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Ryanair (RYAOF) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ryanair (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ryanair is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – there is backlash against globalization, wage bills are increasing, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing commodity prices, technology disruption, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ryanair


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




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

The strengths of Ryanair are -

Ability to recruit top talent

– Ryanair is one of the leading players in the 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.

Diverse revenue streams

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

Superior customer experience

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ryanair comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Ryanair 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.

Innovation driven organization

– Ryanair is one of the most innovative firm in sector.

Learning organization

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Organizational Resilience of Ryanair

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

High brand equity

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

Strong track record of project management in the industry

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

Digital Transformation in industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Ryanair digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Ryanair 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 Ryanair | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Ryanair are -

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Need for greater diversity

– Ryanair 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the industry, Ryanair 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.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

High cash cycle compare to competitors

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

Slow decision making process

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Ryanair is just above the 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Ryanair strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Ryanair 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.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Ryanair needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Ryanair can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Ryanair is planning to shift buying processes online.

Lack of clear differentiation of Ryanair products

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




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


The opportunities of Ryanair are -

Better consumer reach

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

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– Ryanair 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 industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Ryanair 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. Ryanair 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.

Manufacturing automation

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

Loyalty marketing

– Ryanair 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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Increase in government spending

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Ryanair has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Ryanair to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Ryanair to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in industry

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

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Ryanair 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.




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


The threats of Ryanair are -

Easy access to finance

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

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. Ryanair needs to understand the core reasons impacting the industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

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 Ryanair in the sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Ryanair 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 industry.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Ryanair 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 industry and other sectors.

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.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Ryanair is facing in sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

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 Ryanair.

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

Regulatory challenges

– Ryanair 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 industry regulations.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Ryanair Template, Example


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



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