Southern Publishing and Media (601900) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources
Printing & Publishing
Strategy / MBA Resources
Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Southern Publishing and Media (China)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Southern Publishing and Media is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, geopolitical disruptions, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, wage bills are increasing, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic ,
digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, etc
Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Southern Publishing and Media
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Southern Publishing and Media can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Southern Publishing and Media, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Southern Publishing and Media
2. Improving business portfolio management of Southern Publishing and Media
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in China
4. Making a Printing & Publishing sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Southern Publishing and Media
Strengths of Southern Publishing and Media | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Southern Publishing and Media are -
Ability to lead change in Printing & Publishing
– Southern Publishing and Media is one of the leading players in the Printing & Publishing industry in China. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Printing & Publishing industry in China but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Southern Publishing and Media in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
Strong track record of project management in the Printing & Publishing industry
– Southern Publishing and Media is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.
– The operational resilience strategy of Southern Publishing and Media comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Printing & Publishing 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.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Southern Publishing and Media is one of the leading players in the Printing & Publishing industry in China. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in China. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Organizational Resilience of Southern Publishing and Media
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Southern Publishing and Media does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
Training and development
– Southern Publishing and Media has one of the best training and development program in Services 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.
- Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Southern Publishing and Media emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Digital Transformation in Printing & Publishing industry
- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Southern Publishing and Media digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Southern Publishing and Media has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Southern Publishing and Media has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Southern Publishing and Media staying ahead in the Printing & Publishing industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Southern Publishing and Media has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Printing & Publishing industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Southern Publishing and Media have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Diverse revenue streams
– Southern Publishing and Media is present in almost all the verticals within the Printing & Publishing industry. This has provided Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Weaknesses of Southern Publishing and Media | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Southern Publishing and Media are -
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Southern Publishing and Media is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Southern Publishing and Media to provide better information regarding Printing & Publishing products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Southern Publishing and Media 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 Printing & Publishing industry using digital technology.
Skills based hiring in Printing & Publishing industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Southern Publishing and Media 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, Southern Publishing and Media has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Printing & Publishing industry over the last five years. Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Lack of clear differentiation of Southern Publishing and Media products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Southern Publishing and Media needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
Compensation and incentives
– The revenue per employee of Southern Publishing and Media is just above the Printing & Publishing 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.
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 Southern Publishing and Media supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Southern Publishing and Media is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Southern Publishing and Media vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
Workers concerns about automation
– As automation is fast increasing in the Printing & Publishing industry, Southern Publishing and Media 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.
– Compare to the competition, Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of China, Southern Publishing and Media needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Employees’ less understanding of Southern Publishing and Media strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Southern Publishing and Media Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Southern Publishing and Media 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. Southern Publishing and Media can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Southern Publishing and Media 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.
– Southern Publishing and Media can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Printing & Publishing 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.
Buying journey improvements
– Southern Publishing and Media can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Printing & Publishing 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.
Increase in government spending
– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Southern Publishing and Media can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Southern Publishing and Media operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Printing & Publishing sector.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Southern Publishing and Media has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Printing & Publishing sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Southern Publishing and Media to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Southern Publishing and Media to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Southern Publishing and Media is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Southern Publishing and Media can utilize new technology in the field of Printing & Publishing industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help Southern Publishing and Media to increase its market reach. Southern Publishing and Media 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.
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 Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Southern Publishing and Media has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Printing & Publishing industry. This can help Southern Publishing and Media to build a more holistic ecosystem for Southern Publishing and Media products in the Printing & Publishing industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Southern Publishing and Media can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Southern Publishing and Media 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.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Southern Publishing and Media 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 Printing & Publishing industry.
Threats Southern Publishing and Media External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Southern Publishing and Media 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. Southern Publishing and Media 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.
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 Southern Publishing and Media business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Southern Publishing and Media has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Printing & Publishing industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Southern Publishing and Media needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Printing & Publishing 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.
– 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 Southern Publishing and Media 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 Printing & Publishing industry and other sectors.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Southern Publishing and Media is facing in Printing & Publishing 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 Printing & Publishing industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Southern Publishing and Media can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
– 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 Southern Publishing and Media in the Printing & Publishing 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. Southern Publishing and Media needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Printing & Publishing industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Southern Publishing and Media may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Printing & Publishing sector.
Increasing wage structure of Southern Publishing and Media
– 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 Southern Publishing and Media.
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 Southern Publishing and Media.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media 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 Southern Publishing and Media needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.