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S W O T Analysis Part 2

时间:2019-07-29    点击: 次    来源:网络转载    作者:佚名www.relunwen.com - 小 + 大

after world war ii, the japanese economy was in ruins, and
its industries highly uncompetitive. it was simply not
possible to compete head-on against the large western
business corporations. instead, the japanese manufacturers
chose to focus on making products that western manufacturers
ignored. thus, while these western giants were strong in
making the big models of cars, refrigerators, appliances,
motorcycles, photocopiers, etc., they were weak in making
the smaller models. in fact, in many cases, they ignored
making the smaller and cheaper models completely.

 sensing the opportunities, the japanese manufacturers
chose to focus on making smaller ranges of cars,
motorcycles, refrigerators, photocopiers, appliances, etc.
here, it is important to point out that the japanese
products were not only cheap but also inferior in the 1960s,
and even in the early 1970s. however, as the competition
was not strong in the market for the smaller range of
products, the japanese manufacturers were even able to build
up their strengths over time.

 similarly, the japanese manufacturers also went after
markets which the large western business corporations were
weak in, or completely ignored. for example, the american
manufacturers completely ignored the south-east asian market
as well as many other asian markets in the 1960s and 1970s.
instead, they chose to concentrate their strengths and
efforts largely at home, and in the canadian and european
markets. sensing the opportunities, the japanese
manufacturers decided to penetrate these south-east asian
and other asian markets with their cheap range of products
as highlighted in the previous paragraph.

 as there was hardly any serious competition in the smaller
products market, japanese manufacturers were given ample
time to build up their strengths. they were also able to
improve their product quality substantially. japanese
products are now known for their superior quality that
rival, and in many cases, even exceed the best that the
western manufacturers can offer. not surprisingly, japanese
products are now able to command high prices!

 besides placing more emphasis on competitive analysis, it
is significant to note that sun zi placed it before
understanding the weather and terrain. this is clearly
illustrated in the first quotation cited at the beginning of
this paper. in fact, in the second quotation cited in this
paper, weather and terrain were not even mentioned!

 the focus was entirely on understanding the enemy and
oneself. on closer reflection, it is not difficult to
understand the logic behind sun zi's writings. in the case
of war, if the enemy is far superior to one's forces,
weather and terrain become less important. the same logic
applies to many other situations. for example, if
singapore's n

ational soccer team were to take on the
brazilian national team, it does not matter where the match
is played. regardless of the weather and field conditions,
the result would be obvious to anyone. the same is true if
singapore's national basketball team were to take on the
chicago bulls of the american national basketball
association. similarly, in business, it is extremely
difficult for a small firm to take on a large corporation if
they are both selling the same product. in general, a large
company enjoys many advantages, including economies of
scale. it is therefore not surprising to find that in any
economic downturn, the small and medium-size firms are the
ones that will be the first to be affected, and typically in
the harshest way.

 however, if both sides are equally matched, or where the
odds are not too lopsided (e.g. 60:40 or 70:30), then
mastering the terrain and exploiting the advantages
conferred by the weather can become very important in
tilting the odds in one's favour. in other words, if the
general of a smaller army is able to use the terrain and
weather to his advantage, he can definitely increase his
odds of winning against a larger army.

 for this reason, in the realm of sports, many organisers
would lobby aggressively to have important games played in
their home grounds in order to gain advantage. it is common
knowledge that the home country typically does better in any
major sports like the olympics. in the 1998 world cup, it
cannot be denied that the excellent performance by france
(it not only entered the finals for the first time, but went
on to beat brazil by a comfortable 3-0 margin) could be
attributed, to no small extent, to its host status.
interestingly, the last time the french won a major soccer
championship was also when it played host to the european
championship in 1984. at the same time, it is significant
to note that six nations have thus far won the world cup
when they played host. these nations are uruguay (1930),
italy (1934), england (1966), west germany (1974), argentina
(1978) and france (1998).

 interestingly, sun zi advocated understanding the weather
first before understanding the terrain. again, there is
profound logic to this. like the enemies in war, weather is
dynamic and changing. in contrast, terrain is relatively
fixed and static. hence, it is more important to focus the
analysis on those factors that not only change more
frequently, but may have greater and more immediate impact
as well. this same argument applies to the conduct of
business. physical or infrastructural factors are not easy
to duplicate overnight. hence, they are quite static and
are unlikely to pose any threat or opportunity in the short
run. in contrast, business climate can be created quickly!
for example, a country can enact

laws and economic policies
to attract foreign investment fairly quickly. in the case
of asia, some countries are even known to copy singapore's
investment and economies policies. however, when it comes to
building the business infrastructure like high quality roads
and highways, airports, harbours, warehouses,
telecommunications facilities, etc., the process is
definitely much harder.

 the need to focus on the external factors like the
competitors and climatic issues has become even more
important and urgent in light of the asian economic crisis.
many asian economies are fast realising that these external
and dynamic factors are not only very fluid, but they can
also change very quickly. to make matters worse, they are
not controllable. however, this does not mean that nothing
can be done about them. on the contrary, and according to
sun zi, one should pay close attention to them and analyse
them carefully and in great detail. in this way, one can
respond to their changes quicker and more decisively. thus,
i would add that, "knowing your enemy, know the weather"
would definitely increase the chances of winning more
battles in war, and achieving excellence in business!

          (part two of two)

 (wee chow hou, phd, ppa, is professor of business policy,
dean of the faculty of business administration and director
of the graduate school of business at the national
university of singapore. he is also a resource panelist of
sph's chinese newspapers.)

孙子的s.w.o.t.分析(二)


  二战结束后,日本经济瓦解,工业不堪一击,根本就不可能和西
方的商业巨无霸正面交锋。wWw.relunwen.coM于是日本制造商决定专攻西方所忽略的产
品。当时,西方大公司的强项是生产大型汽车、电冰箱、电器、电单
车以及影印机等等,小型产品较不在行,而且很多制造商对小型产品
根本不屑一顾。

  察觉到这是一个机会,日本人于是专做小型的产品。这里必须要
指出的是,在整个60年代甚至是70年代初期,日本产品不只便宜,质
地也不好。不过小型产品的市场竞争不大,日本制造商的实力也就渐
渐地壮大起来。

  同样的,日本制造商也进军一些西方大公司势力较弱或完全忽略
的市场。例如,60到70年代,美国制造商对东南亚和很多其他亚洲市
场完全不感兴趣,它们的力量和工夫多集中在国内,以及加拿大和欧
洲。日本制造商又看到机会了,纷纷把上面所说的廉价产品,渗透进
东南亚和其他亚洲市场。

  在小型产品市场上,几乎没有真正对手的情况下,日本制造商有
很充裕的时间壮大实力。它们也大大改进产品质地。众所周知,日本
产品现在已经能和西方最强的对手一较高低,很多甚至有过之而无不
及。这些产品现在可以开出更高价格,也一点不奇怪。

  要强调的是,除了更重视敌我竞争力的分析,孙子还把它的重要
性摆在知天知地之上。本篇所引的孙子第一句话,便清楚显示了这点
。至于所引的第二句,事实上,天和地只字不提!

  可见焦聚全集中在知己知彼上面。深一层想,孙子的逻辑不难理
解。就以战争来说,敌军的力量如果大大优于我军,天时地利就变得
较不重要了。很多的处境,也可以照搬这个道理。例如要是新加坡国
家足球队对上了巴西国家队,在哪里出赛都不重要,也不管天气和场
地状况,结局大概谁都猜得出。让新加坡国家篮球队和美国职业篮球
联赛的芝加哥公牛队打,也是同样的结果。在商场上,如果卖的是同
一种产品,小公司要跟大公司竞争是非常困难的。一般来说,大公司
占尽了包括规模效益在内的种种优势。这就是为什么遇到经济放缓,
中小型公司总是最先受到影响,受到的打击也总是最大。

  不过,双方如果势均力敌,或不是太一面倒(如6成对4成或7成
对3成),掌握地形和利用天候就重要了,它能把劣势扭转过来。换
句话说,兵力少过对手的统帅,要是懂得把天候、地形转化成自己的
优势,往往可以取得比大军更大的胜算。

  这就是为什么在体育领域里,为了取得优势,很多主办者都不惜
花力气把重要比赛安排在主场进行。很多人都知道,像奥林匹克这样
的大型竞技大会,主办国总是有优异表现。今年世界杯,谁也不能否
认法国队表现杰出(它不只第一次打进大决赛,还以3比0大胜巴西)
,有相当程度是因为它们是东道主。值得注意的是法国上一次夺得主
要的足球桂冠,是1984年自己家门口举行欧洲杯的时候。同时也应该
注意到,至目前为止,已经有6个主办国赢得世界杯,它们是乌拉圭
(1930年)、意大利(1934年)、英

国(1966年)、西德(1974年)
、阿根廷(1978年)和法国(1998年)。

  很妙的是孙子主张知天先于知地。这也是一个深刻的道理。天候
和敌军一样变幻莫测,地形相比之下,要固定、静态得多,因此集中
分析一些不单是瞬息多变,而且影响更大、更及时的因素是很重要的。

  做生意也是同一条道理,实质或基础的因素很难在一夜之间复制
出来,它们较静止,也就不太可能在短期内造成威胁或带来机会。相
反的,企业气候可以很快就创造出来!例如一个国家可以很快颁布吸
引外资的法令和经济政策。亚洲一些国家,甚至是拿新加坡的投资和
经济政策依样画葫芦出了名。但说到商业基础设施的兴建,如高素质
的公路、高速公路、机场、海港、货仓、通信设备等,过程肯定要艰
难得多。

  把关注点放在外在因素,如竞争对手和商业气候,这在亚洲经济
危机下变得越来越重要和急迫。很多亚洲经济体正迅速察觉到这些外
在、多变的因素,不但飘忽不定,还说变就变,更糟的是它们无从控
制。

  不过,这不等于说什么事都不能做了。相反的,孙子说应该密切
留意它们,并做细致入微的分析。唯有这样才可以迅速、果断地应变
。所以,我要补充说:“知彼知天,就能增加多打胜仗的机会,也才
能在商场上大展鸿图。”(二之二)

(作者是新加坡国立大学企业管理学院院长,他也是华文报咨询团成
员)

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