Assessment Of Core Competencies And A "Swot" Analysis Of Kohler C Ompany

1863 words - 8 pages

Executive SummaryKohler Co. is a 129-year-old company strong in its tradition and focusing on quality and improving the level of gracious living for its customers. A SWOT analysis is described in this paper to discuss the Strengths - quality and employee loyalty; Weaknesses - slow traditions and limited customers; Opportunities - increase hospitality division and sell to a broader range of customers; and Threats - Porter's 5 forces. Due to the analysis provided, the core competencies of Kohler emerge as high quality, great design, history and tradition, and a commitment to gracious living for their customers.Kohler BackgroundKohler Co. is a world leader in plumbing and power systems, but is ...view middle of the document...

"SWOT is an acronym for the internal strengths and weaknesses of a firm and the environmental opportunities and threats facing that firm" (Pearce, p. 483). "Completing a SWOT analysis helps you identify ways to minimize the affect of weaknesses in your business while maximizing your strengths" (Kyle, 2002). SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The following sections will identify each of these areas for Kohler Co.StrengthsKohler Co. is known around the world for producing a high quality product. When a consumer wants to purchase a beautiful product that will also last a long time, Kohler is the right choice. Kohler's prices stay competitive for the quality and craftsmanship of their final product. There are lower priced products available, but not with the high quality of a Kohler product. This is a definite strength of Kohler - brand recognition and unsurpassed quality.Another strength for Kohler is associate loyalty. While this is hard to scientifically measure, the employee turnover rate is extremely low for a company of this size. Many employees start working at Kohler and then continue until they retire. That is a rare occurrence in business during the last few decades. Of course, anyone with the last name of Kohler is dedicated to the company, but in addition, associates feel a sense of loyalty to Herbert V. Kohler. It's hard to explain, but with a company that's 129 years old, many associates have grown up with Kohler associates in their family through the generations. They work at Kohler; their father, grandfather, uncle, aunt, great-grandfather, etc. have all worked at Kohler. Kohler is situated near small towns and cities (the largest being Sheboygan, WI of 50,000 residents), so many local residents find Kohler a good place to work. The commute is short, the pay is competitive, and the nostalgia is present among their relatives. In addition, people enjoy working for a company that puts such an importance on quality.WeaknessesKohler Co. is based on history, tradition, and a strong work ethic. All of these traits sound good, right? Well, they are, except in a fast moving marketplace. Manufacturing is not thought of as a fast moving marketplace, but there are other competitors that race to get a new design on the market. This is where Kohler needs some work in order to increase the time it takes from initial concept through engineers, sales, marketing, manufacturing, and to the Kohler customers. The approval process should be shortened between each stage in order to help make this happen.Another weakness is that Kohler has chosen to only sell directly to retailers, government, hospitals, and wholesalers (plumbers, distribution centers, designers, etc). This limits the consumer to purchase product through a middleman. If Kohler distributed a catalog or an online e-commerce site for homeowners, they could buy directly from Kohler. The additional purchases from homeowners would add to Kohler's sales and increase...

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