1.2.1 SWOT ANALYSIS
SWOT (S-Strengths, W-Weaknesses, O-Opportunities, T-Threats), is a useful analyzing tool to review a business’s strategy, position and its proposition which makes all aspects of its functions more measureable and quantifiable. It brings in more accountability due to which better implementations can be conducted on its planning strategies, competitor evaluation, marketing, product development and research reports. Six categories can be allotted to translating the analysis into actions, namely product, process, customer, distribution, finance & administration. Yet care should be taken that personal viewpoints do not hinder potential opportunities. This is because threats at often times also represent opportunities. The SWOT analysis for Mercedes Benz (division of DaimlerChrysler group), can be construed as follows (Refer to Fig.1 in Appendix).
1.2.2 PESTEL ANALYSIS
PESTEL (P-Political, E-Economic, S-Sociological, T-Technological, E-Environmental, L-Legal), is used by businesses in their strategy planning by aiding them in the understanding of the external environment in which they operate. The Analysis has 3 main elements; listing the external factors, identifying their implications and deciding on the importance of these implications to the effect of its business functions. As such factors are continuously changing in their nature& the PESTEL analysis should distinguish, in detail, what is effecting the organization presently, and in the future. The components can be described briefly as follows: Political factors –government regulations, tax policies, political stability, etc. Economic factors–economic growth, interest & exchange rates, inflation, etc. Social factors–population growth, demographics, health consciousness’, etc. Technological factors–technology advancement, availability of equipment & technical skills, reliability of services, etc. Environmental factors-environmental regulations, global conditions, local issues, etc. Legal factors-employment laws, trade restrictions, national legislation, etc. The PESTEL Analysis for Mercedes Benz is as follows (Refer to Fig.2 in Appendix): It is generally useful to complete a PEST analysis before a SWOT analysis as it helps in identifying SWOT factors. There is usually an overlap between the factors of the two, but they offer different perspectives. PEST provides an assessment from particular business propositions whereas SWOT is an assessment of these propositions, including its competitors’.
Strategic positioning takes into account various factors such as the external environment, internal resources and competencies – their individual and collective impact on a business’s strategy, in hindsight of the expectations & influence of stakeholders (Johnson & Scholes, 2005). Taking the future into account and assessing whether current strategies are sufficiently effective provide a basis in understanding the strategic position of an organization and an evaluation of any changes that need to be made. There exist various strategic positioning techniques:
1.3.3 Monitoring competitors
The identification & monitoring of a firm’s competitors is an essential tool for analyzing the dynamics of competitive strategy and increasing awareness of the potential competitive threats and opportunities; often serving as the cornerstone in the planning of its defensive, offensive and responsive strategies. And while competitor identification should generally be approached broadly to avoid competitive blind spots, competitive analysis should focus on groups of identified competitors separately. Competitor response profiles take these various factors into account and highlight the competitor’s vulnerabilities and the best market segment in which to gain certain advantages over them. Finally, it is an equally important decision with the numerous competitors that may exist, where one may...