SWOT and Pest AnalysisResearch Proposal

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Bob Clap founded Heilind Electronics in 1974 in Massachusetts. The company's headquarters remains there, and has witnessed major acquisitions both in 1986 (Force Electronics) and 1991 (Help Electronics). A leading distributor of switches, circuit protection and thermal management products, relays, connectors, wiring accessories, terminal blocks, wire and cable, identification and insulation products, Heilind Electronics prides itself for being a company with a focus on foundational ideals of reactive systems, deep inventory, educated technical support, flexible policies, and unrivaled customer service. With a more than four-decade long history and 30 locations throughout China, Hong Kong, Mexico, United States, Singapore, Canada, and Brazil the company has access to several distribution centers (7) that enable fast delivery of inventory (one-day shipping available) for the majority of their customers.

Along with having geographically spread out locations making for easy and fast shipping to their customers, they also maintain two fully equipped value-added centers in Hong Kong as well as Hudson N.H. (Heilind Electronics, 2016). These value-added centers offer a comprehensive menu of part packing, part assembly, and part modification services. Their growth was spurred on by the strategic acquisitions that generated successful internal expansion. Along with the two acquisitions seen in 1986 and 1991, Heilind Electronics also acquired Sage electronics (1991), Gateway Megatech in 1998, and in 2011 and 2012, they acquired Thompson Electronic Supplies and Kotek Eletro Electronica Ltda (Heilind Electronics, 2016). With these acquisitions, the company conceived a way to include and focus on aerospace and military market segments through formation of the Mil-Aero business unit.

Acquisitions were not the only way they expanded. The company expanded its influence via partnerships. 1974 was the year the first began franchising partnerships with Molex, an American manufacturer of connectors. Then came another significant partnership with another American connector manufacturing company called TE connectivity that was previously known as AMP. Later in 1985, Heilind Electronics partnered up with a Japanese relay manufacturer called Omron and a Japanese connector manufacturer, Hirose 4 years later. In 1990, FCI, formerly by their previous name, Berg Electronics, partnered with Heilind. The most recent partner added was LEMO, a Swiss connector manufacturer in 2008.

Such expansion internally led to successful expansion internationally. Many of the leading manufacturers in the electronics industry have opened up franchise opportunities with Heilind. With the various facility and office openings in the western and eastern world, Heilind can now offer products within twenty-five diverse component categories. Along with the wide variety of products the company offers, they also have a large number of employees that provide highly effective customer service. Heilind Electronics is a medium sized company which means they have anywhere from 500-999 employees. These employees help the company bring in $250 million+ in annual sales. While the company has experienced successful expansion, recent efforts may spell trouble. One major challenge the company faces is the recent acquisition of MPS Group, a German electronics company (Electronics, 2016). This acquisition means working with employees that have done things at a different standard that Heilind is used to. The MPS Group was founded in 1978 and has almost as much experience in electronic components and special tools distribution as Heilind does. They may operate at a higher standard than Heilind.

Another specific challenge that can come into play is managing all these locations across such a widespread area. Switzerland, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, and now Germany means Heilind has to work with various cultures, languages, and customs that they may not be able to handle. Rome for example, expanded their civilization so much, it could not guard its own walls and were eventually invaded and the civilization collapsed. Heilind may be expanding too much too soon.

Lastly another challenge that could arise for Heilind is quality and delivery of products. With such a large array of products for sale and distribution, quality assessment may go down. This is especially true in newly acquired areas. If Heilind cannot maintain quality assessment and quality distribution, they may lose business. Maintaining so many facilities also costs money and if quality diminishes, they may face closing these facilities, losing even more potential sales.

2.

Heilind Electronics has several strengths and weaknesses. The SWOT analysis detailed below will provide a clearer picture of what the company should focus more on and what the company does well.

Strengths

Variety and Convenience: The company has a wide selection of products from connectors to electronic cables. Thanks to multiple acquisitions and partnerships, Heilind has over 25 different component categories. Customers want and often need variety because of the diverse personal and professional needs they may have. Heilind offers variety and reasonable prices that satisfy these needs. Furthermore, Heilind's offices and facilities are spread out across several continents, making it easy to deliver parts and products to customers all over the world. Their one-day shipping option makes for higher levels of customer satisfaction. Who doesn't like to get their products shipped to them in a timely manner? Along with a wide variety of products offered, the company has excellent customer service. Reviews for the company show that customers appreciate not only the reasonable pricing, but also the level of customer service offered.

On time Delivery: Heilind has multiple locations throughout the United States and Asia, along with a facility and office in Brazil. With their new German acquisition, they can deliver products quickly and promptly in Europe, South America, Asia, and North America. On time delivery is an important aspect to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. By providing one-day shipping and delivery, Heilind offers what other companies cannot.

Customer Support: Customer support is unparalleled with value-add needs where the company offers Heilind component modification services where customers can minimize inventory levels, minimize/eliminate factory minimums, and free up manufacturing resources. Heilind even supports custom packaging, labeling, quality inspections, and bar coding. These kinds of services make the company valuable within their industry. The company even offers supply chain management services thanks to their estore.

Weaknesses

Expansion: Heilind Electronics has expanded at a rate that the company may not be able to handle. Expansion means requiring more resources to and more employees to handle the increased workload. Expansion also means new acquisitions. Acquisitions are notoriously hard to manage, and take a long period of collaboration and communication to properly execute.

Low retention rates: Retention rates at Heilind are low. This leads to lower performance in their manufacturing and customer service (Wilkinson & Wood, 2014). Quality of products and customer service are essential parts to any organization. Without a standard training model and a decent rewards package for their more skilled employees, the company may not retain high quality employees long enough to maintain quality within the company. With acquisitions of overseas company, the training aspect of Heilind may be harder to execute. Different cultures mean different ways of handling problems and scenarios. Heilind needs to introduce standard practice within their human resources department and attempt to improve their recruitment methods if they are to see progress in their retention rates.

Recruitment: Heilind Electronics can see improvement in regards to recruitment. Heilind's HR department does not play any role in the hiring, training of employees. In terms of assessment, little is done to engage with employees or evaluate their performance. This includes feedback and reviews. HR's main responsibility at the company falls under the realm of legal issues concerning employees (i.e. FMLA and workman's compensation claims).

Opportunities

Market-Share Growth: While Heilind Electronics experiences consistent and solid annual sales, the company can experience an increase in profits and sales if they streamline their manufacturing, recruitment and training process. By standardizing the training and recruitment process throughout all facilities and offices, the quality of product and service will increase yielding greater customer experience, greater customer demand, and thus greater annual sales and profit. It is important for Heilind to realize the potential of working with what is already available instead of continually expanding to get the maximum benefit from the existing workforce. Concentration must be focused on recruitment, retention, and standardization for the company to not just continually do well, but reach the top of the industry and remain there for years to come.

Social Media: Social media is a great way to get involved with the current generation and potential future customers of the company. Social media can also allow employees to connect and network with each other creating cohesion and communication. Customer loyalty may increase with increased interaction by customer with Heilind.

Surveys and Feedback: Customers and employees need to have a voice in Heilind. They need to be able to give feedback and share their thoughts on the processes within the company. Now that Heilind faces a technological upgrade, the company should introduce a more connected company via technology.

Threats

Competition: Asian competitors offer the same products and services but often at a lower price. This can prove disastrous to a company like Heilind. The way to counter this kind of issue is to provide high quality products at a reasonable price. This means creating a supply… [END OF PREVIEW]

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