VIA Technology is a company based in New Jersey, United States. This firm was founded in 1995 and mainly deals with electronic and networking products like server systems. VIA Technology does not just sell but also sets up and does maintenance as well as diagnosis and repair for these server systems. This means that like most IT based companies, VIA thrives on creating long term working relationships with its customers. The company works not only with schools and hospitals but also with small, medium and large companies alike. Currently, it is based in the US but also operates numerous locations in Europe and across Asia. The business continues to look into further expansion with a keen interest in the emerging markets outside the country. With the kind of products and services that this company is specializing in, it can be expected that its growth potential is rather unlimited provided it remains innovative and at the forefront of IT market in terms of customer service and product as well as service quality.
As a technology based business, VIA Technology is mainly driven by innovation and customer service. This is how the company is able to come up with working solutions for its clients and keeping them happy at every time. This means that one of its greatest strengths would be it reliability as a brand. The company not only has some of the best quality products in the industry but its service delivery is considered impeccable. Its clients thus not only believe in the firm to provide good quality products but also trust that they will get appropriate set up and maintenance services on request. This ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are significant measures for the organization’s performance. When considering the company situation of VIA Technology, it is imperative to appreciate that the business’s SWOT analysis places it in a favorable position with regards to its expansion aspirations.
This company has a number of strengths and weaknesses that define its internal environment significantly. Each of these factors has a significant impact on the firm’s operations as will be discussed in this section.
VIA Technology is one of those companies that mainly deal directly with other companies and institutions like schools and hospitals. This means that in most cases, their business is conducted in a large scale and thus they need to have competitive prices without undermining the sustainability of their businesses (Ulph 27). This company offers reasonable prices to its customers, uses discounts and offers mostly directed to the return customers in order to establish a long term working relationship that is based on mutual respect and understanding. In order to keep this up, it has to get the best and most reasonable distributors, who will offer the impressive wholesale deals and thus fuel the business model with respect to the company’s pricing. A good price here thus affords the business a large customer base since it enables it to be affordable without compromising on the quality of its products and services. On the other hand, the firm’s distributors enable it to continue registering a sustainable profit margin for the business.
The company has also been able to locate itself in many parts of the world, thus implying that it is able to meet the needs of its clientele who are far from the head offices in New Jersey at a reasonable cost. Without these locations, it would have to ship the products to its clients over very long distances and thus at very higher costs. Even if the firm was to transfer the entire shipping costs to its customers, it would still register significant repercussions as the clients would have to pay more. This would, in turn, eliminate the company’s price-related strength thus limiting its competitive advantage on that front (Ulph 39).
Strong Brand Name
The VIA Technology brand name is widely recognized for its effective solutions in networking and other IT concepts. It is known for not only high quality servers but also impressive services that always ensure its customers’ needs are met. The company is known for their timely deliveries as well as excellent follow up and response when needed. This is why most customers are willing to vouch for it and refer their friends and acquaintances to it.
The IT industry is also flooded with a number of dishonest companies that often rip off the firm’s customers by selling sub-standard products and offering poor services. This has significantly lowered the market value for this industry thus limiting the prospects for VIA Technology as well. This is especially evident in the level of mistrust that the company has to deal with each day thus putting it in a bad position. Consequently, every time it has to prove itself to the new customers.
VIA Technology is yet to be established internationally and thus it relies on vendors to sell its products overseas. These vendors, however, are sometimes dishonest and thus procure third party merchandise, which is often of inferior quality, thus compromising on the customers’ ability to continue trusting the company.
A Low Entry Barrier
The low entry barrier is currently threatening the company by allowing for too much competition and thus creating a scramble for the limited market demand in this industry. This is especially because IT based companies are currently able to capitalize on the online market and thus do business in any part of the world without too many limitations.
VIA technology has numerous opportunities, as well as threats within this industry including the online market (socio-cultural), a Cisco partnership (technology) and fraud (legal) as well as the customers (industry environment).
The Online Market
Since the creation of the Internet, numerous companies have come up with ideas that keep users online especially for business transactions. This means that there are a lot of people increasingly relying on the Internet not only for information but also for shopping. Due to this, with an online presence, any business organization should be able to attract the attention of its target market and thus make great sales volumes from the online market alone (Ulph 79). VIA Technology provides networking solutions to businesses and institutions alike, meaning that it is a company with a significant stake in the connectivity business. This means that it should be able to capitalize on the Internet to grow its sales volumes. This is an opportunity because it provides the firm with an effective platform on which it can reach out to a large market at a lower cost. Rather than opening expensive locations all across the globe, the company can make much more money through operating an effective online store where it can sell its products to customers from any part of the world. The fact that the online market is steadily growing implies that its market base is significantly increasing as well if it chooses to pay attention to the online community (Ulph 86).
Cisco is an internationally recognized institution when it comes to networking and thus it is an important partner for VIA Technology. With this partnership, the company is not only able to ensure that its products are beyond the set standards internationally but also that it is able to offer the best quality of services in the industry given that its employees are trained and certified according to the Cisco standards. A Cisco partnership is also important for the ratings that the firm receives from its clientele. Most of the customers may not be as tech-savvy as the company’s employees but they are likely to understand the significance of having the right certifications in the IT industry and especially in a field like networking.
The company mainly deals with schools, hospitals and other firms. This means that most of its sales are in bulk, and thus that it mainly gets significant revenue from one customer. The impressive thing about this business model is that the clients are often looking for long term business arrangements and thus they are likely to seek out one dealer to meet all of their needs. These customers are able to appreciate VIA Technology’s efforts in product quality and service delivery since they are able to rely on it and it always delivers as promised. These clients are also mostly willing and able to pay attractive prices for the products and services thus keeping the company in business sustainably.
Fraud has been increasingly common today especially considering the Internet shopping phenomenon. Companies are increasingly registering losses from their online sales owing to fraudulent entities, which manage to cheat them especially when online payment is concerned. It is widely appreciated that one of the main perks of shopping online is an ability to pay directly using a credit or debit card and thus not having to handle cash. With the increase in fraud cases, companies like VIA may be forced to cut down on their online payment systems or to introduce a complex security system to avoid being ripped off by their customers. Both options in this case are likely to translate into lower sales volumes in the online platforms and thus threatening the firm’s ability to capitalize on this opportunity. Fraud may also discourage some customers from partaking in online shopping since they do not feel safe enough to provide personal details and credit card information that could be used to rob them.
In order for this company to become a global leader in the IT industry, there is a number of things that it must do especially considering the opportunities and weaknesses established in the SWOT analysis. First, the firm has a strong position in the market but with the low entry barriers and significant challenges with its vendors, it needs to work hard to keep up as a market leader. Some of the action steps that the company has to consider are discussed below.
Building A Strong Online Presence
The online market is growing significantly and most companies today are doing really well by focusing on online marketing, which is not only cheaper but also really effective. In order to capitalize on this opportunity and eliminate the threat of aggressive competition by firms that rely on online marketing, VIA Technology will have to stop taking on a passive outlook and thus fully embrace the Internet as a part of its business model (Ulph 48). This will entail not just having a website but also having a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other online location that offers an opportunity to attract a following and get the attention of potential customers globally. To do this, it can start with small steps and then develop its following until the company reaches the set targets that guarantee effective market awareness for the VIA Technology brand across the globe.
The Emerging Markets
Most companies consider the emerging markets as an opportunity for them to succeed in the business industry, and VIA is a firm that enables these companies. It should thus follow that VIA Technology enters these emerging markets as well in order to meet the networking needs of these mentioned businesses. Ordinarily, the company will require an intensive research on the countries that it chooses to venture into but in each case the important thing will be the presence of potential clients. An advantage here is that the firm already has clients who have an international presence and it can use these business connections to start working on overseas projects as it continues to grow. This will mean starting with small projects in order to minimize risks while also taking the time to study the markets and build a steady clientele.
Focus On the Customers
The customers make an incredible part of the company’s success and focusing on them is a sure way of guaranteeing that the business continues to prosper. This however will entail creating packages based on the needs of the clients, employing a pricing strategy that considers the cost of the product and services from the customers’ perspective rather than that of the company, and generally upgrading the quality of customer service to ensure that the clients enjoy dealing with the employees every time. Generally, the company will have to shift its inspirations from the task oriented viewpoint to a customer oriented one.
IT based companies are built on the basis of innovation and finding solutions to the challenges faced by other businesses. For VIA Technology, networking services and products allow it to operate successfully across the US, Europe and parts of Asia. The company analysis indicates that it has enough opportunities to expand further if it finds a way to navigate its current threats and continue to operate sustainably in the ever growing IT industry.