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Penn Mutual Life Insurance SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Penn Mutual Life Insurance managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a handy technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Penn Mutual Life Insurance is facing in its current business environment.
The Penn Mutual Life Insurance is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Penn Mutual Life Insurance maintains its dominant position in market by carefully 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 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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 company can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Penn Mutual Life Insurance strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Penn Mutual Life Insurance SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Penn Mutual Life Insurance – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance are –
- 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.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Penn Mutual Life Insurance has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Penn Mutual Life Insurance has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Penn Mutual Life Insurance just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- 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.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Penn Mutual Life Insurance products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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.
- 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.
Weakness of Penn Mutual Life Insurance – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Penn Mutual Life Insurance are below the industry average.
- 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Penn Mutual Life Insurance is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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. Penn Mutual Life Insurance has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance – External Strategic Factors
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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 environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for Penn Mutual Life Insurance to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- 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 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Penn Mutual Life Insurance.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Penn Mutual Life Insurance . 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance’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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance to increase its profitability.
Threats Penn Mutual Life Insurance Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- 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.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Penn Mutual Life Insurance in those markets.
- 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance
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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance
- 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance
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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance 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 Penn Mutual Life Insurance
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
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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