159
Chapter 17
StrengthsandWeaknesses
e preparation of a ve- year strategic plan for URHeres micro credit
agency began by comparing the agency’s services to that of its competitors.
Results highlighted activities that its credit union performed better or worse
than its competitors. Table17.1 compiles input from the analysis.
e team identied internal factors that caused the credit union to excel
(strengths) and the factors that caused their ratings to be lower than competi-
tors (weaknesses). e external environment that provides opportunities and
threats was also reviewed to provide input for the SWOT (strengths, weak-
nesses, opportunities, threats) matrix shown in Table17.2.
Process SWOT
A SWOT analysis for the selected process serves to validate the feasibility of the
goals and objectives set for the process. With SWOT, the process and its results
are compared with those of other organizations. e lack of information does
not limit the validity or cheapen the veracity of the SWOT.
e SWOT analysis shown in Table17.3 for the accounts payable process
was completed by following the ve steps that are discussed below:
1. Identify the internal strengths and weaknesses
2. Scan the external environment
3. Prepare the SWOT matrix
4. Develop strategies
5. Validate goals and objectives
160 ◾  Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual
Table17.1  Analysis of Competitors
Issue Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Credit Union
Years in
existence
Less than 5 12 15 20
Number of
members
100,000 75,000 (estimated) 75,000 to 100,000 >100,000
Management
experience
5*
Former bank
executives run
the company.
3
Mix of professional
and nonprofessionals
run the company.
1
Nonprofessionals
are the executives.
3
Many years in the business. Few
executives are professionals.
Delinquency
ratio
1
Uses bank ratings
to issue loans
and banking
collection
methods.
3
Gives unsecured
loans.
1
More on a savings
drive and for
purchase of tangible
items for
repossession.
5
Invests in the members’
businesses. During start- up of
business, the delinquency ratio is
high. Because of family relations,
there was leniency with members.
Strengths and Weaknesses ◾  161
Client care 5
The customer
care models from
the banking
system are used.
3 to 5
Seen as customer-
friendly.
3
Unsecured loans are
discouraged without
explanations.
5
Members feel like family (and
often are). Long- standing
relationships with members for
generations.
Risk taking 1
Not perceived as
an option. Seen
as cold and too
businesslike.
3
Will give secured
loans.
1
Not risk takers.
5
Will give unsecured loans for
start- ups.
Branding 5
Logo, branded
products, Web
presence.
3
No logo or branding.
Low name recognition.
Web presence.
1
Logo. Now branding.
Now getting Web
presence.
3
Logo established. Low name
recognition. Web presence.
*
Ratings are on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), as follows: 5 (high) means, “Pay any price”; 1 (low) means, “Want it for free; not
willing to pay extra for it”; 3 (moderate) is all the stuff in between, meaning we are “willing to pay a reasonable price” with-
out being forced to define “reasonable.
162 ◾  Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual
Step 1: Identify Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
e credit union worked the questionnaire below to identify its strengths and
weaknesses.
Identify three things in your process that you cannot live without.
e stas willingness to work
e long- term relationships with vendors, especially when things go wrong
Table17.3  SWOT Matrix for Accounts Payable Process
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Long- term
relationships
with vendors
Committed
staff and
management
Internal controls
are weak
Invoices received
do not comply with
the process
requirements
Increasing vendor
complaints
Internal customers
do not always
comply with our
needs
Higher levels of
technology
within the
banking sector
Increased
security in using
the Internet
Vendors are
willing to work
with us for
solutions
Hackers update
the Internet with
viruses on a
regular basis
Vendors hold up
services or want
payment up front
New government
regulations that
may result in
litigation for late
payments
Table17.2  SWOT Matrix for Credit Union
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
High
customer
satisfaction
Committed
management
and staff
Ready access
to funding
from
URHere’s
main office
Limited
managerial
experience
Customers and
staff are related—
conflicts of
interest
Not all process
and systems work
well
High delinquency
rates on loan
portfolios
Government
initiative to
increase the
number of micro
businesses
Government
training programs
for entrepreneurs
and small-
business owners
Links to external
markets for
customers
Increased
regulatory
framework for
operations
Global credit
crunch—may
affect URHere’s
overall business
Social conditions
in the villages
within which the
micro credit
operates

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