Associated Banc-Corp SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Associated Banc-Corp managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is an important technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Associated Banc-Corp is facing in its current business environment.

The Associated Banc-Corp is one of the leading companies in its industry. Associated Banc-Corp maintains its prominent 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 organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework enables 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 Associated Banc-Corp to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Associated Banc-Corp swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Associated Banc-Corp strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Associated Banc-Corp SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Associated Banc-Corp – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Associated Banc-Corp 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 Associated Banc-Corp are –


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  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Associated Banc-Corp 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 Associated Banc-Corp has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Associated Banc-Corp 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.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Associated Banc-Corp 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.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Associated Banc-Corp products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Associated Banc-Corp has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.


Weakness of Associated Banc-Corp – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Associated Banc-Corp 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.


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  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Associated Banc-Corp is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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 Associated Banc-Corp
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Associated Banc-Corp is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Associated Banc-Corp 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.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Associated Banc-Corp has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • 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.

Opportunities for Associated Banc-Corp – External Strategic Factors


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  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Associated Banc-Corp.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Associated Banc-Corp to increase its profitability.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Associated Banc-Corp to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Associated Banc-Corp . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Associated Banc-Corp an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Associated Banc-Corp 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 Associated Banc-Corp in other product categories.

Threats Associated Banc-Corp Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Associated Banc-Corp profitability.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Associated Banc-Corp
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Associated Banc-Corp

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 Associated Banc-Corp
  • 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.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of Associated Banc-Corp

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 Associated Banc-Corp 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 Associated Banc-Corp

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)