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Akebia Ther (AKBA) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Akebia Ther (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Akebia Ther is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing commodity prices, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, wage bills are increasing, technology disruption, geopolitical disruptions, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Akebia Ther


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




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

The strengths of Akebia Ther are -

Ability to lead change in Biotechnology & Drugs

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Biotechnology & Drugs industry

– Akebia Ther has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Akebia Ther to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Akebia Ther to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Akebia Ther has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Biotechnology & Drugs industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Akebia Ther have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Learning organization

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Akebia Ther in Biotechnology & Drugs industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Analytics focus

– Akebia Ther 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry. The technology infrastructure of United States 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry

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

Organizational Resilience of Akebia Ther

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Akebia Ther 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 Akebia Ther in the Healthcare sector have low bargaining power. Akebia Ther has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Akebia Ther to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Akebia Ther 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.

Training and development

– Akebia Ther has one of the best training and development program in Healthcare 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

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






Weaknesses of Akebia Ther | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Akebia Ther are -

Products dominated business model

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

High operating costs

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Akebia Ther is just above the Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry, Akebia Ther 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Akebia Ther 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.

Skills based hiring in Biotechnology & Drugs industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Akebia Ther 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.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Akebia Ther has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry over the last five years. Akebia Ther 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Akebia Ther 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry using digital technology.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Akebia Ther, in the dynamic environment of Biotechnology & Drugs industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Akebia Ther has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Akebia Ther, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

Need for greater diversity

– Akebia Ther 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.




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


The opportunities of Akebia Ther are -

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. Akebia Ther can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Akebia Ther to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Akebia Ther 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Akebia Ther 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. Akebia Ther 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.

Low interest rates

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

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Akebia Ther can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Creating value in data economy

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Akebia Ther in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Manufacturing automation

– Akebia Ther can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Akebia Ther can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Akebia Ther operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Biotechnology & Drugs sector.

Loyalty marketing

– Akebia Ther has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Akebia Ther is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Akebia Ther can utilize new technology in the field of Biotechnology & Drugs industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.




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


The threats of Akebia Ther are -

Environmental challenges

– Akebia Ther 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. Akebia Ther can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry.

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

Increasing wage structure of Akebia Ther

– 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 Akebia Ther.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Akebia Ther in Biotechnology & Drugs industry. The Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

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. Akebia Ther 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 acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Akebia Ther has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Akebia Ther needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Biotechnology & Drugs 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 Akebia Ther is facing in Biotechnology & Drugs sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

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 Akebia Ther in the Biotechnology & Drugs sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry are lowering. It can presents Akebia Ther with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Biotechnology & Drugs sector.

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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Akebia Ther 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry and other sectors.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Akebia Ther 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 Akebia Ther Template, Example


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



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