Macerich (MAC) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources
Real Estate Operations
Strategy / MBA Resources
Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Macerich (United States)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Macerich is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, wage bills are increasing, geopolitical disruptions, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings,
banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Macerich can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Macerich, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Macerich 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 Macerich can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Macerich
2. Improving business portfolio management of Macerich
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a Real Estate Operations sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Macerich
Strengths of Macerich | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Macerich are -
Diverse revenue streams
– Macerich is present in almost all the verticals within the Real Estate Operations industry. This has provided Macerich 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.
High brand equity
– Macerich has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Macerich to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Ability to lead change in Real Estate Operations
– Macerich is one of the leading players in the Real Estate Operations industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Real Estate Operations industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Macerich in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Macerich has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Macerich staying ahead in the Real Estate Operations industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the Macerich 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 Macerich comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Real Estate Operations 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.
- Macerich 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 Macerich is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Macerich emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Macerich has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Macerich 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 Macerich in the Services sector have low bargaining power. Macerich has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Macerich to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that Macerich 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 recruit top talent
– Macerich is one of the leading players in the Real Estate Operations 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.
Digital Transformation in Real Estate Operations industry
- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Macerich digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Macerich 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 Macerich | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Macerich are -
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As Macerich is one of the leading players in the Real Estate Operations industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Real Estate Operations industry in last five years.
Lack of clear differentiation of Macerich products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Macerich needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at Macerich, in the dynamic environment of Real Estate Operations industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Macerich has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
Products dominated business model
– Even though Macerich has some of the most successful models in the Real Estate Operations industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Macerich should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.
High dependence on Macerich ‘s star products
– The top 2 products and services of Macerich still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Real Estate Operations industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Macerich has relatively successful track record of launching new products.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of United States, Macerich needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Macerich is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Macerich to provide better information regarding Real Estate Operations products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
Need for greater diversity
– Macerich 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.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Macerich 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 Real Estate Operations industry using digital technology.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
Macerich has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Real Estate Operations industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Macerich is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Real Estate Operations industry, but Macerich needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Macerich to focus more on services in the Real Estate Operations industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Macerich Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Macerich are -
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Macerich 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 Macerich to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
– Macerich can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Real Estate Operations 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.
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. Macerich can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Real Estate Operations industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Macerich in the Real Estate Operations industry. Now Macerich can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Macerich has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Real Estate Operations industry. This can help Macerich to build a more holistic ecosystem for Macerich products in the Real Estate Operations industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Macerich 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 Real Estate Operations industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Macerich 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. Macerich 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.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Macerich has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Real Estate Operations sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Macerich to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Macerich to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Buying journey improvements
– Macerich can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Real Estate Operations 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.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Macerich 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 Real Estate Operations industry.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Macerich 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.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Macerich is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Macerich can utilize new technology in the field of Real Estate Operations industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Lowering marketing communication costs
– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Macerich in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Real Estate Operations industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.
Threats Macerich External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Macerich 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 Macerich business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Increasing wage structure of Macerich
– 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 Macerich.
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. Macerich 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.
– Macerich 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. Macerich can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Real Estate Operations industry.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Real Estate Operations industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Macerich can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
– 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.
– 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 Macerich in the Real Estate Operations sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
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. Macerich needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Real Estate Operations industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Consumer confidence and its impact on Macerich 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 Real Estate Operations industry and other sectors.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Macerich is facing in Real Estate Operations sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Macerich 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.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Macerich in Real Estate Operations industry. The Real Estate Operations 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.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Real Estate Operations industry are lowering. It can presents Macerich with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Real Estate Operations sector.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Macerich Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Macerich 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 Macerich 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 Macerich 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 Macerich 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 Macerich needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.