Plaza Create (7502) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources
Strategy / MBA Resources
Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Plaza Create (Japan)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Plaza Create is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing household debt because of falling income levels, increasing transportation and logistics costs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, technology disruption, geopolitical disruptions, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation,
cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Plaza Create can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Plaza Create, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Plaza Create
2. Improving business portfolio management of Plaza Create
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Japan
4. Making a Photography sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Plaza Create
Strengths of Plaza Create | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Plaza Create are -
Organizational Resilience of Plaza Create
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Plaza Create does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Plaza Create in the Consumer Cyclical sector have low bargaining power. Plaza Create has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Plaza Create to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Ability to lead change in Photography
– Plaza Create is one of the leading players in the Photography industry in Japan. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Photography industry in Japan but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Plaza Create in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
– Plaza Create 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 Photography 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.
Strong track record of project management in the Photography industry
– Plaza Create is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the Plaza Create 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.
– The operational resilience strategy of Plaza Create comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Photography 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.
Diverse revenue streams
– Plaza Create is present in almost all the verticals within the Photography industry. This has provided Plaza Create 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.
Innovation driven organization
– Plaza Create is one of the most innovative firm in Photography sector.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Photography industry
– Plaza Create has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Plaza Create to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Photography industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Plaza Create to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that Plaza Create 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.
High brand equity
– Plaza Create has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Plaza Create to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Weaknesses of Plaza Create | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Plaza Create are -
Lack of clear differentiation of Plaza Create products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Plaza Create needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
Slow decision making process
– As mentioned earlier in the report, Plaza Create has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Photography industry over the last five years. Plaza Create 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.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Plaza Create is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Photography industry, but Plaza Create needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Plaza Create to focus more on services in the Photography industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
Plaza Create has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Photography industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of Japan, Plaza Create needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Employees’ less understanding of Plaza Create strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Plaza Create 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.
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 Plaza Create supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Plaza Create is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Plaza Create vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Photography industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in Japan, Plaza Create 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 Photography industry.
– Compare to the competition, Plaza Create 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.
Need for greater diversity
– Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Photography 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.
Plaza Create Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Plaza Create are -
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 Plaza Create 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, Plaza Create can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Plaza Create operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Photography sector.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Photography industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Plaza Create can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Plaza Create has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Photography sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Plaza Create to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Plaza Create to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Plaza Create 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.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help Plaza Create to increase its market reach. Plaza Create will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.
Lowering marketing communication costs
– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Plaza Create in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Photography industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Plaza Create can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Buying journey improvements
– Plaza Create can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Photography 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.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Photography industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Plaza Create in the Photography industry. Now Plaza Create can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Plaza Create 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.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Photography industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Plaza Create 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. Plaza Create 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.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
Threats Plaza Create External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Plaza Create are -
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 Plaza Create.
– Plaza Create 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. Plaza Create can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Photography industry.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Plaza Create may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Photography sector.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Plaza Create in Photography industry. The Photography 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.
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.
– Plaza Create 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 Photography industry regulations.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Plaza Create has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Photography industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Plaza Create needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Photography 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.
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 Plaza Create business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
– 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 Plaza Create in the Photography sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins
– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create prominent markets.
Increasing wage structure of Plaza Create
– 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 Plaza Create.
Consumer confidence and its impact on Plaza Create demand
– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Photography industry and other sectors.
– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Plaza Create Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create 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 Plaza Create needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.