Aarons SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Aarons is one of the leading companies in its industry. Aarons 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 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 called SWOT Matrix.

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

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Aarons strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Aarons SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Aarons – Internal Strategic Factors

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

  • 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.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Aarons has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • 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.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Aarons products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Aarons 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. Aarons 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.

Weakness of Aarons – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Aarons 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 Aarons is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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 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. Aarons has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Aarons 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.
  • 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 Aarons
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Aarons is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.

Opportunities for Aarons – External Strategic Factors

  • 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 Aarons 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 Aarons an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • 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 Aarons in other product categories.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Aarons 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.
  • 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Aarons to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Aarons’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.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Aarons.

Threats Aarons Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Aarons may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Aarons
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • 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.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Aarons’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Aarons

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 Aarons
  • 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 Aarons

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 Aarons 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 Aarons

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)