FutureFuel Corp. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

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

The FutureFuel Corp. is one of the leading companies in its industry. FutureFuel Corp. maintains its prominent position in market by critically 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.


Order Now - FutureFuel Corp. SWOT Analysis
Check out- FutureFuel Corp. PESTEL / PEST & Environment Analysis
Article continues after advertisement


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 FutureFuel Corp. to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect FutureFuel Corp. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to FutureFuel Corp. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of FutureFuel Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, FutureFuel 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 FutureFuel Corp. are –


Read - FutureFuel Corp. Porter 5 Forces Analysis & Industry Analysis
Article continues after advertisement


  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to FutureFuel Corp. 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 – FutureFuel 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 FutureFuel Corp. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of FutureFuel Corp. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. FutureFuel 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 Free Cash Flow – FutureFuel 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 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.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.


Weakness of FutureFuel Corp. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where FutureFuel Corp. 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.


Article continues after advertisement

  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of FutureFuel Corp. are below the industry average.
  • 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. FutureFuel Corp. has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • 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.
  • 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, FutureFuel Corp. 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.
  • 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 FutureFuel Corp. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.

Opportunities for FutureFuel Corp. – External Strategic Factors


Article continues after advertisement

  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided FutureFuel Corp. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to FutureFuel 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.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for FutureFuel Corp. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the FutureFuel Corp. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 FutureFuel Corp. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • 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 FutureFuel 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.
  • 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 FutureFuel Corp. in other product categories.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of FutureFuel Corp..

Threats FutureFuel 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 FutureFuel Corp.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for FutureFuel Corp.   in those markets.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the FutureFuel Corp. profitability.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to FutureFuel Corp.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for FutureFuel 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 FutureFuel 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.

Article continues after advertisement

Weighted SWOT Analysis of FutureFuel 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 FutureFuel 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 FutureFuel 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.

Buy Custom Essay and Term Paper on SWOT Analysis / Matrix , Weighted SWOT Analysis of FutureFuel Corp.

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)