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au SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by au managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) au is facing in its current business environment.
The au is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. au maintains its prominent position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.
The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the au to develop four types of strategies:
- SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
- WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
- ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
- WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective
The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect au strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to au SWOT Analysis
Strengths of au – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, au has numerous strengths that help it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of au are –
- Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. au is investing huge resources in training and development of its employees resulting in a workforce that is not only highly skilled but also motivated to achieve more.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years au has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – au has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years au has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of au just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
Weakness of au – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where au can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Not very good at product demand forecasting leading to higher rate of missed opportunities compare to its competitors. One of the reason why the days inventory is high compare to its competitors is that au is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though au is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
- The marketing of the products left a lot to be desired. Even though the product is a success in terms of sale but its positioning and unique selling proposition is not clearly defined which can lead to the attacks in this segment from the competitors.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, au needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of au are below the industry average.
- The company has not being able to tackle the challenges present by the new entrants in the segment and has lost small market share in the niche categories. au has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
Opportunities for au – External Strategic Factors
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of au.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable au to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to au to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
- Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for au in other product categories.
- Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided au an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for au to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of au products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
Threats au Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for au in those markets.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- The demand of the highly profitable products is seasonal in nature and any unlikely event during the peak season may impact the profitability of the company in short to medium term.
- As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.
- Intense competition – Stable profitability has increased the number of players in the industry over last two years which has put downward pressure on not only profitability but also on overall sales.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for au
Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.
- Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
- SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
- The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of au
- SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
- SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of au
In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.
This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis au managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.
Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of au
This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.
Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
You can email us to get an example document of Weighted SWOT analysis.
SWOT Worksheet & Template
If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.
References / Citations & Bibliography
- M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
- A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
- O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
- L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
- R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)
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