Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for PMP (Australia)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , PMP is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – wage bills are increasing, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, technology disruption, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing transportation and logistics costs,
customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, geopolitical disruptions, etc
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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of PMP
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that PMP can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the PMP, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which PMP 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 PMP can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of PMP
2. Improving business portfolio management of PMP
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Australia
4. Making a Office Supplies sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of PMP
Strengths of PMP | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of PMP are -
Strong track record of project management in the Office Supplies industry
– PMP 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 Office Supplies industry
– PMP has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled PMP to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Office Supplies industry. The sustainable margins have also helped PMP to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
– The operational resilience strategy of PMP comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Office Supplies 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
– PMP is one of the leading players in the Office Supplies industry in Australia. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Australia. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– PMP has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – PMP staying ahead in the Office Supplies industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Successful track record of launching new products
– PMP has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. PMP 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.
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that PMP 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.
Diverse revenue streams
– PMP is present in almost all the verticals within the Office Supplies industry. This has provided PMP 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.
Training and development
– PMP has one of the best training and development program in Consumer/Non-Cyclical 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.
– PMP 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 Office Supplies industry. The technology infrastructure of Australia 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.
Innovation driven organization
– PMP is one of the most innovative firm in Office Supplies sector.
Highly skilled collaborators
– PMP has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Office Supplies industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of PMP have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Weaknesses of PMP | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of PMP are -
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that PMP needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Office Supplies industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at PMP can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as PMP is planning to shift buying processes online.
– Compare to the competition, PMP 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 Australia, PMP needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As PMP is one of the leading players in the Office Supplies industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Office Supplies industry in last five years.
Slow decision making process
– As mentioned earlier in the report, PMP has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Office Supplies industry over the last five years. PMP 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.
Workers concerns about automation
– As automation is fast increasing in the Office Supplies industry, PMP 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 cash cycle compare to competitors
PMP has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Office Supplies 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 PMP is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Office Supplies industry, but PMP needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help PMP to focus more on services in the Office Supplies industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Skills based hiring in Office Supplies industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at PMP 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.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at PMP, in the dynamic environment of Office Supplies industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. PMP has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, PMP 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 Office Supplies industry using digital technology.
PMP Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of PMP are -
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, PMP 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.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for PMP 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 PMP 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, PMP can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that PMP operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Office Supplies sector.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for PMP 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.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects PMP can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, PMP 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 PMP to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
Buying journey improvements
– PMP can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Office Supplies 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.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, PMP is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. PMP can utilize new technology in the field of Office Supplies industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, 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. PMP can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help PMP to increase its market reach. PMP 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.
Developing new processes and practices
– PMP can develop new processes and procedures in Office Supplies industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.
Leveraging digital technologies
– PMP 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 PMP 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 Office Supplies industry.
Threats PMP External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of PMP are -
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.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– PMP has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Office Supplies industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, PMP needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Office Supplies 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.
Consumer confidence and its impact on PMP 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 Office Supplies industry and other sectors.
Stagnating economy with rate increase
– PMP 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 Office Supplies industry.
– PMP 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. PMP can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Office Supplies industry.
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 PMP.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that PMP is facing in Office Supplies sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
– 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 PMP in the Office Supplies sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Office Supplies industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. PMP can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
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. PMP 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.
– 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.
Increasing wage structure of PMP
– 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 PMP.
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. PMP needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Office Supplies industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of PMP Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at PMP 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 PMP 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 PMP 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 PMP 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 PMP needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.