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L&M SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by L&M 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) L&M is facing in its current business environment.
The L&M is one of the leading firms in its industry. L&M maintains its prominent position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis a highly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the firm 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 L&M 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 utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect L&M strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to L&M SWOT Analysis
Strengths of L&M – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, L&M 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 L&M 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.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to L&M products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – L&M 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.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years L&M has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of L&M just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
Weakness of L&M – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where L&M 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though L&M is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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. L&M has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry L&M has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though L&M 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.
- 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 L&M
- 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 L&M is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of L&M are below the industry average.
Opportunities for L&M – 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 L&M.
- 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.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the L&M . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable L&M to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to L&M 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.
- 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 L&M. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for L&M to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- 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 L&M to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
Threats L&M Facing - External Strategic Factors
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Liability laws in different countries are different and L&M may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the L&M profitability.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for L&M
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 L&M
- 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 L&M
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 L&M 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 L&M
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)