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DeVry Education Group SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by DeVry Education Group 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) DeVry Education Group is facing in its current business environment.
The DeVry Education Group is one of the leading firms in its industry. DeVry Education Group maintains its prominent position in market by critically 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 helps 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 helps the managers of the DeVry Education 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 a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect DeVry Education Group strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to DeVry Education Group SWOT Analysis
Strengths of DeVry Education Group – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education Group are –
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years DeVry Education Group has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of DeVry Education Group 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 DeVry Education Group products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – DeVry Education Group has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – DeVry Education Group is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years DeVry Education Group has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education Group – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where DeVry Education Group can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though DeVry Education Group is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, DeVry Education 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry DeVry Education Group 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.
- 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 DeVry Education Group
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though DeVry Education Group is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
Opportunities for DeVry Education Group – External Strategic Factors
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided DeVry Education Group an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as DeVry Education Group to increase its profitability.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable DeVry Education Group to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- 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 DeVry Education Group to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of DeVry Education Group products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of DeVry Education Group’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 DeVry Education Group in other product categories.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for DeVry Education Group to capture new customers and increase its market share.
Threats DeVry Education Group Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of DeVry Education Group
- 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 .
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to DeVry Education Group’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- 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.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and DeVry Education Group may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education 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 DeVry Education 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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