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UGI SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by UGI managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is an important technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) UGI is facing in its current business environment.
The UGI is one of the leading firms in its industry. UGI maintains its dominant 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 facilitates 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 helps the managers of the UGI 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 UGI strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to UGI SWOT Analysis
Strengths of UGI – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, UGI 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 UGI are –
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to UGI products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- 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.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – UGI has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its 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.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. UGI 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – UGI is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
Weakness of UGI – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where UGI 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry UGI has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though UGI is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, UGI 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.
- 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. UGI has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- 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 UGI is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though UGI is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work 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 UGI
Opportunities for UGI – External Strategic Factors
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the UGI . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to UGI 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.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as UGI to increase its profitability.
- 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 UGI to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable UGI 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 UGI’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 UGI products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- 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 UGI in other product categories.
Threats UGI Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to UGI’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the UGI profitability.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for UGI in those markets.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- 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.
- 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 UGI
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 UGI
- 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 UGI
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 UGI 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 UGI
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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SWOT Worksheet & Template
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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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