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Wienerberger AG (0MKZ) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Wienerberger AG (United Kingdom)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Wienerberger AG is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing transportation and logistics costs, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, geopolitical disruptions, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing energy prices, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Wienerberger AG


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




Strengths of Wienerberger AG | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Wienerberger AG are -

Training and development

– Wienerberger AG 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.

High brand equity

– Wienerberger AG has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Wienerberger AG to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Learning organization

- Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Wienerberger AG emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Wienerberger AG 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.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Wienerberger AG has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG in the Capital Goods sector have low bargaining power. Wienerberger AG has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Wienerberger AG to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry

– Wienerberger AG has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Wienerberger AG to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Wienerberger AG to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Wienerberger AG comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures 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.

Organizational Resilience of Wienerberger AG

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

Strong track record of project management in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Wienerberger AG in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Digital Transformation in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Wienerberger AG digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Wienerberger AG are -

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry, Wienerberger AG 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.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Wienerberger AG is just above the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United Kingdom, Wienerberger AG needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Wienerberger AG 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 Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry using digital technology.

High dependence on Wienerberger AG ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Wienerberger AG still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Wienerberger AG has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Skills based hiring in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Wienerberger AG has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Lack of clear differentiation of Wienerberger AG products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Wienerberger AG needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Wienerberger AG has high operating costs in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Wienerberger AG lucrative customers.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Wienerberger AG 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.




Wienerberger AG Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Wienerberger AG are -

Developing new processes and practices

– Wienerberger AG can develop new processes and procedures in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures 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.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Wienerberger AG to increase its market reach. Wienerberger AG 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.

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. Wienerberger AG can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Wienerberger AG in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. Now Wienerberger AG can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Wienerberger AG 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 Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry.

Buying journey improvements

– Wienerberger AG can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures 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.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Wienerberger AG 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG 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, Wienerberger AG can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Wienerberger AG operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures sector.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

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 Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Wienerberger AG are -

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 Wienerberger AG 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. Wienerberger AG 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 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.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Wienerberger AG 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 Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry.

Aging population

– 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.

Increasing wage structure of Wienerberger AG

– 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 Wienerberger AG.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Wienerberger AG is facing in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Wienerberger AG in Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. The Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures 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.

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. Wienerberger AG needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Wienerberger AG has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Wienerberger AG needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures 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.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Wienerberger AG 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 Wienerberger AG prominent markets.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Wienerberger AG may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures sector.

New competition

– 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 Wienerberger AG in the Constr. - Supplies & Fixtures sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Wienerberger AG Template, Example


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



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