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Express Scripts SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Express Scripts managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is an important technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Express Scripts is facing in its current business environment.
The Express Scripts is one of the leading companies in its industry. Express Scripts maintains its dominant position in market by critically 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 called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Express Scripts 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 an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Express Scripts strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Express Scripts SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Express Scripts – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Express Scripts 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 Express Scripts are –
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Express Scripts 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.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Express Scripts products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- 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.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Express Scripts is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Express Scripts has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
Weakness of Express Scripts – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Express Scripts 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Express Scripts 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.
- 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. Express Scripts has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Express Scripts has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Express Scripts is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Express Scripts is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Express Scripts are below the industry average.
- 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 Express Scripts – External Strategic Factors
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Express Scripts to increase its profitability.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Express Scripts an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Express Scripts 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.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Express Scripts . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- 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 Express Scripts. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Express Scripts.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Express Scripts to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- 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.
Threats Express Scripts Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- 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 Express Scripts 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.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Express Scripts
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Express Scripts
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 Express Scripts
- 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 Express Scripts
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 Express Scripts 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 Express Scripts
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)
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