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Actuant (ATU) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Actuant (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Actuant is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, technology disruption, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Actuant


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Actuant can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Actuant, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Actuant 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 Actuant can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Actuant
2. Improving business portfolio management of Actuant
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a Misc. Fabricated Products sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Actuant




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

The strengths of Actuant are -

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Actuant in Misc. Fabricated Products industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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

Successful track record of launching new products

– Actuant has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Actuant 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.

High brand equity

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

Organizational Resilience of Actuant

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Actuant does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Actuant 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Actuant are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Training and development

– Actuant has one of the best training and development program in Basic Materials 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.

Ability to lead change in Misc. Fabricated Products

– Actuant is one of the leading players in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Actuant in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Innovation driven organization

– Actuant is one of the most innovative firm in Misc. Fabricated Products sector.

Strong track record of project management in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Actuant is present in almost all the verticals within the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This has provided Actuant 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.






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

The weaknesses of Actuant are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Actuant is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Actuant to provide better information regarding Misc. Fabricated Products 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 Actuant, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Misc. Fabricated Products 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.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry.

Lack of clear differentiation of Actuant products

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

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Actuant has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry over the last five years. Actuant 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry, Actuant 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.

Products dominated business model

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

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 Actuant supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Actuant is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Actuant vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Skills based hiring in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Actuant 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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




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


The opportunities of Actuant are -

Manufacturing automation

– Actuant can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Misc. Fabricated Products 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 Actuant has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This can help Actuant to build a more holistic ecosystem for Actuant products in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Loyalty marketing

– Actuant 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– Actuant can develop new processes and procedures in Misc. Fabricated Products industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Buying journey improvements

– Actuant can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Misc. Fabricated Products 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Actuant can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Actuant to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Actuant 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 Actuant to increase its market reach. Actuant 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Actuant 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. Actuant 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Misc. Fabricated Products industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Actuant can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Actuant 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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




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


The threats of Actuant are -

Increasing wage structure of Actuant

– 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 Actuant.

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 Actuant in the Misc. Fabricated Products sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Actuant in Misc. Fabricated Products industry. The Misc. Fabricated Products 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.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Regulatory challenges

– Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry regulations.

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. Actuant needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Actuant will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Actuant is facing in Misc. Fabricated Products sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Environmental challenges

– Actuant 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. Actuant can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry and other sectors.

Barriers of entry lowering

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Actuant Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Actuant 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 Actuant 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 Actuant 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 Actuant 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 Actuant needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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