Order custom Harvard Business Case Study Analysis & Solution. Starting just $19
Heartland Payment Systems SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Heartland Payment Systems managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is an important technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Heartland Payment Systems is facing in its current business environment.
The Heartland Payment Systems is one of the leading firms in its industry. Heartland Payment Systems 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 organization 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 helps the managers of the Heartland Payment Systems 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 a company can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Heartland Payment Systems strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Heartland Payment Systems SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Heartland Payment Systems – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Heartland Payment Systems 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 Heartland Payment Systems are –
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Heartland Payment Systems is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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 Brand Portfolio – Over the years Heartland Payment Systems has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Heartland Payment Systems just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Heartland Payment Systems 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.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Heartland Payment Systems 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.
- 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.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
Weakness of Heartland Payment Systems – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Heartland Payment Systems 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.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Heartland Payment Systems is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Heartland Payment Systems 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.
- 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 Heartland Payment Systems
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Heartland Payment Systems is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Heartland Payment Systems has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
Opportunities for Heartland Payment Systems – External Strategic Factors
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Heartland Payment Systems 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 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 Heartland Payment Systems. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- 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 Heartland Payment Systems to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Heartland Payment Systems to increase its profitability.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Heartland Payment Systems . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Heartland Payment Systems’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.
- 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 Heartland Payment Systems in other product categories.
Threats Heartland Payment Systems Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Heartland Payment Systems profitability.
- 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.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Heartland Payment Systems’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- 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.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Heartland Payment Systems
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 Heartland Payment Systems
- 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 Heartland Payment Systems
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 Heartland Payment Systems 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 Heartland Payment Systems
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.
Buy Custom Essay and Term Paper on SWOT Analysis / Matrix , Weighted SWOT Analysis of Heartland Payment Systems
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)
Previous 5 SWOT Analysis
- Hain Celestial Group SWOT Analysis
- Wolverine World Wide SWOT Analysis
- Verso SWOT Analysis
- Broadridge Financial Solutions SWOT Analysis
- TrueBlue SWOT Analysis