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China Life Insurance SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by China Life Insurance managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is an important technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) China Life Insurance is facing in its current business environment.
The China Life Insurance is one of the leading firms in its industry. China Life Insurance maintains its prominent position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis a highly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the company such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.
The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the China Life Insurance to develop four types of strategies:
- SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
- WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
- ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
- WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective
The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect China Life Insurance strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to China Life Insurance SWOT Analysis
Strengths of China Life Insurance – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, China Life Insurance has numerous strengths that enable it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of China Life Insurance are –
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years China Life Insurance has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of China Life Insurance just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – China Life Insurance has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
- Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – China Life Insurance has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to China Life Insurance products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.
Weakness of China Life Insurance – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where China Life Insurance can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, China Life Insurance needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
- Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of China Life Insurance
- There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
- The marketing of the products left a lot to be desired. Even though the product is a success in terms of sale but its positioning and unique selling proposition is not clearly defined which can lead to the attacks in this segment from the competitors.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry China Life Insurance has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
Opportunities for China Life Insurance – External Strategic Factors
- Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for China Life Insurance to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for China Life Insurance to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable China Life Insurance to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as China Life Insurance to increase its profitability.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the China Life Insurance . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to China Life Insurance to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of China Life Insurance products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
Threats China Life Insurance Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and China Life Insurance may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to China Life Insurance’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- The demand of the highly profitable products is seasonal in nature and any unlikely event during the peak season may impact the profitability of the company in short to medium term.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for China Life Insurance in those markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the China Life Insurance profitability.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for China Life Insurance
Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.
- Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
- SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
- The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of China Life Insurance
- SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
- SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of China Life Insurance
In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.
This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis China Life Insurance managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.
Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of China Life Insurance
This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.
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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
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SWOT Worksheet & Template
If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.
References / Citations & Bibliography
- M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
- A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
- O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
- L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
- R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)