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Knights of Columbus SWOT Analysis / Matrix
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SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Knights of Columbus 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) Knights of Columbus is facing in its current business environment.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Knights of Columbus maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis an immensenly 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 known as SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Knights of Columbus 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 a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Knights of Columbus strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Knights of Columbus SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Knights of Columbus – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Knights of Columbus 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 Knights of Columbus are –
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Knights of Columbus has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Knights of Columbus 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 Knights of Columbus has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Knights of Columbus just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Knights of Columbus is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
- 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 Knights of Columbus has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
Weakness of Knights of Columbus – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Knights of Columbus 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Knights of Columbus has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- 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.
- 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 Knights of Columbus
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Knights of Columbus are below the industry average.
- 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.
- 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.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
Opportunities for Knights of Columbus – External Strategic Factors
- 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 Knights of Columbus 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 Knights of Columbus . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Knights of Columbus 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 Knights of Columbus an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Knights of Columbus to increase its profitability.
- Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Knights of Columbus.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Knights of Columbus products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- 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 Knights of Columbus in other product categories.
Threats Knights of Columbus Facing - External Strategic Factors
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
- The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Knights of Columbus 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.
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Knights of Columbus
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 Knights of Columbus
- 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 Knights of Columbus
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 Knights of Columbus 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 Knights of Columbus
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
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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