Williams Partners L.P. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

Business Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Williams Partners L.P. managers to do a situational analysis of the firm . It is a useful technique to understand the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Williams Partners L.P. is facing in its current business environment.

The Williams Partners L.P. is one of the leading firms in its industry. Williams Partners L.P. maintains its prominent 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 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 Williams Partners L.P. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Williams Partners L.P. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The central purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a firm can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Williams Partners L.P. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Williams Partners L.P. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Williams Partners L.P. – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading firms in its industry, Williams Partners L.P. 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 Williams Partners L.P. are –

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  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Williams Partners L.P. products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Williams Partners L.P. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • 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.
  • Strong Free Cash Flow – Williams Partners L.P. has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • 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.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Williams Partners L.P. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.

Weakness of Williams Partners L.P. – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Williams Partners L.P. 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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  • 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.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Williams Partners L.P. 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.
  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Williams Partners L.P. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Williams Partners L.P. 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.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Williams Partners L.P. 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.

Opportunities for Williams Partners L.P. – External Strategic Factors

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  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Williams Partners L.P. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Williams Partners L.P. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Williams Partners L.P. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • 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 Williams Partners L.P.. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Williams Partners L.P. 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.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Williams Partners L.P.’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.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Williams Partners L.P. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Williams Partners L.P. . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.

Threats Williams Partners L.P. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • 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.
  • Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • 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.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • 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.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Williams Partners L.P. profitability.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Williams Partners L.P.

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 Williams Partners L.P.
  • 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 Williams Partners L.P.

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 Williams Partners L.P. 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 Williams Partners L.P.

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)