External Environment Analysis

SLP02 – External Environment Analysis (Do Not Select a Specific Company)
Note: Throughout this course, it is recommended that you complete the SLP before you undertake the case analysis. Before you begin the SLP, you need to read the background materials thoroughly.
Several of the background readings (Attached – SLP02 Background Material) referred to gathering data to support the external analysis. Be sure to review those readings so you know what kinds of data are used when conducting an external analysis. The purpose of this SLP is to develop the part of our strategic toolkit that deals with gathering information for a 5-Forces and PEST Analysis.
Step One: The first step in an external analysis is to determine to which industry your target business is classified. Usually this is done through North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS code. Find a website or library reference that would enable you to determine the NAICS code of any business (Do Not Select a Specific Company or Business – select an industry such as fast foods, retail, automotive, etc..).
Step Two: Research web and library sources that would give you the kinds of data you would need to conduct a Porter 5 Forces analysis. We are not looking for sites that describe the 5 Forces, but for sites that would have data that you could use to analyze the degree of competition in an industry, or the ease of substitution, for instance. You have undoubtedly run into such websites and publications before in your core courses. Typically, they are government sources providing statistical data, industry or trade magazines or journals, general business publications, financial websites, websites for trade associations, etc. This is a two step process: First figure out what kinds of information you would need to evaluate each of Porter’s forces, and then find a source that will give you that information. Find a minimum of 2 different sources for each of Porter’s Forces.
Step Three: Research web and library sources that would give you data to support a PEST analysis. Find at least 2 different sources for each PEST variable.
Step Four: In a 2 page paper (not including cover page or references), list your resources from steps 1-3 above. For each source, provide a title and a URL, if applicable. Write a short paragraph explaining what information is available, how it would be useful in an external analysis, and critiquing the source (for example, What are the limitations of the source? Is one better than the other? Why?)
SLP Expectations:
You may be concise in your presentation of this SLP. It does not have to follow the conventions of a written case paper. Tables or bulleted lists may help you present the information concisely and make it easy for the reader to quickly grasp the information. You do not need an introduction or conclusion, but I would like to see a complete references for each source on a separate reference page.
Turn in your paper in to Coursenet by the due date for this module.

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