CNO Financial Group SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The CNO Financial Group is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. CNO Financial Group 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 company 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 CNO Financial Group to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

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

Step by Step Guide to CNO Financial Group SWOT Analysis

Strengths of CNO Financial Group – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading organizations in its industry, CNO Financial Group 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 CNO Financial Group are –

  • Strong distribution network – Over the years CNO Financial Group has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – CNO Financial Group 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.
  • 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.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to CNO Financial Group products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – CNO Financial Group is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • 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.

Weakness of CNO Financial Group – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where CNO Financial Group 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.

  • Limited success outside core business – Even though CNO Financial Group is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of CNO Financial Group are below the industry average.
  • 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 CNO Financial Group
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though CNO Financial Group 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry CNO Financial Group has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.

Opportunities for CNO Financial Group – External Strategic Factors

  • 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 CNO Financial Group in other product categories.
  • 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 CNO Financial Group to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of CNO Financial Group products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • 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 CNO Financial Group. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of CNO Financial Group’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.
  • 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.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided CNO Financial Group an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable CNO Financial Group to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.

Threats CNO Financial Group 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.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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.
  • 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 pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of CNO Financial Group
  • 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 CNO Financial Group

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 CNO Financial Group
  • 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 CNO Financial Group

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 CNO Financial Group 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 CNO Financial Group

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

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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)