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SWOT Analysis Paper

Smart Helmet

SWOT Table

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Unique to the market
  • Tight manufacturing process to ensure quality
  • Patents on major technological aspects
  • Development costs
  • Marketing costs
  • Getting franchise and retail outlets to promote our gear

Opportunities

Threats

  • Have a leg up on the technology integrated helmets of tomorrow
  • Use the time of uniqueness to capitalize on higher prices/higher revenues
  • Get Moto GP (Race) riders and long haul enthusiast Adam Sandoval as spokes people for the new helmet to gain publicity
  • No guarantee on how long there the product will be unique to the market and copycat products will be produced.
  • Traditional helmets can be purchased for less than 20% of the cost of a Smart Helmet

Analysis Introduction

As Smart Helmets begin to penetrate their market, there will be increasingly tough obstacles that must be overcome. From internal drive to external regulatory laws, Smart Helmets has a long road to success, but their uniqueness and life saving technology can help them to achieve worldwide recognition.

The economic crisis of 2008 saw a huge decrease in the number of motorcycles sold in the United States. Many riders had to give up their beloved rides just to help make ends meet. Since Smart Helmet sales revolve around motorcycle riders, it is important that the economy shows positive economic trends. If there were to be another crisis, Smart Helmets would need large cash reserves to be able to meet financial demands. As a business, Smart Helmets needs to watch the amount of long-term debt it takes on in order to have an adequate level of solvency.

As a product, not only do Smart Helmets need to have the technological advancements, the Department of Transportation also sets industry markers for the construction of the helmet that manufactures must adhere to. These regulations are only going to get stricter and it is important that not only do Smart Helmets have the electronic technology, but the impact technology to save lives as well. These mounting expectations from DOT need to be met and exceeded to keep the product on top for quality.

Adaptation

Smart Helmets, although a great and innovative product, cannot be the manufacturer of only a single product. To be able to adapt to change, they must make a wide variety of gear and rider accessories. Sure, the helmets will be a cash cow for the company, but it would be beneficial for long-term sales and revenue if Smart Helmets had and array of gear that was as versatile as their consumers. Motorcycle trends are changing constantly and they also vary within regions. More full-face helmets are worn in California than in South Carolina. These variations throughout the different regions show just how important product variation really is if Smart Helmets wants to be successful.

Supply Chain Leverage

There are three pieces of Smart Helmets supply chain that can be leveraged to achieve a positive business model impact as well as please the stockholders. The first would be the raw material suppliers. As the company grows, they will consume more raw goods and the more goods that the company consumes, the larger share of that suppliers sales Smart Helmets becomes. Once large enough, Smart Helmets would be in a position to negotiate lower prices for the amount of materials purchased with a guarantee of how much would be purchased over a period of time.

The second part of the process would be the distribution aspect. They can be leveraged to provide faster shipping to the retail outlets and for a lower price. Since there are more than one shipping providers in the US and Smart Helmets will have a large volume of products being shipped, there is opportunity to negotiate lower prices as well.

These two parts will help reduce expenses, which helps gross margin, and revenue, which will please the stockholders, which will be able to see a greater return on their investment and larger dividends paid. The last part of the supply chain that can be leveraged is the retailers. Smart Helmets can provide sales incentives for top grossing and top product selling retail outlets in the terms of financial compensation. These incentives will provide a sense of competition and encourage the retailers to push our products.

Weaknesses and Opportunities

Smart Helmets do a have a truly unique concept however; they will not be the only design of its kind in the market for an extended period of time. Other helmet manufactures will follow suit eventually and Smart Helmets needs to be ahead of the game. This would mean that research and development needs to have the next best thing ready to go in a timely manner. These would include more styles, better technology, and longer battery life. Some questions that could help promote this could be:

  • What are complaints of current customers
  • Why haven’t more people bought into Smart Helmets?
  • Is it a marketing failure?
  • Or a price point?
  • Or is it a design failure?

These questions can be stepping stones to improve the product and expand sales.

The potential for copycat products to hit shelves is the number one threat to Smart Helmets. But if Smart Helmets can keep researching and developing better technology with lighter and more cost effective materials, it will help solidify them as a top helmet manufacturer.

Conclusion

Smart Helmets is poised for success with their innovative product that is designed to the lives of motorcycle riders. But this does not come without internal and external threats and challenges that must be overcome. Continual product development and expansion of the products offered will be one way to help overcome the threat of other manufacturers working to combat Smart Helmets infiltration of their market share. As Smart Helmets expands however, there will be the opportunity for leveraging aspects of the supply chain to increase margin and revenue that please the much-needed stockholders. And lastly, as the company expands, their ability to adapt must expand with it to avert an economic crisis and continually changing trends.