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PC Connection SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by PC Connection managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is an important technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) PC Connection is facing in its current business environment.
The PC Connection is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. PC Connection 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 firm 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 PC Connection 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 PC Connection strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to PC Connection SWOT Analysis
Strengths of PC Connection – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, PC Connection 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 PC Connection 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.
- 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 PC Connection has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – PC Connection 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.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years PC Connection has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of PC Connection just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to PC Connection products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – PC Connection has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
Weakness of PC Connection – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where PC Connection 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.
- 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 PC Connection
- 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though PC Connection 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 PC Connection are below the industry average.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though PC Connection is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- 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 PC Connection – External Strategic Factors
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of PC Connection’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.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as PC Connection to increase its profitability.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable PC Connection 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 PC Connection in other product categories.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of PC Connection.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the PC Connection . 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 PC Connection to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- 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 PC Connection to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
Threats PC Connection Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- 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.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for PC Connection in those markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the PC Connection profitability.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and PC Connection may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for PC Connection
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 PC Connection
- 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 PC Connection
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 PC Connection 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 PC Connection
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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