Oil-Dri Corporation of America SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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) Oil-Dri Corporation of America is facing in its current business environment.

The Oil-Dri Corporation of America is one of the leading firms in its industry. Oil-Dri Corporation of America maintains its dominant 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 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 enables the managers of the Oil-Dri Corporation of America to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Oil-Dri Corporation of America swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Oil-Dri Corporation of America strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Oil-Dri Corporation of America SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Oil-Dri Corporation of America – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading companies in its industry, Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America are –

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  • 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.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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.
  • 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.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Oil-Dri Corporation of America is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Oil-Dri Corporation of America has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.

Weakness of Oil-Dri Corporation of America – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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.
  • 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.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Oil-Dri Corporation of America is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Oil-Dri Corporation of America is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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.
  • 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. Oil-Dri Corporation of America has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.

Opportunities for Oil-Dri Corporation of America – External Strategic Factors

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  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Oil-Dri Corporation of America an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • 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.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Oil-Dri Corporation of America.
  • 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America’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 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.

Threats Oil-Dri Corporation of America Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Oil-Dri Corporation of America profitability.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Oil-Dri Corporation of America may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Oil-Dri Corporation of America   in those markets.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Oil-Dri Corporation of America’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • 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.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Oil-Dri Corporation of America

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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America
  • 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America

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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America 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 Oil-Dri Corporation of America

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)