U.S. Bancorp SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by U.S. Bancorp managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) U.S. Bancorp is facing in its current business environment.

The U.S. Bancorp is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. U.S. Bancorp maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis a highly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the company 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 known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the U.S. Bancorp to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
U.S. Bancorp swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect U.S. Bancorp strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to U.S. Bancorp SWOT Analysis

Strengths of U.S. Bancorp – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading organizations in its industry, U.S. Bancorp 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 U.S. Bancorp are –

  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years U.S. Bancorp has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of U.S. Bancorp just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to U.S. Bancorp products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – U.S. Bancorp has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years U.S. Bancorp has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – U.S. Bancorp is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.

Weakness of U.S. Bancorp – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where U.S. Bancorp can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.

  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though U.S. Bancorp is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • 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 U.S. Bancorp is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, U.S. Bancorp 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.
  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of U.S. Bancorp
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • 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. U.S. Bancorp has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though U.S. Bancorp is spending above the industry average on Research and Development, it has not been able to compete with the leading players in the industry in terms of innovation. It has come across as a mature firm looking forward to bring out products based on tested features in the market.

Opportunities for U.S. Bancorp – External Strategic Factors

  • 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 U.S. Bancorp to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • 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.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of U.S. Bancorp’s products thus providing an opportunity to the company - either to boost its profitability or pass on the benefits to the customers to gain market share.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for U.S. Bancorp to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable U.S. Bancorp to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided U.S. Bancorp an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of U.S. Bancorp products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the U.S. Bancorp . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.

Threats U.S. Bancorp Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the U.S. Bancorp profitability.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of U.S. Bancorp
  • 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.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • 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.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and U.S. Bancorp may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for U.S. Bancorp

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 U.S. Bancorp
  • 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 U.S. Bancorp

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 U.S. Bancorp 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 U.S. Bancorp

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.

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

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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)