Great Plains Energy SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

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

The Great Plains Energy is one of the leading companies in its industry. Great Plains Energy 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 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 Great Plains Energy to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Great Plains Energy strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Great Plains Energy SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Great Plains Energy – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, Great Plains Energy 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 Great Plains Energy are –

  • 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 Great Plains Energy 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 – Great Plains Energy is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • 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.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Great Plains Energy has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Great Plains Energy has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Great Plains Energy just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Great Plains 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.

  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Great Plains Energy is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Great Plains Energy is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Great Plains Energy has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Great Plains Energy 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.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Great Plains Energy 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.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy

Opportunities for Great Plains Energy – External Strategic Factors

  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Great Plains Energy products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Great Plains Energy an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Great Plains Energy’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.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Great Plains 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.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Great Plains Energy . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.

Threats Great Plains Energy Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • 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.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Great Plains Energy may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies 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.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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 Great Plains Energy

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Great Plains 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 Great Plains 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 Great Plains 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 Great Plains 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 Great Plains 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.

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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)