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Yahoo SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Yahoo managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a useful technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Yahoo is facing in its current business environment.
The Yahoo is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Yahoo 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 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 known as SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Yahoo 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 central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Yahoo strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Yahoo SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Yahoo – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Yahoo 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 Yahoo are –
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Yahoo has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Yahoo 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.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Yahoo products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Yahoo has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- 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.
Weakness of Yahoo – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Yahoo can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- 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 Yahoo
- 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.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Yahoo are below the industry average.
- 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 Yahoo is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Yahoo 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.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Yahoo 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.
Opportunities for Yahoo – 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.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Yahoo to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- 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 Yahoo in other product categories.
- 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 Yahoo. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Yahoo an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Yahoo’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 trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Yahoo . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Yahoo 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 Yahoo Facing - External Strategic Factors
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Yahoo may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Yahoo
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Yahoo in those markets.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Yahoo’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- 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.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Yahoo
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 Yahoo
- 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 Yahoo
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 Yahoo 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 Yahoo
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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