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Credit Agricole SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Credit Agricole managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Credit Agricole is facing in its current business environment.
The Credit Agricole is one of the leading firms in its industry. Credit Agricole maintains its prominent 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 helps 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 helps the managers of the Credit Agricole 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 central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Credit Agricole strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Credit Agricole SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Credit Agricole – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Credit Agricole 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 Credit Agricole are –
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Credit Agricole products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Credit Agricole has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Credit Agricole just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Credit Agricole 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Credit Agricole is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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.
Weakness of Credit Agricole – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Credit Agricole 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.
- 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 Credit Agricole 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.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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.
- 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. Credit Agricole has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Credit Agricole is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
Opportunities for Credit Agricole – 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 Credit Agricole 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 Credit Agricole in other product categories.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Credit Agricole to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- 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 Credit Agricole. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Credit Agricole 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.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Credit Agricole’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.
- 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 Credit Agricole an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
Threats Credit Agricole Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Credit Agricole’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- 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.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Credit Agricole
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Credit Agricole 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 Credit Agricole
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 Credit Agricole
- 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 Credit Agricole
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 Credit Agricole 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 Credit Agricole
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
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)