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California Resources SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by California Resources managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) California Resources is facing in its current business environment.
The California Resources is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. California Resources 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 firm 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 helps the managers of the California Resources 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 an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect California Resources strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to California Resources SWOT Analysis
Strengths of California Resources – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, California Resources 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 California Resources are –
- Superb Performance in New Markets – California Resources 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.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years California Resources 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.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – California Resources is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. California Resources 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.
- 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 Brand Portfolio – Over the years California Resources has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of California Resources just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
Weakness of California Resources – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where California Resources 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.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- 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 California Resources is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though California Resources is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- 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.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, California Resources 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.
- 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.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though California Resources 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.
Opportunities for California Resources – External Strategic Factors
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of California Resources’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 California Resources 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.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable California Resources to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of California Resources products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the California Resources . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for California Resources to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- 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 California Resources to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of California Resources.
Threats California Resources Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the California Resources profitability.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of California Resources
- 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.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for California Resources in those markets.
- 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 California Resources may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for California Resources
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 California Resources
- 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 California Resources
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 California Resources 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 California Resources
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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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)
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