Aramark SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Aramark is one of the leading firms in its industry. Aramark maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly 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 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 helps the managers of the Aramark to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Aramark swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Aramark strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Aramark SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Aramark – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Aramark 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 Aramark are –

  • 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 distribution network – Over the years Aramark has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • 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.
  • 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 Brand Portfolio – Over the years Aramark has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Aramark 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. Aramark 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.

Weakness of Aramark – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Aramark 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.

  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Aramark 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.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • 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.
  • 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 Aramark is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • 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. Aramark has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Aramark are below the industry average.

Opportunities for Aramark – 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 Aramark to increase its profitability.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Aramark . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Aramark to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Aramark’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.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Aramark products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Aramark.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Aramark to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats Aramark Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Aramark
  • 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.
  • 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 Aramark may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Aramark’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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 Aramark

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 Aramark
  • 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 Aramark

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 Aramark 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 Aramark

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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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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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)