Bob Evans Farms, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

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

The Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is one of the leading companies in its industry. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. maintains its dominant 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 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 called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Bob Evans Farms, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The main purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Bob Evans Farms, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Bob Evans Farms, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has numerous strengths that help 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc. are –


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  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Bob Evans Farms, Inc. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Free Cash Flow – Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Bob Evans Farms, 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.


Weakness of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Bob Evans Farms, Inc. 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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  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Bob Evans Farms, Inc. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. are below the industry average.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Bob Evans Farms, Inc. 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • 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.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Bob Evans Farms, Inc. 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.

Opportunities for Bob Evans Farms, Inc. – 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc..
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Bob Evans Farms, 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.
  • 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc. in other product categories.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Bob Evans Farms, 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Bob Evans Farms, Inc. 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • 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 Bob Evans Farms, Inc. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.

Threats Bob Evans Farms, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Bob Evans Farms, Inc.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Bob Evans Farms, Inc. profitability.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Bob Evans Farms, 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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 Bob Evans Farms, 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)