Order custom Harvard Business Case Study Analysis & Solution. Starting just $19
Principal Financial SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Principal Financial managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a handy technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Principal Financial is facing in its current business environment.
The Principal Financial is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Principal Financial 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 firm 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 enables the managers of the Principal Financial 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 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 Principal Financial strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Principal Financial SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Principal Financial – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Principal Financial 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 Principal Financial 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Principal Financial is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Principal Financial 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.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Principal Financial has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- 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.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
Weakness of Principal Financial – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Principal Financial 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.
- 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.
- 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 Principal Financial is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Principal Financial has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- 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. Principal Financial has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Principal Financial is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- 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 Principal Financial
- 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.
Opportunities for Principal Financial – External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Principal Financial products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Principal Financial . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Principal Financial’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.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Principal Financial 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 Principal Financial to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Principal Financial 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 Principal Financial in other product categories.
Threats Principal Financial Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Principal Financial profitability.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- 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 Principal Financial may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Principal Financial in those 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.
- 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 Principal Financial
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Principal Financial
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 Principal Financial
- 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 Principal Financial
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 Principal Financial 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 Principal Financial
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.
Buy Custom Essay and Term Paper on SWOT Analysis / Matrix , Weighted SWOT Analysis of Principal Financial
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
- Jacobs Engineering Group SWOT Analysis
- L Brands SWOT Analysis
- Computer Sciences SWOT Analysis
- Ameriprise Financial SWOT Analysis
- VF SWOT Analysis