SunCoke Energy, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The SunCoke Energy, Inc. is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. SunCoke Energy, Inc. 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 company such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework enables 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

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

Step by Step Guide to SunCoke Energy, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of SunCoke Energy, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading organizations in its industry, SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. 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.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – SunCoke Energy, 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 successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years SunCoke Energy, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years SunCoke Energy, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of SunCoke Energy, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. SunCoke Energy, 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 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.
  • 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.


Weakness of SunCoke Energy, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where SunCoke Energy, Inc. can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.


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  • 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work 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.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though SunCoke Energy, Inc. is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. in other product categories.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as SunCoke Energy, Inc. to increase its profitability.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the SunCoke Energy, Inc. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of SunCoke Energy, Inc..
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, 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.

Threats SunCoke Energy, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the SunCoke Energy, Inc. profitability.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and SunCoke Energy, Inc. 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 SunCoke Energy, Inc.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, 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 SunCoke Energy, 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)