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General Dynamics SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by General Dynamics managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) General Dynamics is facing in its current business environment.
The General Dynamics is one of the leading companies in its industry. General Dynamics maintains its prominent position in market by critically 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 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 helps the managers of the General Dynamics 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 main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect General Dynamics strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to General Dynamics SWOT Analysis
Strengths of General Dynamics – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading companies in its industry, General Dynamics 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 General Dynamics are –
- Strong Free Cash Flow – General Dynamics has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – General Dynamics is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – General Dynamics 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 General Dynamics has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of General Dynamics just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
Weakness of General Dynamics – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where General Dynamics 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry General Dynamics has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though General Dynamics is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- 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 General Dynamics
- 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.
- 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 General Dynamics 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 General Dynamics is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work 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.
Opportunities for General Dynamics – External Strategic Factors
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable General Dynamics to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for General Dynamics to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as General Dynamics to increase its profitability.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the General Dynamics . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to General Dynamics 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.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of General Dynamics.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of General Dynamics’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.
- 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 General Dynamics in other product categories.
Threats General Dynamics Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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 General Dynamics
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the General Dynamics profitability.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to General Dynamics’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards 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.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for General Dynamics
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 General Dynamics
- 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 General Dynamics
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 General Dynamics 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 General Dynamics
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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