Technology has significantly played a huge role in the development of business and the lives of people around the world. The industry’s inventions and creative developments are constantly changing and so are the consumer preferences. Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) is one of the leading technology companies around the world. Having researched on HP, this paper will show the impression I have on its operation, give the SWOT analysis of the company and explain and justify whether HP has competitive advantages over its rivals. As well, this paper will show a description of the components of one of the company’s product and explain the strategic alternatives open to HP (HP, 2008).
Hewlett Packard Company
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Founded in 1939, Hewlett Packard (HP) is a technology oriented company and has its operations in various countries worldwide. HP is known to be the leading computer hardware and peripheral company across the world. A global technology company, its business is spread across more than 170 countries around the world. HP plays a major role in the world of technology as it designs products that contribute in addressing problems that are faced by both companies and individuals as they go through their daily experiences with technology. HP offers their customers a broad variety of products to choose from and these ranges from digital photography to digital entertainment as well as computing and home printing. (HP, 2008).
With the ever changing technology, HP’s technology and services are geared towards helping individuals and companies to realize their possibilities, address their challenges and achieve their goals and dreams. The company has for a long time come up with better and more innovative methods of creating modernized technologies that tend to address the ever changing consumer needs. This is done by significantly improving the personal experience of its end users and also by offering them various products and services to choose from (HP, 2008).
Based on my research on HP, my impression of the company’s operation is that by coming up with a wide range of products and services, the company is able to identify and respond to its customers needs. Hence, I believe that its operations significantly enable the company achieve its set goals in the 170 countries they operate in (HP, 2008). In my opinion, this also means that by operating in different countries, the company is in a better position to attract and maintain many customers especially by developing quality and affordable products. In other words, its focus on transforming the lives and businesses of its customers subsequently results to the company’s growth.
Additionally, the HP operations are directed at creating a wide range of products thus leading the core technology areas within the industry. These core technology areas include the personal systems, imaging and printing, technology solutions groups and EDS which is geared towards providing technology solutions and services to its customers (HP, 2008). By this, my impression of its way of operating is that the company strives to come up with ways that will significantly put it in a leading position within the technology industry while satisfactorily addressing the technological needs of the consumers.
SWOT analysis of HP
This SWOT analysis will study the strategic internal and external environment within HP. With the expectation of matching the company’s resources and capabilities, a SWOT analysis based on the company’s environments will be conducted in the planning process. The factors to be considered in this process include the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) (Quick MBA, 2007).
The company’s merger with Compaq enabled it to become one of the world’s biggest computer hardware in the world (HP Annual Report, 2003). HP’s strength is privileged by its favorable access to distribution networks around the world, in the developed and the developing countries alike. As well, the company’s strengths can be derived from the cost advantages it enjoys, strong brand names, reasonable pricing, good reputation and access to high grade natural resources (Quick MBA, 2007).
These strengths enable HP actively participate in developing the capacity of new markets around the world. The company is also able to enjoy a number of advantages like the domination over other similar products which subsequently leads to attracting more customers. The company is able to participate in the stiff market competition thus making it one of the leading technology companies in the IT industry by using its strengths (HP Annual Report, 2003).
Based on the fact that HP is wide spread in over 170 countries globally, this may act both as a weakness or strength for the company. As aforementioned, this may be strength for the company in that it will be able to attract more customers in the non government and government organizations as well as corporations. However, it may as well be a weakness in that competitors without such investments will not be faced with barriers to promptly respond to the strategic environment meant to prevent the firm from further weaknesses (Quick MBA, 2007).
External SWOT analysis for HP helps the company identify new opportunities that will result to greater profits. Analysis of the opportunities will subsequently lead to a better growth for the company and include identifying the not met customer needs, invention of new technologies, loosening of regulations and the removal of international trade barriers. Having identified the opportunities to be explored, HP will be able to overcome its weaknesses by developing products that will meet the customer needs by pursuing the opportunities (Quick MBA, 2007).
Although HP strives to meet its customer needs by being a leading technology company, conducting a SWOT analysis will show that the company is also subject to threats. These threats may be as a result of the ever changing customer preferences on products. As well, developing of substitute and more affordable products the company’s competitors may also act as threat for the company since customers will have an alternative product which will serve the same purpose and one that is cheap. Lastly, increased trade barriers and new regulations may also act as a threat for HP since these factors may affect the profitability of the company (Quick MBA, 2007).
Based on the SWOT analysis, the strengths of HP enable the company to have competitive advantage and competitive strategies over its competitors. This is justifiable by the fact that pursuing the opportunities helps the company maintain and improve on its strengths. Additionally, these strengths tend to be advantageous to HP in the sense that different factors like an exclusive access to high grade natural resources and popular brand names enables the company to have a competitive advantage over other rivals who do not have such strengths (Quick MBA, 2007). Read about HP competitive advantage
By identifying and establishing effective strategies for preventing the company from weaknesses and threats enables HP to have a competitive advantage over its rivals. This is justifiable by use of weakness and opportunity strategies that enable the company to overcome its weaknesses by striving to explore the opportunities. Also, the strength and threats strategies puts HP in an advantageous position by enabling the company come up with different ways of using its strengths to significantly reduce its vulnerability to external threats (Quick MBA, 2007).
All-in-One PCs Components
HP has designed All-in-One PCs which come as a complete package with a variety of components. The All-in-One PCs are referred to as the next-generation touch-enabled PC due to the nature of its qualities. It is a stylish, slim all-in-one design which is certainly attractive to customers who prefer sleek PCs. The All-in-One PCs also offer the users a hands-on entertainment experience and is suitable for both home and home office use (HP, 2008).
Furthermore, the All-in-One PCs are also characterized with a 22 inch screen with a resolution display of 1650 by 1080 together with subtle features of a laptop within. The PC’s screen is also multi touch and comes with a NTSC/ATSC tuner that enables analogue and over-the air HD signal access. The HP product also comes with a 2.16-GHz Core 2 Duo T5850 Intel CPU, 4GB RAM together with a 500 GB, 7200-rpm hard drive. Besides the HP All-in-One PCs are also coupled with five USB 2.0 ports, one Fire Wire Port, gigabit Ethernet as well as a slot loading DVD player. An S-video input, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi together with a built in Bluetooth is also built in the All-in-One PCs. (Gladstone, 2007).
Hewlett Packard, as the leading technology company, identifies the areas that its competitors have not covered and designs strategies that break through these areas. However, HP could employ other strategies that could be useful for it to penetrate and dominate the highly competitive technology market. This implies that HP can keep on identifying opportunities in the technology market and turning them into creative marketing strategies that would contribute to better marketing opportunities in the future (McGraw-Hill, 2005, p.3).
Therefore some of the strategic alternatives that HP could employ include a change in the description of the target market. This should not only be categorized according to the product but also with regard to market generics. A generic market consists of similar needs but the sellers satisfy those needs differently while a product market consists of similar needs with the sellers satisfying those needs in a somewhat similar ways. The description of the generic market will include the customers’ point of view which is usually ignored by the product market description (McGraw-Hill, 2005, p.10). Also read HP competitive advantage
The other strategic alternative that could be applied by HP is the segmentation of the market using computer aided methods. These include the application of the clustering technique whereby the computer performs the search for similar groups of people then the marketers will establish why the computers clustered these individuals together. The findings can later be used to come up with new marketing strategies. The customer database involves the use of the customers’ information such as previous purchases in the development of marketing strategies (McGraw-Hill, 2005, p.23).
These strategic alternatives are important for HP since it has an international market. This means that its target market is not only large but it is also diverse. These alternatives will help HP to reach the target market better thereby increasing its sales while at the same time ensuring that its customers are also satisfied. Besides the computer aided techniques are important in segmentation because of the size of the company’s target market which may be hectic to segment without the help of the computer. (McGraw-Hill, 2005, p.23).
Evidently, Hewlett Packard is a large company with operations across various countries around the world. Being an international company, this implies that it has both competitive advantage over its competitors while at the same time it faces a great challenge of satisfying its greatly diverse market. Hp however has put in place strategies that look into these marketing and production objectives therefore enabling it to stay at the top of the technological market across the world. Constant efforts to come up with new marketing strategies will help HP stay on top of the technology world.
Gladstone D. (2007). HP TouchSmart IQ506 All-in-One PC.PC World Communications. Retrieved October 15, 2008 from http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/147572/hp_touchsmart_iq506_alli none_pc.html
Hewlett-Packard. (2008). About us. Retrieved October 15, 2006 from http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/
HP Annual Report. (2003). 2003 HP Philanthropy and Education Annual Report. Retrieved October 15, 2008 from http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/grants/reports/HP_2003_Annual_Report.pdf.
McGraw-Hill. (2005). Focusing Marketing Strategy with Segmentation and Positioning. McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved October 15, 2008 from http://www.mhhe.com/business/marketing/fourps/pdf/chap3.pdf.
QuickMBA. (2007) Strategic management: SWOT Analysis. Retrieved October 15, 2008 from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/swot/
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