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Hanover Insurance Group SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Hanover Insurance Group managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a handy technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Hanover Insurance Group is facing in its current business environment.
The Hanover Insurance Group is one of the leading companies in its industry. Hanover Insurance Group maintains its dominant 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 facilitates 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 Hanover Insurance Group 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 main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Hanover Insurance Group strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Hanover Insurance Group SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Hanover Insurance Group – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Hanover Insurance Group 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 Hanover Insurance Group are –
- 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.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Hanover Insurance Group has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Hanover Insurance Group is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Hanover Insurance Group 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 Hanover Insurance Group – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Hanover Insurance Group can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization 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 Hanover Insurance Group 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.
- 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 Hanover Insurance Group 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 Hanover Insurance Group is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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. Hanover Insurance Group has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Hanover Insurance Group 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.
- 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 Hanover Insurance Group – External Strategic Factors
- Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for Hanover Insurance Group in other product categories.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Hanover Insurance Group 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.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Hanover Insurance Group.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Hanover Insurance Group . 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 Hanover Insurance Group to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Hanover Insurance Group to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Hanover Insurance Group products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Hanover Insurance Group an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
Threats Hanover Insurance Group Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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 Hanover Insurance Group may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies 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.
- 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.
- 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 company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Hanover Insurance Group
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 Hanover Insurance Group
- 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 Hanover Insurance Group
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 Hanover Insurance Group 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 Hanover Insurance Group
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
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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