Harvard Bioscience, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Harvard Bioscience, Inc. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is facing in its current business environment.

The Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is one of the leading firms in its industry. Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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 organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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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 known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Harvard Bioscience, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Harvard Bioscience, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Harvard Bioscience, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Harvard Bioscience, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Harvard Bioscience, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. are –


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  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Harvard Bioscience, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Harvard Bioscience, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Harvard Bioscience, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Harvard Bioscience, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.


Weakness of Harvard Bioscience, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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.


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  • 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.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Harvard Bioscience, Inc. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Harvard Bioscience, Inc. . 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Harvard Bioscience, Inc.’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 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc.. 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. to increase its profitability.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Harvard Bioscience, Inc..

Threats Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Harvard Bioscience, Inc.   in those markets.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Harvard Bioscience, Inc. profitability.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Harvard Bioscience, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • 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.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Harvard Bioscience, Inc.

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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc.
  • 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.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of Harvard Bioscience, Inc.

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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc. 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 Harvard Bioscience, Inc.

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)