Barrett Business Services, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Barrett Business Services, Inc. is one of the leading companies in its industry. Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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 company such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework helps 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 helps the managers of the Barrett Business Services, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Barrett Business Services, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Barrett Business Services, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Barrett Business Services, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Barrett Business Services, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. are –


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  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Barrett Business Services, Inc. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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.


Weakness of Barrett Business Services, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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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  • 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. Barrett Business Services, Inc. has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Barrett Business Services, Inc. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc.

Opportunities for Barrett Business Services, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. to increase its profitability.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Barrett Business Services, Inc. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc.. 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Barrett Business Services, Inc.’s products thus providing an opportunity to the company - either to boost its profitability or pass on the benefits to the customers to gain market share.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Barrett Business Services, Inc..
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Barrett Business Services, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats Barrett Business Services, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • 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.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Barrett Business Services, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Barrett Business Services, Inc.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Barrett Business Services, Inc.   in those markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Barrett Business Services, Inc.

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 Barrett Business Services, Inc.
  • 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc.

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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. 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 Barrett Business Services, Inc.

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)