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CUNA Mutual Group SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by CUNA Mutual Group managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to analyze the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) CUNA Mutual Group is facing in its current business environment.
The CUNA Mutual Group is one of the leading firms in its industry. CUNA Mutual Group 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 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 helps the managers of the CUNA Mutual Group 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 use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect CUNA Mutual Group strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to CUNA Mutual Group SWOT Analysis
Strengths of CUNA Mutual Group – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual Group are –
- 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.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. CUNA Mutual Group 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – CUNA Mutual Group is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to CUNA Mutual Group products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- 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.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years CUNA Mutual Group 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.
Weakness of CUNA Mutual Group – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where CUNA Mutual Group can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry CUNA Mutual Group has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though CUNA Mutual Group is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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. CUNA Mutual Group has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- 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.
- 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 CUNA Mutual Group – External Strategic Factors
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual 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.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to CUNA Mutual Group 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.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the CUNA Mutual Group . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided CUNA Mutual Group 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 CUNA Mutual Group to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- 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 CUNA Mutual Group in other product categories.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of CUNA Mutual 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.
Threats CUNA Mutual Group Facing - External Strategic Factors
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and CUNA Mutual Group may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- 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 raw material can pose a threat to the CUNA Mutual Group profitability.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- 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 environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- 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 CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual 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 CUNA Mutual 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
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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