Kelly Services, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Kelly Services, Inc. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is an important technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Kelly Services, Inc. is facing in its current business environment.

The Kelly Services, Inc. is one of the leading companies in its industry. Kelly Services, Inc. maintains its dominant position in market by critically 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 called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Kelly Services, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Kelly Services, Inc. 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 Kelly Services, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Kelly Services, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Kelly Services, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Kelly 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 Kelly Services, Inc. are –


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  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Kelly Services, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • 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.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Kelly 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 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 – Kelly Services, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Kelly Services, 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.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Kelly Services, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Kelly Services, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Kelly Services, Inc. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.


Weakness of Kelly Services, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Kelly 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. Kelly Services, Inc. has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Kelly Services, Inc. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Kelly Services, 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 Kelly Services, Inc. are below the industry average.
  • 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 Kelly Services, Inc.

Opportunities for Kelly Services, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • 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.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Kelly Services, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Kelly 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.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Kelly Services, Inc. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Kelly 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.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Kelly Services, Inc. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Kelly Services, Inc. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Kelly Services, Inc. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.

Threats Kelly Services, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Kelly Services, Inc.
  • 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.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Kelly Services, Inc. profitability.
  • 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.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Kelly 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 Kelly 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 Kelly 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 Kelly 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 Kelly 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)