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Publix Super Markets SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Publix Super Markets managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Publix Super Markets is facing in its current business environment.
The Publix Super Markets is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Publix Super Markets 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 firm such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.
The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates 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 Publix Super Markets 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 central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Publix Super Markets strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Publix Super Markets SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Publix Super Markets – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, Publix Super Markets 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 Publix Super Markets are –
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Publix Super Markets 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.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Publix Super Markets 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 Brand Portfolio – Over the years Publix Super Markets has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Publix Super Markets just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- 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 Publix Super Markets has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Publix Super Markets is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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 Publix Super Markets – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Publix Super Markets 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.
- 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. Publix Super Markets has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Publix Super Markets 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Publix Super Markets is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work 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 Publix Super Markets is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Publix Super Markets has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
Opportunities for Publix Super Markets – External Strategic Factors
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Publix Super Markets an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Publix Super Markets products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Publix Super Markets.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Publix Super Markets to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Publix Super Markets 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 Publix Super Markets . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- 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 Publix Super Markets. 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 taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Publix Super Markets to increase its profitability.
Threats Publix Super Markets Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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 Publix Super Markets profitability.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Publix Super Markets 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 .
- 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.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Publix Super Markets
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Publix Super Markets
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 Publix Super Markets
- 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 Publix Super Markets
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 Publix Super Markets 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 Publix Super Markets
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
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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