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Landstar System SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Landstar System 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) Landstar System is facing in its current business environment.
The Landstar System is one of the leading companies in its industry. Landstar System maintains its prominent 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 organization 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 called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Landstar System 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 main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Landstar System strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Landstar System SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Landstar System – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Landstar System 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 Landstar System are –
- 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 Landstar System products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Landstar System has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Landstar System 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 – Landstar System has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Landstar System 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.
Weakness of Landstar System – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Landstar System can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Landstar System 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.
- 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Landstar System is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Landstar System are below the industry average.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Landstar System 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.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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 Landstar System
Opportunities for Landstar System – External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Landstar System to increase its profitability.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Landstar System.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Landstar System to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- 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 Landstar System. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Landstar System an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- 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 Landstar System to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Landstar System’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.
Threats Landstar System Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- 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.
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Landstar System’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income 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.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- 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 Landstar System
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 Landstar System
- 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 Landstar System
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 Landstar System 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 Landstar System
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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