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Goldman Sachs SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Goldman Sachs managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is an important technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Goldman Sachs is facing in its current business environment.
The Goldman Sachs is one of the leading firms in its industry. Goldman Sachs 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 enables 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 known as SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Goldman Sachs 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 use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Goldman Sachs strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Goldman Sachs SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Goldman Sachs – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Goldman Sachs has numerous strengths that help 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 Goldman Sachs are –
- 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.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Goldman Sachs is investing huge resources in training and development of its employees resulting in a workforce that is not only highly skilled but also motivated to achieve more.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Goldman Sachs products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Goldman Sachs 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.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Goldman Sachs has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Goldman Sachs is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
Weakness of Goldman Sachs – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Goldman Sachs 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.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Goldman Sachs is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- The company has not being able to tackle the challenges present by the new entrants in the segment and has lost small market share in the niche categories. Goldman Sachs has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Not very good at product demand forecasting leading to higher rate of missed opportunities compare to its competitors. One of the reason why the days inventory is high compare to its competitors is that Goldman Sachs is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Goldman Sachs is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Goldman Sachs is spending above the industry average on Research and Development, it has not been able to compete with the leading players in the industry in terms of innovation. It has come across as a mature firm looking forward to bring out products based on tested features in the market.
- 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.
Opportunities for Goldman Sachs – External Strategic Factors
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Goldman Sachs . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Goldman Sachs to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Goldman Sachs to increase its profitability.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Goldman Sachs products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- New customers from online channel – Over the past few years the company has invested vast sum of money into the online platform. This investment has opened new sales channel for Goldman Sachs. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Goldman Sachs 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.
- 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.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Goldman Sachs to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
Threats Goldman Sachs Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Goldman Sachs may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- 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.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Goldman Sachs
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Goldman Sachs in those 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.
- As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Goldman Sachs
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 Goldman Sachs
- 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 Goldman Sachs
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 Goldman Sachs 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 Goldman Sachs
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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SWOT Worksheet & Template
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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)
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