Seaboard SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Seaboard is one of the leading companies in its industry. Seaboard 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 organization 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 known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Seaboard to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Seaboard strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Seaboard SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Seaboard – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading firms in its industry, Seaboard 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 Seaboard are –

  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Seaboard 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 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 – Seaboard has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Seaboard is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • 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 Seaboard products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • 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 successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.

Weakness of Seaboard – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Seaboard 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.

  • 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 Seaboard
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Seaboard is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Seaboard 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.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Seaboard are below the industry average.
  • 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 Seaboard – External Strategic Factors

  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Seaboard to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Seaboard 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.
  • 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 Seaboard in other product categories.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Seaboard an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Seaboard to increase its profitability.
  • 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.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Seaboard to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Seaboard.

Threats Seaboard 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.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • 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.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • 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 company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Seaboard’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Seaboard

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 Seaboard
  • 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 Seaboard

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 Seaboard 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 Seaboard

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)