The EFE Matrix and five-force model can help strategists
evaluate the market and industry, but these tools
must be accompanied by good intuitive judgment. Multinational
firms especially need a systematic and
effective external-audit system because external forces among
foreign countries vary so greatly. This lecture
provides you complete details of EFE matrix as a component of
Competitive Intelligence Programs and competitive analysis:
Systematic and ethical process for gathering and analyzing
information about the competition’s activities and general business
trends to further a business’ own goals.
The central point lays the stress on rivalry of the competing
firm. This relates to the intensity of the rivalry.
How the firms compete with each other and to what extent? That
should be taken into account very
Potential entry for new competitors shows a balance between
different firms competing in a market. It also
refers whenever a new partner enter into a market he may become
threat for one and opportunity for other
competing partners. As all the new entries and existing firms
are competing with each other so the new
entry will definitely make an effect on every one transacting in
A potential development of substitute products also develops an
environment of competition in the market
among the competing partners. As all firms want to compete in
term of quality and substitute will lasts for
longer in the market if the quality of the substitute will be
greater than the existing alternate. Other factors
also have a major impact on the substitutes.
Collective bargaining power of suppliers and consumers: if
vendors are less in the market and the
organizations that have to purchase from those vendors are more
then the demand for those suppliers will
be more as the firms have to purchase from that less suppliers.
The reverse is the case if suppliers are more
and buyers are less. Then the demand for those suppliers will be
less. Such circumstances create difficulties
These above five components constitute the basics elements for
the competitive analysis.
International Challenge faced by Pakistani firms:
o How to gain and maintain
exports to other nations
o How to defend domestic
markets against imported goods
The first challenge is the much bigger in the sense that we have
to search for new market and retain in that
market as the competition goes on increasing with every passing
second. For this, we have to make a
research in the market that how to retain in that market.
Second challenge is also depends upon the research that how we
can retain in that market through
competition and how to defend our market with violation of
Industry Analysis: The External Factor Evaluation (EFE) Matrix
We can prepare EFE matrix after evaluating the key external
factors discuss in the later lectures. There are
all key factors which are needed to be summarized in order to
make EFE matrix.
Factor Evaluation (EFE) Matrix allows
strategists to summarize and evaluate economic, social,
cultural, demographic, environmental, political, governmental,
legal, technological, and competitive
information. The EFE matrix consists of five steps process.
• List key
external factors (10-20)
Opportunities & threats
You have to prepare a list of all external factors which will
affect the EFE matrix. These factors should be
two points to be kept in mind these are opportunities and
• Assign weight to
each (0 to 1.0)
Sum of all weights =
Now you have to arrange them according to their weight age that
which factor is most important. It should
be weight age in % ages. The sum of the total of all the factors
should always be one.
• Assign 1-4
rating to each factor
• Firm’s current
strategies response to the factor: how well firms response to these factors.
• Multiply each
factor’s weight by its rating
• Produces a weighted
How the firm will respond to these factors external factors.
Such criteria are known as rating.
• Sum the weighted
scores for each
Determines the total
weighted score for the organization.
• Highest possible
weighted score for the organization is 4.0; the lowest, 1.0. Average = 2.5
Illustrated in Table 3-11, the EFE Matrix can be developed in
1. List key external factors as identified in the external-audit
process. Include a total of from ten to
twenty factors, including both opportunities and threats
affecting the firm and its industry. List the
opportunities first and then the threats. Be as specific as
possible, using percentages, ratios, and
comparative numbers whenever possible.
2. Assign to each factor a weight that ranges from 0.0 (not
important) to 1.0 (very important). The
weight indicates the relative importance of that factor to being
successful in the firm's industry.
Opportunities often receive higher weights than threats, but
threats too can receive high weights if
they are especially severe or threatening. Appropriate weights
can be determined by comparing
successful with unsuccessful competitors or by discussing the
factor and reaching a group
consensus. The sum of all weights assigned to the factors must
3. Assign a 1-to-4 rating to each key external factor to
indicate how effectively the firm's current
strategies respond to the factor, where 4 5
the response is superior,
the response is above average, 2 5
response is average,
and 1 5 the response is poor.
Ratings are based on effectiveness of
strategies. Ratings are, thus, company based, whereas the
weights in Step 2 are industry based. It is
important to note that both threats and opportunities can
receive a 1, 2, 3, or 4.
4. Multiply each factor's weight by its rating to determine a
5. Sum the weighted scores for each variable to determine the
total weighted score for the
An Example External Factor Evaluation Matrix for UST, Inc.
KEY EXTERNAL FACTORS WEIGHT RATING WEIGHTED
1. Global markets are practically untapped by
smokeless tobacco market .15 1 .15
2. Increased demand caused by public banning of
smoking .05 3 .15
3. Astronomical Internet advertising growth .05 1 .05
4. Pinkerton is leader in discount tobacco market .15 4 .60
5. More social pressure to quit smoking, thus
leading users to switch to alternatives .10 3 .30
1. Legislation against the tobacco industry .10 2 .20
2. Production limits on tobacco increases
competition for production .05 3 .15
3. Smokeless tobacco market is concentrated in
southeast region of United States .05 2 .10
4. Bad media exposure from the FDA .10 2 .20
5. Clinton administration .20 1 .20
TOTAL 1.00 2.10
Regardless of the number of key opportunities and threats
included in an EFE Matrix, the highest possible
total weighted score for an organization is 4.0 and the lowest
possible total weighted score is 1.0. The
average total weighted score is 2.5. A total weighted score of
4.0 indicates that an organization is responding
in an outstanding way to existing opportunities and threats in
its industry. In other words, the firm's
strategies effectively take advantage of existing opportunities
and minimize the potential adverse effect of
external threats. A total score of 1.0 indicates that the firm's
strategies are not capitalizing on opportunities
or avoiding external threats.
An example of an EFE Matrix is provided in Table for UST, Inc.,
the manufacturer of Skoal and
Copenhagen smokeless tobacco. Note that the Clinton
administration was considered to be the most
important factor affecting this industry, as indicated by the
weight of 0.20. UST was not pursuing strategies
that effectively capitalize on this opportunity, as indicated by
the rating of 1.01. The total weighted score of
2.10 indicates that UST is below average in its effort to pursue
strategies that capitalize on external
opportunities and avoid threats. It is important to note here
that a thorough understanding of the factors
being used in the EFE Matrix is more important than the actual
weights and ratings assigned.
Total weighted score of 4.0 =
Organization response is outstanding to threats & weaknesses
Total weighted score of 1.0 =
Firm’s strategies not capitalizing on opportunities or avoiding
UST (in the previous example), has a total weighted score of
2.10 indicating that the firm is below average
in its effort to pursue strategies that capitalize on external
opportunities and avoid threats.
Note: Understanding of
the factors used in the EFE Matrix is more important than the actual weights and
This is important to understand the factors for which you are
preparing the EFE matrix than the weight age
given to the each factors.
The Competitive Profile Matrix (CPM)
The Competitive Profile Matrix (CPM) identifies a firm's major
competitors and their particular strengths and weaknesses in
relation to a sample firm's strategic position.
The weights and total weighted scores in both a CPM and EFE have
the same meaning. However, the
factors in a CPM include both internal and external issues;
therefore, the ratings refer to strengths and
weaknesses, where 4 5 major strength, 3 5 minor strength, 2 5
minor weakness, and 1 5 major weakness.
There are some important differences between the EFE and CPM.
First of all, the critical success factors in
a CPM are broader; they do not include specific or factual data
and even may focus on internal issues. The
critical success factors in a CPM also are not grouped into
opportunities and threats as they are in an EFE.
In a CPM the ratings and total weighted scores for rival firms
can be compared to the sample firm. This
comparative analysis provides important internal strategic
A sample Competitive Profile Matrix is provided in Table. In
this example, advertising and global expansion
are the most important critical success factors, as indicated by
a weight of 0.20. Avon's and L'Oreal's
product quality is superior, as evidenced by a rating of 4;
L'Oreal's "financial position" is good, as indicated
by a rating of 3; Procter & Gamble is the weakest firm overall,
as indicated by a total weighted score of 2.80.
A Competitive Profile Matrix
AVON L'OREAL PROCTER&GAMBLE
FACTORS WEIGHT RATING SCORE RATING SCORE RATING SCORE
Advertising 0.20 1 0.20 4 0.80 3 0.60
Product Quality 0.10 4 0.40 4 0.40 3 0.30
Price Competitiveness 0.10 3 0.30 3 0.30 4 0.40
Management 0.10 4 0.40 3 0.30 3 0.30
Financial Position 0.15 4 0.60 3 0.45 3 0.45
Customer Loyalty 0.10 4 0.40 4 0.40 2 0.20
Global Expansion 0.20 4 0.80 2 0.40 2 0.40
Market Share 0.05 1 0.05 4 0.20 3 0.15
TOTAL 1.00 3.15 3.25
Note: (1) The ratings
values are as follows: 1 = major weakness, 2 = minor weakness, 3 = minor
strength, 4 =
major strength. (2) As indicated by the total weighted score of
2.8, Competitor 3 is weakest. (3) Only eight
critical success factors are included for simplicity; this is
too few in actuality.
Other than the critical success factors listed in the example
CPM, other factors often included in this
analysis include breadth of product line, effectiveness of sales
distribution, proprietary or patent advantages,
location of facilities, production capacity and efficiency,
experience, union relations, technological
advantages, and e-commerce expertise.
A word on interpretation: Just because one firm receives a 3.2
rating and another receives a 2.8 rating in a
Competitive Profile Matrix, it does not follow that the first
firm is 20 percent better than the second.
Numbers reveal the relative strength of firms, but their implied
precision is an illusion. Numbers are not
magic. The aim is not to arrive at a single number but rather to
assimilate and evaluate information in a
meaningful way that aids in decision making.