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 – digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , wage bills are increasing, technology disruption, increasing commodity prices,
increasing energy prices, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, etc
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- 100% Plagiarism Free
- On Time Delivery | 27x7
- PayPal Secure
- 300 Words / Page
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 -
– Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry. The technology infrastructure of United States 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
– 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.
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.
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.
- Actuant 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 Actuant is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Actuant emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Actuant in the Basic Materials sector have low bargaining power. Actuant has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Actuant to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
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.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– Actuant has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Actuant staying ahead in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
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.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Actuant has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Misc. Fabricated Products industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Actuant have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
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.
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.
Weaknesses of Actuant | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Actuant are -
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.
Need for greater diversity
– Actuant 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.
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.
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.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, Actuant has high operating costs in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Actuant lucrative customers.
– Compare to the competition, Actuant 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 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.
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.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that Actuant needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Actuant can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Actuant is planning to shift buying processes online.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
Actuant has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
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.
Actuant Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Actuant are -
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Actuant 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry.
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. Actuant can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
– 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.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Actuant has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Misc. Fabricated Products sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Actuant to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Actuant 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, Actuant is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Actuant can utilize new technology in the field of Misc. Fabricated Products industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
Leveraging digital technologies
– Actuant 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.
Threats Actuant External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Actuant are -
– 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.
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 Actuant business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
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.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Misc. Fabricated Products industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Actuant can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
– 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.
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.
– 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.
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.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Actuant may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Misc. Fabricated Products sector.
Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins
– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Actuant 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 Actuant prominent markets.
– 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.
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.
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.