First Defiance Financial Corp. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by First Defiance Financial Corp. managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a handy technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) First Defiance Financial Corp. is facing in its current business environment.

The First Defiance Financial Corp. is one of the leading companies in its industry. First Defiance Financial Corp. 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 company 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 enables the managers of the First Defiance Financial Corp. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
First Defiance Financial Corp. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect First Defiance Financial Corp. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to First Defiance Financial Corp. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of First Defiance Financial Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, First Defiance Financial 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 First Defiance Financial Corp. are –


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  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. First Defiance Financial 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.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – First Defiance Financial 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.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years First Defiance Financial Corp. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of First Defiance Financial Corp. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • 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.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to First Defiance Financial Corp. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – First Defiance Financial Corp. 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.


Weakness of First Defiance Financial Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where First Defiance Financial 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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  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry First Defiance Financial Corp. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though First Defiance Financial Corp. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work 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.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • 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 First Defiance Financial Corp. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of First Defiance Financial Corp. are below the industry average.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though First Defiance Financial Corp. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.

Opportunities for First Defiance Financial Corp. – External Strategic Factors


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  • 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 First Defiance Financial Corp. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as First Defiance Financial Corp. 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 First Defiance Financial Corp..
  • 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 First Defiance Financial Corp.. 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 First Defiance Financial Corp. 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.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided First Defiance Financial Corp. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable First Defiance Financial Corp. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for First Defiance Financial Corp. to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats First Defiance Financial Corp. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the First Defiance Financial Corp. profitability.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and First Defiance Financial Corp. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of First Defiance Financial Corp.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for First Defiance Financial 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 First Defiance Financial 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 First Defiance Financial 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 First Defiance Financial 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 First Defiance Financial 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)