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Hurco (HURC) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Hurco (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Hurco is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing commodity prices, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, wage bills are increasing, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, there is backlash against globalization, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Hurco


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




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

The strengths of Hurco are -

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Misc. Capital Goods industry

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

High brand equity

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

Learning organization

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Hurco is one of the leading players in the Misc. Capital Goods industry in United States. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United States. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

– Hurco 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.

Digital Transformation in Misc. Capital Goods industry

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Hurco 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.

Ability to lead change in Misc. Capital Goods

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

Superior customer experience

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

Innovation driven organization

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Hurco has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Hurco 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 Hurco | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Hurco are -

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Hurco 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 Hurco lucrative customers.

Need for greater diversity

– Hurco 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 United States, Hurco needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Skills based hiring in Misc. Capital Goods industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Hurco 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 to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Hurco is one of the leading players in the Misc. Capital Goods industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Misc. Capital Goods industry in last five years.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Hurco 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 Hurco can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Hurco is planning to shift buying processes online.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Hurco 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. Hurco should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Hurco has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Misc. Capital Goods industry over the last five years. Hurco 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.

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Lack of clear differentiation of Hurco products

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




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


The opportunities of Hurco are -

Increase in government spending

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

Creating value in data economy

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

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

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 Hurco 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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Hurco 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 Hurco to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Hurco 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Hurco 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.

Manufacturing automation

– Hurco 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Hurco 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 Hurco to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Hurco to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

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 Hurco in the Misc. Capital Goods industry. Now Hurco can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.




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


The threats of Hurco are -

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Hurco 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.

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. Hurco 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.

Regulatory challenges

– Hurco 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Hurco has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Misc. Capital Goods industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Hurco 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 Hurco is facing in Misc. Capital Goods sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Easy access to finance

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

Increasing wage structure of Hurco

– 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 Hurco.

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.

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

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.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Hurco 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.

Environmental challenges

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

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 Hurco in the Misc. Capital Goods sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Hurco Template, Example


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



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