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Summit Midstream Partners LP (SMLP) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Summit Midstream Partners LP (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Summit Midstream Partners LP is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – geopolitical disruptions, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, increasing energy prices, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, wage bills are increasing, increasing transportation and logistics costs, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Summit Midstream Partners LP


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




Strengths of Summit Midstream Partners LP | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Summit Midstream Partners LP are -

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Summit Midstream Partners LP in Natural Gas Utilities industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Ability to lead change in Natural Gas Utilities

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Summit Midstream Partners LP in the Utilities sector have low bargaining power. Summit Midstream Partners LP has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Summit Midstream Partners LP to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Innovation driven organization

– Summit Midstream Partners LP is one of the most innovative firm in Natural Gas Utilities sector.

Diverse revenue streams

– Summit Midstream Partners LP is present in almost all the verticals within the Natural Gas Utilities industry. This has provided Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Digital Transformation in Natural Gas Utilities industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Summit Midstream Partners LP digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Summit Midstream Partners LP has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Natural Gas Utilities industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Summit Midstream Partners LP have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Analytics focus

– Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Training and development

– Summit Midstream Partners LP has one of the best training and development program in Utilities 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.






Weaknesses of Summit Midstream Partners LP | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Summit Midstream Partners LP are -

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Summit Midstream Partners LP has high operating costs in the Natural Gas Utilities industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Summit Midstream Partners LP lucrative customers.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Summit Midstream Partners LP is just above the Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Natural Gas Utilities industry, Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Summit Midstream Partners LP strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

High dependence on Summit Midstream Partners LP ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Summit Midstream Partners LP still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Natural Gas Utilities industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Summit Midstream Partners LP has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Summit Midstream Partners LP is one of the leading players in the Natural Gas Utilities industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Natural Gas Utilities industry in last five years.

Lack of clear differentiation of Summit Midstream Partners LP products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Natural Gas Utilities industry using digital technology.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Summit Midstream Partners LP has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Natural Gas Utilities industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Summit Midstream Partners LP, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Need for greater diversity

– Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.




Summit Midstream Partners LP Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Summit Midstream Partners LP are -

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Natural Gas Utilities industry.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Summit Midstream Partners LP can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Summit Midstream Partners LP operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Natural Gas Utilities sector.

Loyalty marketing

– Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

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. Summit Midstream Partners LP can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Buying journey improvements

– Summit Midstream Partners LP can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Summit Midstream Partners LP in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Natural Gas Utilities industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Manufacturing automation

– Summit Midstream Partners LP can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Natural Gas Utilities 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

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

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Summit Midstream Partners LP to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Summit Midstream Partners LP 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

– Summit Midstream Partners LP can develop new processes and procedures in Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Summit Midstream Partners LP to increase its market reach. Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.




Threats Summit Midstream Partners LP External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Summit Midstream Partners LP are -

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Summit Midstream Partners LP has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Natural Gas Utilities industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Summit Midstream Partners LP needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Natural Gas Utilities 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Natural Gas Utilities industry and other sectors.

Increasing wage structure of Summit Midstream Partners LP

– 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 Summit Midstream Partners LP.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Natural Gas Utilities 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 Summit Midstream Partners LP business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Environmental challenges

– Summit Midstream Partners LP 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. Summit Midstream Partners LP can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Natural Gas Utilities industry.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Summit Midstream Partners LP 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 Summit Midstream Partners LP prominent markets.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Summit Midstream Partners LP is facing in Natural Gas Utilities sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Easy access to finance

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

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Natural Gas Utilities industry are lowering. It can presents Summit Midstream Partners LP with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Natural Gas Utilities sector.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Summit Midstream Partners LP in Natural Gas Utilities industry. The Natural Gas Utilities 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. Summit Midstream Partners LP 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.

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 Summit Midstream Partners LP in the Natural Gas Utilities sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Summit Midstream Partners LP Template, Example


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



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