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Patterson SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Patterson managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Patterson is facing in its current business environment.
The Patterson is one of the leading firms in its industry. Patterson maintains its prominent position in market by carefully 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 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 helps the managers of the Patterson 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 firm can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Patterson strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Patterson SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Patterson – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Patterson 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 Patterson are –
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Patterson has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Patterson has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Patterson just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Patterson 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.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Patterson 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.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Patterson is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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.
Weakness of Patterson – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Patterson 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Patterson is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Patterson is spending above the industry average on Research and Development, it has not been able to compete with the leading players in the industry in terms of innovation. It has come across as a mature firm looking forward to bring out products based on tested features in the market.
- 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 Patterson
- 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 Patterson is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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 Patterson – 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 Patterson. 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Patterson to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Patterson.
- 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 Patterson in other product categories.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Patterson’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 Patterson products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- 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 Patterson to capture new customers and increase its market share.
Threats Patterson Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- 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.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Patterson
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Patterson may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Patterson
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 Patterson
- 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 Patterson
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 Patterson 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 Patterson
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)