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Atmos Energy SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Atmos Energy managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is an important technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Atmos Energy is facing in its current business environment.
The Atmos Energy is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Atmos Energy maintains its dominant position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis a highly 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 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 called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Atmos Energy 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 an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Atmos Energy strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Atmos Energy SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Atmos Energy – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Atmos Energy 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 Atmos Energy are –
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Atmos Energy has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- 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.
- 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.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Atmos Energy has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Atmos Energy just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Atmos Energy 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.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Atmos Energy 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.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
Weakness of Atmos Energy – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Atmos Energy 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 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.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Atmos Energy are below the industry average.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Atmos Energy is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present 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.
- 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 Atmos Energy is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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. Atmos Energy has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Atmos Energy is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
Opportunities for Atmos Energy – External Strategic Factors
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Atmos Energy 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 Atmos Energy in other product categories.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Atmos Energy to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Atmos Energy . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- 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 Atmos Energy 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 Atmos Energy an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Atmos Energy 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 Atmos Energy to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
Threats Atmos Energy 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.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Atmos Energy’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Atmos Energy
- 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.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Atmos Energy 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.
- 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 Atmos Energy
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 Atmos Energy
- 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 Atmos Energy
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 Atmos Energy 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 Atmos Energy
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.
Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
You can email us to get an example document of Weighted SWOT analysis.
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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