Order custom Harvard Business Case Study Analysis & Solution. Starting just $19
Fern Fort University
Waste Connections SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Waste Connections managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a handy technique to analyze the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Waste Connections is facing in its current business environment.
The Waste Connections is one of the leading companies in its industry. Waste Connections 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 Waste Connections 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 firm can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Waste Connections strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Waste Connections SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Waste Connections – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Waste Connections 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 Waste Connections are –
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Waste Connections has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Waste Connections has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- 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.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Waste Connections is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Waste Connections 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.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Waste Connections has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Waste Connections just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Waste Connections products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Waste Connections 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.
Weakness of Waste Connections – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Waste Connections can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Waste Connections 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.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Waste Connections has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Waste Connections 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 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 Waste Connections is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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. Waste Connections has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
Opportunities for Waste Connections – External Strategic Factors
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Waste Connections’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 new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Waste Connections to increase its profitability.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Waste Connections to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Waste Connections products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- 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 Waste Connections. 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 technology provides an opportunity to Waste Connections 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 environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for Waste Connections to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Waste Connections an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
Threats Waste Connections Facing - External Strategic Factors
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Waste Connections may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- 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.
- 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 environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Waste Connections profitability.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Waste Connections’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Waste Connections
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 Waste Connections
- 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 Waste Connections
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 Waste Connections 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 Waste Connections
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.
Buy Custom Essay and Term Paper on SWOT Analysis / Matrix , Weighted SWOT Analysis of Waste Connections
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)
Previous 5 SWOT Analysis
- Popular SWOT Analysis
- hhgregg SWOT Analysis
- Selective Insurance Group SWOT Analysis
- VCA SWOT Analysis
- NewMarket SWOT Analysis