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Curtiss-Wright SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Curtiss-Wright managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is an important technique to analyze the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Curtiss-Wright is facing in its current business environment.
The Curtiss-Wright is one of the leading firms in its industry. Curtiss-Wright maintains its dominant position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis an immensenly 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 Curtiss-Wright 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 core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Curtiss-Wright strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Curtiss-Wright SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Curtiss-Wright – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Curtiss-Wright 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 Curtiss-Wright are –
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Curtiss-Wright has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Curtiss-Wright has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Curtiss-Wright just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Curtiss-Wright products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Curtiss-Wright 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Curtiss-Wright is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- 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 Curtiss-Wright – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Curtiss-Wright 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.
- 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 Curtiss-Wright
- 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.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Curtiss-Wright 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.
- Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Curtiss-Wright is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Curtiss-Wright are below the industry average.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Curtiss-Wright 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 Curtiss-Wright – External Strategic Factors
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Curtiss-Wright products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Curtiss-Wright to increase its profitability.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Curtiss-Wright’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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Curtiss-Wright to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Curtiss-Wright an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- 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 Curtiss-Wright in other product categories.
- 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 Curtiss-Wright 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 Curtiss-Wright.
Threats Curtiss-Wright Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Curtiss-Wright profitability.
- 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.
- 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.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international 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 Curtiss-Wright
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Curtiss-Wright may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Curtiss-Wright
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 Curtiss-Wright
- 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 Curtiss-Wright
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 Curtiss-Wright 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 Curtiss-Wright
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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