“Securing a market leading future through SWOT analysis A Hewden case study”
Hewden was founded in 1968 and has grown to be the market leader in the construction rental industry based in the U.K. Today the company is employing 1,400 professionals and focuses on delivering outstanding solutions across a wide range of industry sectors such as construction, infrastructure, industrial and environmental. In 2010, Hewden was acquired by Sun Capital Partners Inc., a U.S. based investment firm. This case study is an attempt to analyse the internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) factors affecting the company’s strategic planning. It is also an attempt to use SWOT analysis in order to provide helpful suggestions and recommendations which will maintain a market leading future and improve its operation.
Key factor for Hewden’s market leading position is its strong reputation acquired through its 50 year history and successful presence in the industry. A high level of expertise has been achieved by taking part in major construction projects throughout the years culminating in participating in the construction of infrastructure for the London Olympic Games in 2012. In addition to that, Hewden has been awarded with important Awards and Prizes since its founding. Another major strength of Hewden is definitely its workforce planning processes and personnel training programmes. The highly skilled labour and high level of experience ensure the quality of services provided and enhance customer loyalty. A wide spectrum of knowledge, craftsmanship, experience and opportunities is provided to all members of the staff through Hewden’s carefully planned, efficient and effective training and development programmes. These programmes create a comparative advantage against the company’s competitors since they use more personalised and flexible training techniques focusing on the abilities and possibilities of each employee separately. Internal relationships and communication are also a strong competency of Hewden. Long-term collaborations with employees have resulted to a loyal workforce with a great level of commitment and responsibility. Furthermore, effective relations between the top management and all personnel, including bottom level employees as well, enhance the transmission of knowledge and experience and help communicate the company’s mission and vision. The involvement of the CEO him/herself creates an environment of security and collaboration and keeps the staff content and motivated. On the other hand, the employees provide an important feedback through regular surveys contributing to the continual improvement of human resource management strategies and the company’s processes and procedures in general. Hewden also follows a strong rewarding and bonus policy in order to keep its employees motivated. In 2010 Hewden was acquired by a Sun Capital Partners Inc., a leading U.S. based investment firm. Financially, this acquisition contributes to the company’s growth and creates a solid economical background which facilitates stability and future investments. As far as services are concerned, Hewden has developed a unique and innovative feature of “next day delivery guarantee” which is a unique selling proposition (USP) and outperforms its competitors. Furthermore, the company has adopted several “focus on the customer” strategies which include providing simplified contact procedures (“One Hewden”) and easy access to specialised experts. In general, Hewden aims to an in-depth understanding of its customers’ needs and requirements and finally to an improved customer intimacy. Hewden aims in lowering the average age of equipment and fleet renewal through auctions. This way the company will manage to keep up with the latest technology and offer high quality plant and tools to its customers, therefore ensure satisfaction and build a strong and solvent brand name....
References: 1. The Times 100 Business case studies, http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/hewden
2. Hewden Official website, http://www.hewden.co.uk/
3. Lu, W. (2010). “Improved SWOT Approach for Conducting Strategic Planning in the Construction Industry”, J. Construction Engineering Manag, 136(12), 1317–1328.
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