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Discover SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Discover managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is an important technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Discover is facing in its current business environment.
The Discover is one of the leading companies in its industry. Discover 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 helps 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 Discover 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 Discover strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Discover SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Discover – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Discover 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 Discover are –
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Discover has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Discover just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Discover has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Discover has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Discover is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Weakness of Discover – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Discover can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Discover is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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 Discover
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Discover are below the industry average.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Discover has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Discover 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.
- 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.
Opportunities for Discover – 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.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Discover.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Discover products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Discover . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Discover an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Discover 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 Discover to increase its profitability.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Discover 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.
Threats Discover 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.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Discover
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- 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.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Discover profitability.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Discover’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Discover
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 Discover
- 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 Discover
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 Discover 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 Discover
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.
Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
You can email us to get an example document of Weighted SWOT analysis.
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)
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