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Kirby SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Kirby managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a handy technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Kirby is facing in its current business environment.
The Kirby is one of the leading firms in its industry. Kirby 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 enables the managers of the Kirby 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 use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Kirby strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Kirby SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Kirby – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading firms in its industry, Kirby 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 Kirby are –
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Kirby has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Kirby just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- 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.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Kirby 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.
- Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Kirby has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Kirby has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Kirby products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
Weakness of Kirby – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Kirby 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 Kirby 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 Kirby is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Kirby are below the industry average.
- 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.
- 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, Kirby 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 Kirby is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
Opportunities for Kirby – External Strategic Factors
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Kirby’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.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Kirby 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 Kirby to increase its profitability.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Kirby 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.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Kirby 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 Kirby.
- The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Kirby to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
- Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
Threats Kirby Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Kirby’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- 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.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Kirby may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Kirby profitability.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Kirby in those markets.
- Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Kirby
- 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.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Kirby
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 Kirby
- 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 Kirby
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 Kirby 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 Kirby
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.
Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
You can email us to get an example document of Weighted SWOT analysis.
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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