Central Garden & Pet Company SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Central Garden & Pet Company managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is an important technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Central Garden & Pet Company is facing in its current business environment.

The Central Garden & Pet Company is one of the leading companies in its industry. Central Garden & Pet Company 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 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 called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Central Garden & Pet Company to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Central Garden & Pet Company swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Central Garden & Pet Company strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Central Garden & Pet Company SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Central Garden & Pet Company – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading firms in its industry, Central Garden & Pet Company 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 Central Garden & Pet Company are –

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  • Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Central Garden & Pet Company has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Central Garden & Pet Company just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Central Garden & Pet Company has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Central Garden & Pet Company 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.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Central Garden & Pet Company 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.

Weakness of Central Garden & Pet Company – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Central Garden & Pet Company 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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  • 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 Central Garden & Pet Company 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Central Garden & Pet Company is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Central Garden & Pet Company 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.
  • 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. Central Garden & Pet Company has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.

Opportunities for Central Garden & Pet Company – External Strategic Factors

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  • 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 market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Central Garden & Pet Company to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Central Garden & Pet Company an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Central Garden & Pet Company to increase its profitability.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Central Garden & Pet Company . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • 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 Central Garden & Pet Company in other product categories.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Central Garden & Pet Company’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 Central Garden & Pet Company. 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 Central Garden & Pet Company Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Central Garden & Pet Company may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • 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.
  • The company can face lawsuits in various markets given - different laws and continuous fluctuations regarding product standards in those markets.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Central Garden & Pet Company   in those markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Central Garden & Pet Company

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 Central Garden & Pet Company
  • 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 Central Garden & Pet Company

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 Central Garden & Pet Company 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 Central Garden & Pet Company

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)