APFT (APFT) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for APFT (Malaysia)

Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , APFT is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , there is backlash against globalization, increasing transportation and logistics costs, technology disruption, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, etc

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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of APFT

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

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

The strengths of APFT are -

Organizational Resilience of APFT

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Diverse revenue streams

– APFT is present in almost all the verticals within the Schools industry. This has provided APFT 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

– APFT is one of the most innovative firm in Schools sector.

High brand equity

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

Ability to lead change in Schools

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

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the APFT 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 APFT in Schools industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Digital Transformation in Schools industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For APFT digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. APFT 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Schools industry

– APFT 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 APFT | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of APFT are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, APFT is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help APFT to provide better information regarding Schools products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

High dependence on APFT ‘s star products

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

High operating costs

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

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of APFT, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Schools 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.

Employees’ less understanding of APFT strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of APFT 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 bargaining power of channel partners in Schools industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Malaysia, APFT 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 Schools industry.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, APFT 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, APFT 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 Schools industry using digital technology.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of APFT is just above the Schools 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 Malaysia, APFT needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

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

The opportunities of APFT are -

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Schools industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. APFT 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. APFT 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.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of APFT has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Schools industry. This can help APFT to build a more holistic ecosystem for APFT products in the Schools industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Buying journey improvements

– APFT can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Schools 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for APFT in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Schools 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 APFT can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Better consumer reach

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

Manufacturing automation

– APFT can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Schools 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.

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 APFT 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Low interest rates

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at APFT 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 Schools industry.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Schools industry

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

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

The threats of APFT are -

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Environmental challenges

– APFT 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. APFT can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Schools industry.

Increasing wage structure of APFT

– 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 APFT.

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

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.

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 APFT in the Schools sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– APFT has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Schools industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, APFT needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Schools 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.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for APFT in Schools industry. The Schools 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.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Schools industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. APFT can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Schools industry are lowering. It can presents APFT with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Schools sector.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– APFT 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.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– APFT 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 Schools industry.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Weighted SWOT Analysis of APFT Template, Example

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

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