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Orkla (0FIN) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Orkla (United Kingdom)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Orkla is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing energy prices, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, wage bills are increasing, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, technology disruption, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Orkla


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Orkla can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Orkla, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Orkla operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Orkla can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Orkla
2. Improving business portfolio management of Orkla
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United Kingdom
4. Making a Food Processing sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Orkla




Strengths of Orkla | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Orkla are -

Diverse revenue streams

– Orkla is present in almost all the verticals within the Food Processing industry. This has provided Orkla a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Innovation driven organization

– Orkla is one of the most innovative firm in Food Processing sector.

Strong track record of project management in the Food Processing industry

– Orkla is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Analytics focus

– Orkla is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Food Processing industry. The technology infrastructure of United Kingdom is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

High brand equity

– Orkla has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Orkla to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Food Processing industry

– Orkla has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Orkla to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Food Processing industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Orkla to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Orkla in Food Processing industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Orkla is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry in United Kingdom. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United Kingdom. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Training and development

– Orkla has one of the best training and development program in Consumer/Non-Cyclical industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Orkla has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Orkla staying ahead in the Food Processing industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Digital Transformation in Food Processing industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Orkla digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Orkla has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Orkla in the Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector have low bargaining power. Orkla has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Orkla to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.






Weaknesses of Orkla | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Orkla are -

Employees’ less understanding of Orkla strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Orkla don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Skills based hiring in Food Processing industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Orkla has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Orkla has some of the most successful models in the Food Processing industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Orkla should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Orkla is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Food Processing industry in last five years.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Orkla is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Orkla to provide better information regarding Food Processing products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Orkla has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Food Processing industry over the last five years. Orkla even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

High dependence on Orkla ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Orkla still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Food Processing industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Orkla has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Food Processing industry, Orkla needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Orkla is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Food Processing industry, but Orkla needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Orkla to focus more on services in the Food Processing industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Orkla has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.

Lack of clear differentiation of Orkla products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Orkla needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.




Orkla Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Orkla are -

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Orkla to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Food Processing industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Orkla in the Food Processing industry. Now Orkla can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Orkla can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Orkla in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Food Processing industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Orkla can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Orkla can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Buying journey improvements

– Orkla can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Food Processing industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Orkla can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Manufacturing automation

– Orkla can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Food Processing sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Orkla has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Food Processing industry. This can help Orkla to build a more holistic ecosystem for Orkla products in the Food Processing industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Orkla to increase its market reach. Orkla will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Orkla has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Food Processing sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Orkla to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Orkla to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Orkla can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Orkla operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Food Processing sector.




Threats Orkla External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Orkla are -

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Orkla in the Food Processing sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Orkla can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Orkla prominent markets.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Orkla needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Food Processing industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Food Processing industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Orkla can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Regulatory challenges

– Orkla needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Food Processing industry regulations.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Orkla.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Orkla demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Food Processing industry and other sectors.

Environmental challenges

– Orkla needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Orkla can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Food Processing industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Food Processing industry are lowering. It can presents Orkla with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Food Processing sector.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Orkla may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Food Processing sector.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Orkla in Food Processing industry. The Food Processing industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Orkla can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Food Processing industry.

Increasing wage structure of Orkla

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Orkla.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Orkla Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Orkla needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Orkla is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Orkla is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Orkla to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Orkla needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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