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CDW SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by CDW managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) CDW is facing in its current business environment.
The CDW is one of the leading firms in its industry. CDW maintains its prominent 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 CDW 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 firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect CDW strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to CDW SWOT Analysis
Strengths of CDW – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, CDW 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 CDW are –
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years CDW has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of CDW just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – CDW has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to CDW products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- 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.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – CDW 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.
Weakness of CDW – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where CDW 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.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, CDW 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though CDW 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 profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of CDW are below the industry average.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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 CDW is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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 CDW
- 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.
Opportunities for CDW – External Strategic Factors
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of CDW.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of CDW’s products thus providing an opportunity to the company - either to boost its profitability or pass on the benefits to the customers to gain market share.
- 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 CDW. 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 CDW 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.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as CDW to increase its profitability.
- 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.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the CDW . 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 CDW to capture new customers and increase its market share.
Threats CDW Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the CDW profitability.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- 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.
- Intense competition – Stable profitability has increased the number of players in the industry over last two years which has put downward pressure on not only profitability but also on overall sales.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to CDW’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income 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 CDW
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for CDW
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 CDW
- 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 CDW
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 CDW 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 CDW
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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