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Trinity Industries SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Trinity Industries managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Trinity Industries is facing in its current business environment.
The Trinity Industries is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Trinity Industries maintains its prominent 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 known as SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Trinity Industries 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 primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Trinity Industries strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Trinity Industries SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Trinity Industries – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Trinity Industries 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 Trinity Industries are –
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Trinity Industries has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Trinity Industries 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 – Trinity Industries 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Trinity Industries is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Trinity Industries 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.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Trinity Industries products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Trinity Industries 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 Trinity Industries – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Trinity Industries can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Trinity Industries are below the industry average.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Trinity Industries 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Trinity Industries is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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 Trinity Industries is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Trinity Industries is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present 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.
Opportunities for Trinity Industries – External Strategic Factors
- 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 Trinity Industries. 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 taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Trinity Industries to increase its profitability.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Trinity Industries 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Trinity Industries to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- 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.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Trinity Industries’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.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Trinity Industries . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Trinity Industries an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
Threats Trinity Industries Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- 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.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Trinity Industries profitability.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those 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.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Trinity Industries
- 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 Trinity Industries
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 Trinity Industries
- 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 Trinity Industries
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 Trinity Industries 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 Trinity Industries
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)
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