A SWOT analysis is an incredibly effective way to frame a certain business objective (or overall, general standing within the market) and evaluate your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats, in relation to that objective. It identifies an organisation’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats.
An example of a general SWOT analysis for Australia Post can be seen below, in order for you to grasp the general processes involved in such an analysis:
Assessing Australia Post’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats, the following notions became apparent:
Australia Post is the established industry leader of postal delivery within Australia. The sheer size of Australia Post ensures the company has a foothold in the market as well as the benefit of a well-recognised brand.
The company’s blanket coverage of many markets including car, home and contents, and travel insurance, travel cards, prepaid gift and shopping cards, international money transfer (facilitated by their partnership with Western Union), identity and document services such as tax file number applications and licence renewals, passport services and business postal solutions provides Australia Post with a diversified market of income streams; acting as a major strength of the company during times of financial uncertainty in certain segmented markets. Furthermore, financial alliances in order to facilitate banking at Australia Post outlets as an extension of most Australian financial institutions and credit unions including the big 4 banks to Australia Post customers ensures the company and Australia Post retail outlets remains of use to the general public.
Currently in Australia, there are no existing competitors that have the same size and reach of Australia Post services nation-wide. Additionally, Australia Post’s partnerships that ensure a diversified stream of income including POLi Payments, an online payment platform that enables direct transfer of funds between bank accounts in real time for bill payments and eCommerce transactions, Sai Cheng Logistics International being a joint venture with China Post to provide supply chain management and logistics services between China, Australia and the rest of the world, Decipha to offer mailroom and document workflow services and SecurePay online payment gateway, trusted by over 20,000 businesses to accept and manage their payments from cards and bank accounts (Australia Post, 2015).
Mail segmentation and retail segmentation has resulted in dwindling postage service usage. Furthermore, dwindling traditional postal rates has many companies choosing to go online for customer communication and billing.
Technological advances have left the requirement for Australia Post’s main service: sorting and delivery of letters, as a concept of the past. With technological advancements within the company lagging behind industry and global rates, Australia Post has lost opportunities to develop the organisational structure to stay relevant and useful in everyday life.
Furthermore, supply and demand issues has resulted in the sheer size of employee numbers acting as a financial burden, and the declining rate of letter postage has meant that the traditional job of “the postie” is becoming redundant. Australia Post is now scrambling to repair their supply and demand issue by finding new markets and a new purpose for the totality of their workforce (e.g. training postage workers to fly drones to deliver mail).
Australia Post’s strategic alliances are an area for potential growth in the future. This opportunity is exemplified through Australia Post’s new partnership with Australian startup Shippit which lets online shoppers still choose to use Australia post services to ship their purchases while still taking advantage of advanced parcel tracking services and eliminating the need to drop into the closest Australia Post outlets to retrieve missed delivered packages, while providing estimated delivery times and follow-up notification when the parcel is on-board for delivery. Further partnerships with Australian tech companies for developments in technologies to service customers in postal and business competencies could increase relevance and income streams would also open new doors of opportunity. Furthermore, development of the company as an ecommerce service provider through advanced delivery and ecommerce business services such as data tracking and information provision, courier services and international shipping services would reposition the organisation to service today’s social and technological advances.
In addition to this, developing strategic partnerships to break down boarders and increase globalisation opportunities would result in global opportunities to increase revenue from overseas markets, boosts Australia’s export market and also increases the need for Australia Post’s developing export services. The recent first-of-its-kind partnership with Tmall; an online chinese ecommerce marketplace that allows businesses to sell products directly to chinese buyers without the worry of logistic and travel costs, translations and customer service illustrates this opportunity.
A rise in digital communication has lead to a decrease in letters posted leading to consequential profit margin losses. Additionally, letters delivered have fallen by well over 1 billion since its peak in 2007/2008 when it delivered 4.6 billion letters (Australia Post, 2014). In relation to legislation, Australia post is required by law to deliver post for a specified number of times per week and retain its 4000-strong network of retail outlets and post offices Australia-wide. As the costs of operation of this network do not match the profit margins of the company this acts as a source of increasing loses. Furthermore, intense and increasing competition by large international companies such as FedEx and DHL that have equal brand recognition and financial power operating within their new target market of ecommerce parcel delivery poses a strong threat to the profit margins of Australia Post.