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Universal Display (OLED) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Universal Display (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Universal Display is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing transportation and logistics costs, technology disruption, increasing energy prices, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , wage bills are increasing, there is backlash against globalization, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Universal Display


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




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

The strengths of Universal Display are -

Training and development

– Universal Display has one of the best training and development program in Technology 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.

Analytics focus

– Universal Display 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 Semiconductors 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Universal Display is present in almost all the verticals within the Semiconductors industry. This has provided Universal Display 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.

Digital Transformation in Semiconductors industry

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

Organizational Resilience of Universal Display

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Semiconductors industry

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Universal Display comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Semiconductors 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.

Innovation driven organization

– Universal Display is one of the most innovative firm in Semiconductors sector.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Universal Display 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.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Universal Display in the Technology sector have low bargaining power. Universal Display has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Universal Display to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.






Weaknesses of Universal Display | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Universal Display are -

Ability to respond to the competition

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

High dependence on Universal Display ‘s star products

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

Need for greater diversity

– Universal Display 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Universal Display 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.

Lack of clear differentiation of Universal Display products

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Semiconductors industry, Universal Display 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.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Semiconductors industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Universal Display has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Semiconductors industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United States, Universal Display needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Products dominated business model

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




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


The opportunities of Universal Display are -

Better consumer reach

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry.

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. Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Universal Display can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Manufacturing automation

– Universal Display can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Semiconductors 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

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

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

Buying journey improvements

– Universal Display can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Semiconductors 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.

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 Universal Display 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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




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


The threats of Universal Display are -

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. Universal Display 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.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Universal Display.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Universal Display 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.

Regulatory challenges

– Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry regulations.

Increasing wage structure of Universal Display

– 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 Universal Display.

Easy access to finance

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

Learning curve for new practices

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Universal Display has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Semiconductors industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Universal Display needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Semiconductors 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, Universal Display 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 Universal Display prominent markets.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Universal Display 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 Semiconductors industry and other sectors.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Environmental challenges

– Universal Display 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. Universal Display can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Semiconductors 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 Universal Display business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Universal Display Template, Example


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



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