Green Plains Partners LP SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Green Plains Partners LP managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a useful technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Green Plains Partners LP is facing in its current business environment.

The Green Plains Partners LP is one of the leading companies in its industry. Green Plains Partners LP 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 firm such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.

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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 known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Green Plains Partners LP to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Green Plains Partners LP swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Green Plains Partners LP strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Green Plains Partners LP SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Green Plains Partners LP – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading companies in its industry, Green Plains Partners LP 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 Green Plains Partners LP are –

Read - Green Plains Partners LP Porter 5 Forces Analysis & Industry Analysis
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  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Green Plains Partners LP is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • 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 Green Plains Partners LP products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • 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.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Green Plains Partners LP has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • 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.

Weakness of Green Plains Partners LP – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Green Plains Partners LP can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.

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  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Green Plains Partners LP 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 highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Green Plains Partners LP 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.
  • 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. Green Plains Partners LP has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Green Plains Partners LP 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 Green Plains Partners LP has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • 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 Green Plains Partners LP is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.

Opportunities for Green Plains Partners LP – External Strategic Factors

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  • 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 Green Plains Partners LP. 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 Green Plains Partners LP 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 trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Green Plains Partners LP . 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 Green Plains Partners LP an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Green Plains Partners LP products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Green Plains Partners LP 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 Green Plains Partners LP to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats Green Plains Partners LP 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.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Green Plains Partners LP’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Green Plains Partners LP profitability.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Green Plains Partners LP   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.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Green Plains Partners LP
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Green Plains Partners LP may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • 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.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Green Plains Partners LP

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 Green Plains Partners LP
  • 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 Green Plains Partners LP

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 Green Plains Partners LP 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 Green Plains Partners LP

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)