SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Shimadzu Corp (Japan)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Shimadzu Corp is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – technology disruption, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, increasing commodity prices, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%,
geopolitical disruptions, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Shimadzu Corp can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Shimadzu Corp, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Shimadzu Corp
2. Improving business portfolio management of Shimadzu Corp
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Japan
4. Making a Electronic Instr. & Controls sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Shimadzu Corp
Strengths of Shimadzu Corp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Shimadzu Corp are -
Ability to recruit top talent
– Shimadzu Corp is one of the leading players in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry in Japan. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Japan. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Shimadzu Corp has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Shimadzu Corp staying ahead in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the Shimadzu Corp are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.
Superior customer experience
– The customer experience strategy of Shimadzu Corp in Electronic Instr. & Controls industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
High brand equity
– Shimadzu Corp has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Shimadzu Corp to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Shimadzu Corp has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Shimadzu Corp 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.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Shimadzu Corp in the Technology sector have low bargaining power. Shimadzu Corp has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Shimadzu Corp to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Diverse revenue streams
– Shimadzu Corp is present in almost all the verticals within the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry. This has provided Shimadzu Corp 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.
Ability to lead change in Electronic Instr. & Controls
– Shimadzu Corp is one of the leading players in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry in Japan. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry in Japan but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Shimadzu Corp in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
- Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Shimadzu Corp emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
– The operational resilience strategy of Shimadzu Corp comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.
Strong track record of project management in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry
– Shimadzu Corp is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.
Weaknesses of Shimadzu Corp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Shimadzu Corp are -
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Shimadzu Corp is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry, but Shimadzu Corp needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Shimadzu Corp to focus more on services in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Employees’ less understanding of Shimadzu Corp strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Shimadzu Corp 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.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that Shimadzu Corp needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Shimadzu Corp can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Shimadzu Corp is planning to shift buying processes online.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Shimadzu Corp has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry using digital technology.
Need for greater diversity
– Shimadzu Corp 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.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of Shimadzu Corp, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Electronic Instr. & Controls 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.
– Compare to the competition, Shimadzu Corp 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.
Products dominated business model
– Even though Shimadzu Corp has some of the most successful models in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Shimadzu Corp should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.
Workers concerns about automation
– As automation is fast increasing in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry, Shimadzu Corp needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
Shimadzu Corp has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
High dependence on existing supply chain
– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Shimadzu Corp supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Shimadzu Corp is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Shimadzu Corp vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
Shimadzu Corp Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Shimadzu Corp are -
– Shimadzu Corp can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Electronic Instr. & Controls 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.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Shimadzu Corp can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Shimadzu Corp to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Shimadzu Corp to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Shimadzu Corp is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Shimadzu Corp can utilize new technology in the field of Electronic Instr. & Controls industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Shimadzu Corp has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Electronic Instr. & Controls sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Shimadzu Corp to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Shimadzu Corp to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Electronic Instr. & Controls industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Shimadzu Corp in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry. Now Shimadzu Corp can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Shimadzu Corp 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 Electronic Instr. & Controls industry.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Shimadzu Corp 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.
Reconfiguring business model
– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Shimadzu Corp to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.
Increase in government spending
– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Shimadzu Corp can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Shimadzu Corp operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Electronic Instr. & Controls sector.
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Shimadzu Corp can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Electronic Instr. & Controls industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Shimadzu Corp can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
Threats Shimadzu Corp External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Shimadzu Corp are -
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Shimadzu Corp is facing in Electronic Instr. & Controls sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
Capital market disruption
– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Shimadzu Corp.
– 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 Shimadzu Corp in the Electronic Instr. & Controls sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
– Shimadzu Corp needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Shimadzu Corp can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry.
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.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Electronic Instr. & Controls industry are lowering. It can presents Shimadzu Corp with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Electronic Instr. & Controls sector.
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 Shimadzu Corp business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Shimadzu Corp has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Shimadzu Corp needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Electronic Instr. & Controls 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.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Shimadzu Corp may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Electronic Instr. & Controls sector.
Stagnating economy with rate increase
– Shimadzu Corp can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Electronic Instr. & Controls industry.
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. Shimadzu Corp 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.
Increasing wage structure of Shimadzu Corp
– 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 Shimadzu Corp.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Shimadzu Corp 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.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Shimadzu Corp Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp 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 Shimadzu Corp needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.