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PG&E Corp. SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by PG&E Corp. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is an important technique to analyze the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) PG&E Corp. is facing in its current business environment.
The PG&E Corp. is one of the leading firms in its industry. PG&E Corp. maintains its dominant 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 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 known as SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to PG&E Corp. SWOT Analysis
Strengths of PG&E Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp. are –
- 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – PG&E Corp. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – PG&E Corp. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. PG&E Corp. 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.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
Weakness of PG&E Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where PG&E Corp. 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.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though PG&E Corp. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry PG&E Corp. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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 PG&E Corp. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though PG&E Corp. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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.
Opportunities for PG&E Corp. – External Strategic Factors
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of PG&E Corp. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided PG&E Corp. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- 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 PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp.. 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 PG&E Corp. 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 trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the PG&E Corp. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as PG&E Corp. to increase its profitability.
Threats PG&E Corp. Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Liability laws in different countries are different and PG&E Corp. 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.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of PG&E Corp.
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to PG&E Corp.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for PG&E Corp.
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 PG&E Corp.
- 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 PG&E Corp.
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 PG&E Corp. 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 PG&E Corp.
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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