Weatherford International plc SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

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

The Weatherford International plc is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Weatherford International plc maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the organization 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 known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Weatherford International plc to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Weatherford International plc swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Weatherford International plc strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Weatherford International plc SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Weatherford International plc – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading companies in its industry, Weatherford International plc 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 Weatherford International plc are –


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  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Weatherford International plc has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Weatherford International plc products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Weatherford International plc 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 distribution network – Over the years Weatherford International plc has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Weatherford International plc is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • 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.
  • 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 Weatherford International plc – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Weatherford International plc 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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  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Weatherford International plc 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.
  • 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. Weatherford International plc has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Weatherford International plc is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Weatherford International plc 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.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Weatherford International plc are below the industry average.
  • 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.

Opportunities for Weatherford International plc – External Strategic Factors


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  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Weatherford International plc products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Weatherford International plc . 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 Weatherford International plc to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • 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 Weatherford International plc in other product categories.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Weatherford International plc.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Weatherford International plc to increase its profitability.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Weatherford International plc 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 Weatherford International plc to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.

Threats Weatherford International plc Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • 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.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards 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 Weatherford International plc
  • 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.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Weatherford International plc may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies 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.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Weatherford International plc

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 Weatherford International plc
  • 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 Weatherford International plc

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 Weatherford International plc 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 Weatherford International plc

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)