Definition: Environmental Analysis is described as the process which examines all the components, internal or external, that has an influence on the performance of the organization. The internal components indicate the strengths and weakness of the business entity whereas the external components represent the opportunities and threats outside the organization.
To perform environmental analysis, a constant stream of relevant information is required to find out the best course of action. Strategic Planners use the information gathered from the environmental analysis for forecasting trends for future in advance. The information can also be used to assess operating environment and set up organizational goals.
It ascertains whether the goals defined by the organization are achievable or not, with the present strategies. If is not possible to reach those goals with the existing strategies, then new strategies are devised or old ones are modified accordingly.
Advantages of Environmental Analysis
The internal insights provided by the environmental analysis are used to assess employee’s performance, customer satisfaction, maintenance cost, etc. to take corrective action wherever required. Further, the external metrics help in responding to the environment in a positive manner and also aligning the strategies according to the objectives of the organization.
Environmental analysis helps in the detection of threats at an early stage, that assist the organization in developing strategies for its survival. Add to that, it identifies opportunities, such as prospective customers, new product, segment and technology, to occupy a maximum share of the market than its competitors.
Steps Involved in Environmental Analysis
- Identifying: First of all, the factors which influence the business entity are to be identified, to improve its position in the market. The identification is performed at various levels, i.e. company level, market level, national level and global level.
- Scanning: Scanning implies the process of critically examining the factors that highly influence the business, as all the factors identified in the previous step effects the entity with the same intensity. Once the important factors are identified, strategies can be made for its improvement.
- Analysing: In this step, a careful analysis of all the environmental factors is made to determine their effect on different business levels and on the business as a whole. Different tools available for the analysis include benchmarking, Delphi technique and scenario building.
- Forecasting: After identification, examination and analysis, lastly the impact of the variables is to be forecasted.
Environmental analysis is an ongoing process and follows a holistic approach, that continuously scans the forces effecting the business environment and covers 360 degrees of the horizon, rather than a specificsegment.