Flowers Foods, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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

The Flowers Foods, Inc. is one of the leading firms in its industry. Flowers Foods, 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 organization 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 helps the managers of the Flowers Foods, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

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

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

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

Step by Step Guide to Flowers Foods, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Flowers Foods, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors

As one of the leading companies in its industry, Flowers Foods, 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 Flowers Foods, Inc. are –

Read - Flowers Foods, Inc. Porter 5 Forces Analysis & Industry Analysis
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  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Flowers Foods, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Flowers Foods, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Flowers Foods, Inc. is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to Flowers Foods, Inc. 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. Flowers Foods, 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.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Flowers Foods, 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.
  • 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 Flowers Foods, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors

Weakness are the areas where Flowers Foods, Inc. 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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  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of Flowers Foods, Inc. are below the industry average.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Flowers Foods, 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.
  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of Flowers Foods, Inc.
  • 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 Flowers Foods, Inc. is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though Flowers Foods, 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.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.

Opportunities for Flowers Foods, Inc. – External Strategic Factors

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  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Flowers Foods, Inc. to increase its profitability.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Flowers Foods, 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.
  • Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Flowers Foods, Inc. products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Flowers Foods, Inc. 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 Flowers Foods, Inc. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • 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 Flowers Foods, Inc. to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Flowers Foods, Inc..
  • 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.

Threats Flowers Foods, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Flowers Foods, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the Flowers Foods, Inc. profitability.
  • Increasing trend toward isolationism in the American economy can lead to similar reaction from other government thus negatively impacting the international sales.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Flowers Foods, Inc.   in those markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Flowers Foods, 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 Flowers Foods, 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 Flowers Foods, 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 Flowers Foods, 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 Flowers Foods, 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)