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McKinsey / GE Matrix

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

The business portfolio is the collection of businesses and products that make up the company. The best business portfolio is one that fits the company's strengths and helps exploit the most attractive opportunities.

The company must:

(1) Analyse its current business portfolio and decide which businesses should receive more or less investment, and

(2) Develop growth strategies for adding new products and businesses to the portfolio, whilst at the same time deciding when products and businesses should no longer be retained.

The two best-known portfolio planning methods are the Boston Consulting Group Portfolio Matrix and the McKinsey / General Electric Matrix (discussed in this revision note). In both methods, the first step is to identify the various Strategic Business Units ("SBU's") in a company portfolio. An SBU is a unit of the company that has a separate mission and objectives and that can be planned independently from the other businesses. An SBU can be a company division, a product line or even individual brands - it all depends on how the company is organised.

The McKinsey / General Electric Matrix

The McKinsey/GE Matrix overcomes a number of the disadvantages of the BCG Box. Firstly, market attractiveness replaces market growth as the dimension of industry attractiveness, and includes a broader range of factors other than just the market growth rate. Secondly, competitive strength replaces market share as the dimension by which the competitive position of each SBU is assessed.

The diagram below illustrates some of the possible elements that determine market attractiveness and competitive strength by applying the McKinsey/GE Matrix to the UK retailing market:

Factors that Affect Market Attractiveness

Whilst any assessment of market attractiveness is necessarily subjective, there are several factors which can help determine attractiveness. These are listed below:

- Market Size
- Market growth
- Market profitability
- Pricing trends
- Competitive intensity / rivalry
- Overall risk of returns in the industry
- Opportunity to differentiate products and services
- Segmentation
- Distribution structure (e.g. retail, direct, wholesale

Factors that Affect Competitive Strength

Factors to consider include:

- Strength of assets and competencies
- Relative brand strength
- Market share
- Customer loyalty
- Relative cost position (cost structure compared with competitors)
- Distribution strength
- Record of technological or other innovation
- Access to financial and other investment resources




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Revision quizzes for business students

Starting a Business

Sources of Finance for a Startup
Franchising
Cash Flow Forecasting for a Startup
Creating & Protecting Business Ideas
Startups and Understanding the Market
Market Research for a Startup
Locating the Startup Business
Choosing a Legal Structure for a Startup
Employing People in a Startup
Generating and Protecting a Business Idea
Using Breakeven in Decision-Making

Finance

Revenues
Breakeven Basics
Costs, Revenues and Profits
Business Costs
Using Budgets
Using Breakeven in Decision-Making
Investment Appraisal Basics
Financial Strategies
Measuring and Improving Profit
Improving Cash Flow
Working Capital
Balance Sheet
Income Statement
Financial Efficiency Ratios
Profitability Ratios and ROCE
Liquidity Ratios
Gearing

Marketing

Competition
Products & Brands
Place (Distribution)
Promotion
Pricing
Price Elasticity of Demand

Business Organisation

Basics of Business Growth
Business Activities
Legal Structure Basics
Franchising
Sole Traders and Partnerships
Limited Companies
Generating and Protecting a Business Idea
Organisational Structures

People

Working in Teams
Communication Basics
Communication Methods
Workforce Planning
Recruitment, Selection & Training
Employee Motivation
Organisational Structures

Operations

Operational Objectives
Critical Path Analysis
Scale and Resource Mix
Lean Production
Capacity Management
Customer Service Basics
Managing Quality
Operational Decision-making
Using Technology in Operations
Working with Suppliers

Economic Environment

Economic Sectors
Government Spending & Taxation
Inflation
Unemployment
Interest Rates & Monetary Policy

Business Strategy

Leadership styles
Business Culture
Change Management







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