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Maruka Machinery (7594) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Maruka Machinery (Japan)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Maruka Machinery is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing commodity prices, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, geopolitical disruptions, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, technology disruption, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Maruka Machinery


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Maruka Machinery can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Maruka Machinery, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Maruka Machinery
2. Improving business portfolio management of Maruka Machinery
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Japan
4. Making a Misc. Capital Goods sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Maruka Machinery




Strengths of Maruka Machinery | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Maruka Machinery are -

Analytics focus

– Maruka Machinery 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 Misc. Capital Goods industry. The technology infrastructure of Japan 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.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Maruka Machinery in the Capital Goods sector have low bargaining power. Maruka Machinery has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Maruka Machinery to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Organizational Resilience of Maruka Machinery

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Maruka Machinery does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Maruka Machinery in Misc. Capital Goods industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Maruka Machinery has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Maruka Machinery 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.

Training and development

– Maruka Machinery has one of the best training and development program in Capital Goods 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Misc. Capital Goods industry

– Maruka Machinery is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Ability to lead change in Misc. Capital Goods

– Maruka Machinery is one of the leading players in the Misc. Capital Goods industry in Japan. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Misc. Capital Goods industry in Japan but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Maruka Machinery in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Innovation driven organization

– Maruka Machinery is one of the most innovative firm in Misc. Capital Goods sector.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Maruka Machinery 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Maruka Machinery has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Misc. Capital Goods industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Maruka Machinery have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Maruka Machinery has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Maruka Machinery staying ahead in the Misc. Capital Goods industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.






Weaknesses of Maruka Machinery | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Maruka Machinery are -

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Maruka Machinery, in the dynamic environment of Misc. Capital Goods industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Maruka Machinery has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Need for greater diversity

– Maruka Machinery 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Japan, Maruka Machinery needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Maruka Machinery needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Misc. Capital Goods industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Maruka Machinery can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Maruka Machinery is planning to shift buying processes online.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Maruka Machinery is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Misc. Capital Goods industry, but Maruka Machinery needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Maruka Machinery to focus more on services in the Misc. Capital Goods industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Maruka Machinery, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Misc. Capital Goods 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.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Maruka Machinery has some of the most successful models in the Misc. Capital Goods industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Maruka Machinery should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

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 Maruka Machinery supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Maruka Machinery is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Maruka Machinery vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Employees’ less understanding of Maruka Machinery strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Maruka Machinery 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, Maruka Machinery is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Maruka Machinery to provide better information regarding Misc. Capital Goods products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Maruka Machinery has high operating costs in the Misc. Capital Goods industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Maruka Machinery lucrative customers.




Maruka Machinery Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Maruka Machinery are -

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Misc. Capital Goods industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Maruka Machinery 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. Maruka Machinery 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.

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. Maruka Machinery can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Maruka Machinery has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Misc. Capital Goods sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Maruka Machinery to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Maruka Machinery to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Buying journey improvements

– Maruka Machinery can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Misc. Capital Goods industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Maruka Machinery 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 Misc. Capital Goods industry.

Manufacturing automation

– Maruka Machinery can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Misc. Capital Goods 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Misc. Capital Goods industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Maruka Machinery in the Misc. Capital Goods industry. Now Maruka Machinery can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Maruka Machinery can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Maruka Machinery operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Misc. Capital Goods sector.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Misc. Capital Goods industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Maruka Machinery can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

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 Maruka Machinery 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.




Threats Maruka Machinery External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Maruka Machinery are -

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Maruka Machinery 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 Misc. Capital Goods industry.

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 Maruka Machinery.

Environmental challenges

– Maruka Machinery 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. Maruka Machinery can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Misc. Capital Goods industry.

Increasing wage structure of Maruka Machinery

– 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 Maruka Machinery.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Maruka Machinery can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Maruka Machinery prominent markets.

Regulatory challenges

– Maruka Machinery 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 Misc. Capital Goods industry regulations.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Maruka Machinery may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Misc. Capital Goods sector.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Maruka Machinery in Misc. Capital Goods industry. The Misc. Capital Goods 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.

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 Maruka Machinery business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Maruka Machinery has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Misc. Capital Goods industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Maruka Machinery needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Misc. Capital Goods 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.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Maruka Machinery is facing in Misc. Capital Goods sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Maruka Machinery 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.

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. Maruka Machinery needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Misc. Capital Goods industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Maruka Machinery Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery 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 Maruka Machinery needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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