Fifth Third Bancorp SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Fifth Third Bancorp is one of the leading firms in its industry. Fifth Third Bancorp 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 organization 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 Fifth Third Bancorp to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Fifth Third Bancorp 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 Fifth Third Bancorp strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Fifth Third Bancorp SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Fifth Third Bancorp – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading firms in its industry, Fifth Third Bancorp 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 Fifth Third Bancorp are –

  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Fifth Third Bancorp has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Fifth Third Bancorp just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Fifth Third Bancorp has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Fifth Third Bancorp has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Fifth Third Bancorp products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Fifth Third Bancorp is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Fifth Third Bancorp 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 Fifth Third Bancorp – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Fifth Third Bancorp 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.

  • 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 Fifth Third Bancorp is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Fifth Third Bancorp 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.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Fifth Third Bancorp has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Fifth Third Bancorp is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • 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 profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Fifth Third Bancorp are below the industry average.

Opportunities for Fifth Third Bancorp – External Strategic Factors

  • 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 Fifth Third Bancorp to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Fifth Third Bancorp an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Fifth Third Bancorp . 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 Fifth Third Bancorp 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 Fifth Third Bancorp’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.
  • 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 Fifth Third Bancorp in other product categories.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Fifth Third Bancorp.

Threats Fifth Third Bancorp Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • 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 .
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Fifth Third Bancorp’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • 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.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Fifth Third Bancorp   in those markets.
  • 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.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Fifth Third Bancorp profitability.
  • 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 Fifth Third Bancorp

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 Fifth Third Bancorp
  • 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 Fifth Third Bancorp

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 Fifth Third Bancorp 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 Fifth Third Bancorp

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)