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Describe a strategic approach to doing industry analysis

Describe a strategic approach to doing industry analysis and gives some helpful Web pages with industry profiles.

Whether as part of strategic planning, marketing planning, or business plan development, students and entrepreneurs often have not been trained in how to do a cogent, complete industry analysis.

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The attachment provides a full page of websites and links.

Industry analysis as an information gathering and interpretation process may be done as part of: strategic planning, market strategy planning, or business plan development. Clearly understanding the industry in which a start up or established firm plans to or does compete is important to maintaining a viable competitive position.

Borrowing some proven ideas from the body of knowledge about strategic management, Dr. Michael Porter's (Harvard Business School) Competitive Forces model is one very useful framework within which to conduct an industry analysis. This well accepted model in discussed in every strategy text book and course with which I'm familiar. Another useful information organizing method for industry analysis is the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). An examination of the external forces impacting a business can be coupled with a "corporate appraisal"-a look at the strengths and capabilities of the firm and the competencies and resources needed for the future.

Here's one example (I'd add Jet Blue) of an airline business that has defined and continues to redefine the industry in which it operates. What a contrast between Southwest and United Airlines!

"Southwest Airlines is so far ahead of the competition it hardly seems fair. Its costs are much lower. So is airport turnaround time. Its youthful aircraft fleet logs many more flights than other carriers'. Wages are high, but productivity is even higher. That's why the airline, now serving 41 cities, is so consistently profitable in an industry stuck in intensive care. Southwest also tops customer-service polls--and, according to one prestigious survey, was rated safest airline over the last 20 years.

"Kelleher (Herb, CEO) is as shrewd a businessman as I've met. ...

Solution Summary

In an 1100 word solution, the response presents a well-cited and clearly written discussion about the approach to industry analysis. Actual examples are included in the research. An attachment provides a full page of websites and links.