2Company AnalysisGoal is to understand the internal workings of the company and its relationship to its external environment.
3Environmental/Industry Analysis This carries over from your prior work.Key success factors.Challenges.Trends.Competitive structure of the industryThis sets the context for understanding the company’s actions.
4Competitive Advantage Need to assess what, if any, sources of competitive advantage the company has:Financial?Management/Strategy?Marketing?Technology?Each of these can also be a negative that identifies a potential weakness of the company.
5FinanceDo they have strong revenues? If so, from what sources? Are they growing over time (consistently or erratically)?Are their margins better than competitors? If so, why? What are the trends (common size)?Are they better able to manage costs? How?What do the 8k and 10k reveal about the financials?
6Management/StrategyDo they have a superior business model to competitors? Distinctive competencies?Do they have advantageous relationships with customers?Are they more efficient than competitors? Do they have more or better access to critical supplier resources?Do they manage quality more effectively?Are they more innovative? More adaptable?
7MarketingDo they have stronger brand? Can they command a higher price?Are their products/services differentiated in a way that makes them more attractive?Do they have access to markets that are closed/limited to others?Do they have more effective customer service?Do they communicate about their products/services more effectively?Are their products easier for customers to find and purchase than competitor products?
8TechnologyDo they have a better understanding of how to use technology in support of their strategies?Do they have proprietary technology that gives them an advantage? Patents?Are they leveraging technology more effectively than their competitors? Better processes in place?Is information about customers more accessible to them?Have they integrated their systems with those of suppliers in a way that creates advantage?
9Tools to organize your analysis SWOT is an organizing framework for the results of your analysisStrengths and Weaknesses – from analysis of competitive advantages in each areaWhat do they do better than their competitors?Where do they lag their competitors?Opportunities and Threats – from analysis of environment and competition.Are there new markets to go after? Ways to better penetrate existing markets? Trends to capitalize upon?Are new competitors entering the markets? Do competitors have “new tricks”? Do trends undermine your existing markets?
10SWOTBrings together the external and internal analyses but it is only a tool and not a goal in itself.Based on your analysis, you need to develop recommendations that take advantage of strengths or develop new strengths to pursue opportunities or mitigate threats.Tie this to the critical success factors that you have already identified.How does your recommendation address one of the critical success factors?
11ImpactYou have to be able to forecast the economic benefit of your recommendationsWhat will it cost to implement?What will it generate in revenues?Do new revenues exceed costs? If so, great!If it isn’t profitable, why are you recommending it? It may be that it isn’t immediately profitable but positions the company to make large profits later, but you better be able to survive to reap those benefits. Make your case!