
– QPL Intl is one of the leading players in the Semiconductors industry in Hong Kong. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Semiconductors industry in Hong Kong but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled QPL Intl in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
Innovation driven organization
– QPL Intl is one of the most innovative firm in Semiconductors sector.
Digital Transformation in Semiconductors industry
- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For QPL Intl digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. QPL Intl has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.
Weaknesses of QPL Intl | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of QPL Intl are -
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As QPL Intl is one of the leading players in the Semiconductors industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Semiconductors industry in last five years.
Need for greater diversity
– QPL Intl has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.
– Compare to the competition, QPL Intl has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.
High dependence on QPL Intl ‘s star products
– The top 2 products and services of QPL Intl still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Semiconductors industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though QPL Intl has relatively successful track record of launching new products.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, QPL Intl has high operating costs in the Semiconductors industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract QPL Intl lucrative customers.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Semiconductors industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in Hong Kong, QPL Intl is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Semiconductors industry.
Employees’ less understanding of QPL Intl strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of QPL Intl don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, QPL Intl is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help QPL Intl to provide better information regarding Semiconductors products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at QPL Intl, in the dynamic environment of Semiconductors industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. QPL Intl has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of QPL Intl, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Semiconductors industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.
Slow decision making process
– As mentioned earlier in the report, QPL Intl has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Semiconductors industry over the last five years. QPL Intl even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.
QPL Intl Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of QPL Intl are -
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects QPL Intl can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for QPL Intl to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.
Leveraging digital technologies
– QPL Intl can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.
– QPL Intl has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.
Increase in government spending
– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, QPL Intl can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that QPL Intl operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Semiconductors sector.
Developing new processes and practices
– QPL Intl can develop new processes and procedures in Semiconductors industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.
– QPL Intl can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Semiconductors sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Semiconductors industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. QPL Intl can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, QPL Intl can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help QPL Intl to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
Identify volunteer opportunities
– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. QPL Intl can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Semiconductors industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. QPL Intl can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. QPL Intl can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– QPL Intl has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Semiconductors sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled QPL Intl to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help QPL Intl to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at QPL Intl can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Semiconductors industry.
Threats QPL Intl External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of QPL Intl are -
– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for QPL Intl in the Semiconductors sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, QPL Intl may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Semiconductors sector.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Semiconductors industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. QPL Intl can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for QPL Intl in Semiconductors industry. The Semiconductors industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.
– QPL Intl needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Semiconductors industry regulations.
High level of anxiety and lack of motivation
– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. QPL Intl needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Semiconductors industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Backlash against dominant players
– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of QPL Intl business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Instability in the European markets
– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. QPL Intl will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– QPL Intl has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Semiconductors industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, QPL Intl needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Semiconductors sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.
Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc
– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that QPL Intl is facing in Semiconductors sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– QPL Intl high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.
Increasing wage structure of QPL Intl
– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of QPL Intl.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of QPL Intl Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at QPL Intl needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants.
We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –
First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of QPL Intl is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.
Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of QPL Intl is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.
Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of QPL Intl to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that QPL Intl needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.