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  • Dr. Andy Schell, Ph.D., DBA, CPA, CMB

The SWOT Diagnostic Process

SWOT is simply Watching, Observing, Measuring & Thinking

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning and strategic management technique used to help an organization identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.

SWOT is sometimes called a situational assessment or situational analysis.

SWOT is a technique used to evaluate a firm's strategy, assess the capability of the firm's leadership, and validate the staff's competency. The people within the firm must be able to accomplish the strategic plan, which is why the SWOT assessment is used in the preliminary stages of the strategic planning process to support decision-making. At its core, SWOT identifies a firm's internal capability and external factors that impact the ability to achieve its objectives.

A fundamental principle in business is possessing the need to deliver a service in a fashion that meets the customer's expectations. This is what the SWOT validates by implementing an internal and external diagnosis to identify what is done well and what needs to improve so that a firm is able to achieve its objectives.

The use of strategic analysis models such as value chain, benchmarking or analysis of the cultural fabric, is useful to specify the technological advantages, the elements of notoriety, the geographical presence, the partners, the model of corporate governance.

SWOT is a diagnosis of a firm's internal capability and external impacts.

  • internal evaluation:

    • the strengths are positive internal factors or the things at which a firm's capability excels its competition to create an advantage for the firm. An example includes having a low-cost operation that results in lower rates to the consumer while achieving a favorable return to the stockholders.

    • the weaknesses are negative internal factors or a lack of capability that is less favorable than the competition that should be corrected. An example includes a high-cost operation or an operation that has a low Yelp rating from late closings.

  • external, identifier:

    • the opportunities are external situations specific to the business environment that provides an advantage over the competition. An example includes changing support from a LOS provider or an AMC resource. It is rare for a mortgage company to possess a significant external competitive advantage except for firms like Quicken's consumer-direct platform.

    • the threats are unfavorable external situations negatively impacting the performance of the company. An example of an external threat would be a LOS provider closing for business without warning or the aggressive expansion of a consumer-direct presence that impacts a retail originator's competitive presence because of its high LO compensation compared to a firm with lower origination costs. A textbook example of an external threat is when Walmart replaced most small-town hardware stores.









Mortgage lenders should focus on improving internal capabilities while remaining aware of the external presence.

SWOT examines staff competency, leadership effectiveness, workflow accuracy, and technology efficiency all from the customer's and employee's perspective. From each of these assessments, action items should be created to improve the firm's capability. A best practice tip is to create a project plan file in Excel to track the progress for each identified area of improvement.

At its core, SWOT identifies what needs to be improved upon and allows a firm to confidently achieve its strategic objectives.

Dr. Schell and the MBS Financial Services team helps firms implement SWOT as part of a comprehensive strategic plan.

MBS Financial Services supports the following areas:

  • Growth Strategy – We can help you plan and execute a growth strategy.

  • Hedging & Pipeline Risk Management - Dr. Schell can help explain how hedging functions, the benefits of hedging, and the risks associated with the activity. See blog posts.

  • Technology must align with a firm's strategic objective. Every mortgage lender's technology infrastructure significantly impacts its customer experience and employee workflow. MBS will help select, configure and deploy the best technology solution.

  • Executive Development - Leadership is a learned skill. Dr. Schell can teach you to be an amazing leader, an effective manager, and an inspiring coach that can foster a vibrant culture.

  • Accounting Services – Dr. Schell, CPA, leads the accounting services team to become your outsourced accounting department. This alternative makes more and more sense for companies wishing to focus on their core business and also want trustworthy accounting and financial reporting support.

About Dr. Schell:

Dr. Andy Schell, Ph.D., DBA, MSML, MBA, CPA/CFF, CMB

Dr. Schell is CEO, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of Mortgage Banking Solutions and the Founder of MBS Financial Services ("MBS"), based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Schell is known for his ability to turn "vision into reality" and "chaos into order" as he finds creative solutions to the challenges his clients face addressing Revenue Stability, Technology Enhancement, Financial Management, and Workflow Efficiency.

He has 4 decades of experience as a strategist directing the activity of both small and large groups of employees including mortgage lending activity at Bank of America. His leadership knowledge extends from his hands-on experience and his academic training in his MBA, his master's degree in leadership, and his doctoral work to examine employee dynamics given leader stimulus.

To find out more information on MBS Services, please click HERE

Find more information at ; (512) 501-2812;

Doctor Schell the Profit Doctor

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