Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

SWOT analysis is a vital strategic planning tool that can be used by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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) Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated is facing in its current business environment.

The Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated is one of the leading companies in its industry. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 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 called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated are –


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  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • 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.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • 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.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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.


Weakness of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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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  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated
  • 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. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated are below the industry average.

Opportunities for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated – External Strategic Factors


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  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated to increase its profitability.
  • 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated in other product categories.
  • 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.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated products by the state as well as federal government contractors.

Threats Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated   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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 raw material can pose a threat to the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated profitability.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated
  • 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated 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 Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

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)