St. Jude Medical SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by St. Jude Medical managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to analyze the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) St. Jude Medical is facing in its current business environment.

The St. Jude Medical is one of the leading firms in its industry. St. Jude Medical maintains its prominent position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly 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 helps the managers of the St. Jude Medical to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
St. Jude Medical swot analysis / matrix

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 St. Jude Medical strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to St. Jude Medical SWOT Analysis

Strengths of St. Jude Medical – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, St. Jude Medical 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 St. Jude Medical are –

  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years St. Jude Medical has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of St. Jude Medical 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 – St. Jude Medical has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – St. Jude Medical 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 developing new products – product innovation.
  • 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.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – St. Jude Medical is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.


Weakness of St. Jude Medical – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where St. Jude Medical 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.

  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry St. Jude Medical has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • 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. St. Jude Medical has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • 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.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though St. Jude Medical is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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 St. Jude Medical 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 St. Jude Medical is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • 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 St. Jude Medical – External Strategic Factors

  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for St. Jude Medical to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of St. Jude Medical.
  • 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 St. Jude Medical. 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable St. Jude Medical to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of St. Jude Medical’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.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of St. Jude Medical products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • 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 environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for St. Jude Medical to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.

Threats St. Jude Medical Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of St. Jude Medical
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and St. Jude Medical may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for St. Jude Medical

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 St. Jude Medical
  • 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 St. Jude Medical

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 St. Jude Medical 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 St. Jude Medical

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

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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)