Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Farmsco (South Korea)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Farmsco is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – geopolitical disruptions, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, technology disruption,
supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , wage bills are increasing, etc
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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Farmsco
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Farmsco can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Farmsco, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Farmsco 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 Farmsco can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Farmsco
2. Improving business portfolio management of Farmsco
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in South Korea
4. Making a Food Processing sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Farmsco
Strengths of Farmsco | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Farmsco are -
Ability to lead change in Food Processing
– Farmsco is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry in South Korea. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Food Processing industry in South Korea but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Farmsco in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Farmsco has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Farmsco 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.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Farmsco in the Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector have low bargaining power. Farmsco has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Farmsco to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
High switching costs
– The high switching costs that Farmsco has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Farmsco is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry in South Korea. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in South Korea. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Innovation driven organization
– Farmsco is one of the most innovative firm in Food Processing sector.
Training and development
– Farmsco 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.
High brand equity
– Farmsco has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Farmsco to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Farmsco has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Farmsco has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.
- Farmsco is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Farmsco is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Farmsco emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Farmsco has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Food Processing industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Farmsco have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
– Farmsco 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 South Korea 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.
Weaknesses of Farmsco | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Farmsco are -
– Compare to the competition, Farmsco 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.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, Farmsco has high operating costs in the Food Processing industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Farmsco lucrative customers.
High dependence on existing supply chain
– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Farmsco supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Farmsco is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Farmsco vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
Need for greater diversity
– Farmsco has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.
Compensation and incentives
– The revenue per employee of Farmsco is just above the Food Processing industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Farmsco is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Farmsco to provide better information regarding Food Processing products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of Farmsco, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Food Processing industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As Farmsco 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.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Food Processing industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in South Korea, Farmsco is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Food Processing industry.
Employees’ less understanding of Farmsco strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of Farmsco 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.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Farmsco has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Food Processing industry using digital technology.
Farmsco Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Farmsco are -
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Farmsco 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.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Farmsco 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 Farmsco to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Farmsco to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Farmsco is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Farmsco can utilize new technology in the field of Food Processing industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Farmsco can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help Farmsco to increase its market reach. Farmsco 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.
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 Farmsco in the Food Processing industry. Now Farmsco can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Buying journey improvements
– Farmsco 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.
– Farmsco has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Farmsco has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Food Processing industry. This can help Farmsco to build a more holistic ecosystem for Farmsco products in the Food Processing industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Food Processing industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Farmsco can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
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. Farmsco can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Farmsco can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Food Processing industry.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Food Processing industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Farmsco can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Farmsco can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.
Threats Farmsco External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Farmsco are -
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. Farmsco needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Food Processing industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Farmsco 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.
Backlash against dominant players
– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Farmsco business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Farmsco has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Food Processing industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Farmsco needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Food Processing sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Farmsco is facing in Food Processing sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
– 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 Farmsco in the Food Processing sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
Increasing wage structure of Farmsco
– 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 Farmsco.
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. Farmsco can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
– Farmsco 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. Farmsco can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Food Processing industry.
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 Farmsco.
Stagnating economy with rate increase
– Farmsco 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.
Consumer confidence and its impact on Farmsco 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.
– Farmsco 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.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Farmsco Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Farmsco 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 Farmsco 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 Farmsco 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 Farmsco 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 Farmsco needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.