Gibraltar Industries, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Gibraltar Industries, Inc. is one of the leading firms in its industry. Gibraltar Industries, 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 known as SWOT Matrix.

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

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Gibraltar Industries, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Gibraltar Industries, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Gibraltar Industries, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading firms in its industry, Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, Inc. are –

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  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Gibraltar Industries, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Gibraltar Industries, Inc. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Gibraltar Industries, 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.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Gibraltar Industries, 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.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Gibraltar Industries, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Gibraltar Industries, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Gibraltar Industries, Inc. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Gibraltar Industries, Inc. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.

Weakness of Gibraltar Industries, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Gibraltar Industries, Inc. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Gibraltar Industries, Inc. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • 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.

Opportunities for Gibraltar Industries, Inc. – 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 Gibraltar Industries, Inc. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Gibraltar Industries, 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.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Gibraltar Industries, 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.
  • 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Gibraltar Industries, Inc. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Gibraltar Industries, Inc. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • 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 Gibraltar Industries, Inc. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Gibraltar Industries, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.

Threats Gibraltar Industries, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Gibraltar Industries, Inc.
  • 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 Gibraltar Industries, Inc. profitability.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Gibraltar Industries, Inc.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Gibraltar Industries, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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 Gibraltar Industries, 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)