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Alliance One International SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Alliance One International managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Alliance One International is facing in its current business environment.
The Alliance One International is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Alliance One International maintains its dominant 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 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 Alliance One International 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 an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Alliance One International strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Alliance One International SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Alliance One International – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Alliance One International 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 Alliance One International are –
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Alliance One International 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.
- 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.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Alliance One International has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Alliance One International has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Alliance One International just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Alliance One International products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
- Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Alliance One International 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.
Weakness of Alliance One International – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Alliance One International 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.
- 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. Alliance One International has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Alliance One International has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Alliance One International are below the industry average.
- 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 Alliance One International is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
- 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, Alliance One International 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.
Opportunities for Alliance One International – External Strategic Factors
- 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 Alliance One International in other product categories.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Alliance One International to increase its profitability.
- 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.
- Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Alliance One International to capture new customers and increase its market share.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Alliance One International . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Alliance One International an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- The new technology provides an opportunity to Alliance One International 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 Alliance One International products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
Threats Alliance One International Facing - External Strategic Factors
- 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 company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
- Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Alliance One International profitability.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Alliance One International in those markets.
- Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Alliance One International’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
- 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 Alliance One International
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 Alliance One International
- 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 Alliance One International
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 Alliance One International 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 Alliance One International
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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