Order custom Harvard Business Case Study Analysis & Solution. Starting just $19
Volvo SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Volvo managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a useful technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Volvo is facing in its current business environment.
The Volvo is one of the leading companies in its industry. Volvo maintains its prominent position in market by carefully 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 enables 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 Volvo 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 main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Volvo strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Volvo SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Volvo – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Volvo has numerous strengths that enable 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 Volvo are –
- 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Volvo is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Volvo 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 – Volvo 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.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Volvo has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
Weakness of Volvo – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Volvo can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Volvo 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.
- 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.
- 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. Volvo has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Volvo is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
- 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 Volvo is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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.
Opportunities for Volvo – External Strategic Factors
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Volvo to increase its profitability.
- 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 Volvo 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.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Volvo 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.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Volvo to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Volvo to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Volvo.
- New customers from online channel – Over the past few years the company has invested vast sum of money into the online platform. This investment has opened new sales channel for Volvo. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
Threats Volvo Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- 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.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Volvo may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Volvo’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Volvo
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 Volvo
- 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 Volvo
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 Volvo 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 Volvo
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)
Previous 5 SWOT Analysis
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch SWOT Analysis
- ACE SWOT Analysis
- SFR SWOT Analysis
- Evergrande Real Estate SWOT Analysis
- Gatorade SWOT Analysis