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Ipsen (IPN) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ipsen (France)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ipsen is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – technology disruption, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is backlash against globalization, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing commodity prices, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ipsen


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




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

The strengths of Ipsen are -

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ipsen comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Biotechnology & Drugs industry

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

Superior customer experience

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

Digital Transformation in Biotechnology & Drugs industry

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

Innovation driven organization

– Ipsen is one of the most innovative firm in Biotechnology & Drugs sector.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Ipsen has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Biotechnology & Drugs industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Ipsen have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Diverse revenue streams

– Ipsen is present in almost all the verticals within the Biotechnology & Drugs industry. This has provided Ipsen 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.

Organizational Resilience of Ipsen

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

Training and development

– Ipsen has one of the best training and development program in Healthcare 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.

Ability to lead change in Biotechnology & Drugs

– Ipsen is one of the leading players in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry in France. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry in France but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Ipsen in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.






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

The weaknesses of Ipsen are -

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Ipsen 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.

Aligning sales with marketing

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

Products dominated business model

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

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Ipsen, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Biotechnology & Drugs industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Ability to respond to the competition

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

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Ipsen has high operating costs in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Ipsen lucrative customers.

Skills based hiring in Biotechnology & Drugs industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Ipsen 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.

Need for greater diversity

– Ipsen 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.

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 Ipsen supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Ipsen is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Ipsen vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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




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


The opportunities of Ipsen are -

Loyalty marketing

– Ipsen 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Ipsen 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Ipsen 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. Ipsen 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Ipsen 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.

Increase in government spending

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

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Ipsen 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Biotechnology & Drugs industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Ipsen can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Developing new processes and practices

– Ipsen can develop new processes and procedures in Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Ipsen can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Biotechnology & Drugs 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.




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


The threats of Ipsen are -

Consumer confidence and its impact on Ipsen 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 Biotechnology & Drugs industry and other sectors.

Aging population

– 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.

Shortening product life cycle

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

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Ipsen in Biotechnology & Drugs industry. The Biotechnology & Drugs 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.

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 Ipsen.

Environmental challenges

– Ipsen 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. Ipsen can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Biotechnology & Drugs industry.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Biotechnology & Drugs industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Ipsen 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. Ipsen 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.

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.

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

Increasing wage structure of Ipsen

– 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 Ipsen.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Ipsen 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 Ipsen Template, Example


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



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