Sample case study on swot analysis


Amy’s Bread is a bakery in the New York City that deals with hand-made breads, decadent cookies, morning pastries, layer cakes, sandwiches among other products. The company is known of baking chewy and crusty breads made of moist crumb and flavor. The company makes its breads through traditional European techniques. Amy’s Bread is a key wholesale supplier of breads in different New York restaurants.

Amy’s Bread has made investments in different areas that have made it outstanding in the industry. Strengths are usually as a result of internal activities of an organization and they are major determinants of the success of an organization. In most cases, these activities have a wide range with each of them having unique influence to the performance of the organization.
The bakery recognizes marketing as a major tool that defines exclusive success of its business. This pushed the bakery to invest in one of the most outstanding advertisement techniques. The marketing strategy that organization uses is the word-of-mouth advertising strategy. This strategy is extremely useful and has been evident in the bakery following the increasing sales of the bakery from time to time. This method is extremely helpful for organizations to reach a lot of people. People will always recommend good things to their colleagues, relatives and friends. Amy’s Break, has taken advantage of this by producing high quality products that are appealing to consumers (Amy’s Bread, 2014). This guarantees the Bakery a market since people will always recommend the bakery’s products.
Also, the company has invested in extensively reliable management of its activities. This is mainly focused on ensuring that customers are treated accordingly and necessary services are executed as they should be carried out. The bakery has a waiting list of approximately 30 customers who must be served to their satisfaction. This has been achieved through existence of an outstanding plan, as well as a group dedicated to the success of the organization. This may also be explained by the existence of a reliable financial behavior of the company. Although, the company faces various challenges in delivery of its financial services, the management remains firm on its decisions by ensuring that the bakery does not collapse out of financial challenges (Scribd, 2014).
The other strength of Amy’s Bread is high retention of employees following superior environment of work and compensation. The company has invested in adequate and reliable facilities that represent modern technology in bakery to make it easy for companies to operate within the given work environment (Amy’s Bread, 2014).


These are negative elements within an organization that may influence the activities of the organization. They are usually as a result of internal activities and they are extremely significant in defining the wellbeing of the organization. The management of the bakery should have a critical view of these activities to ensure necessary improvement in the organization is experienced.
The first weakness if connected to the management of the bakery. It is the long wait that customers have to endure before they are served in the organization. The issue of customer service should be taken extremely seriously and the management should emphasize on prompt response to the needs of a client. However, if customers are not taken care of accordingly they can be easily won by other bakeries. There should be excellent plan within Amy’s Bakery to ensure customers are served as fast as possible (Scribd, 2014).
The other weakness that Amy’s Bread should try to overcome is that the ingredients that it uses are more expensive than the ones used at competing bakeries. This may make the returns of the bakery extremely low compared to its competitors. Although, the bakery aims at manufacturing high quality products, it should be keen on the cost it may incur in regard to the savings that it may make (Scribd, 2014).
The weakness named above in connection to expensive ingredients may be connected to the slim profit margins that wholesale customers may bring on table. The small profit is as a result of the high cost of production by the Amy’s Bread and the low selling price to wholesalers.
Also, the bakery experiences low turnover among main staff members, especially the ones in middle management which may have major impact to the business. It is sometimes difficult for the senior management of the bakery to achieve their targets. This is because they lack follow up, which should define their performance in the respective positions in Amy’s Bread.


These may be defined as the elements outside the company that may define its success in its industry as well as the market place of its products. External forces are equally influential to the performance of the organization to the internal forces. Opportunities are those factors that may appear as platforms for the bakery to make excellent achievements in the industry.
The first opportunity that may be identified for Amy’s Bread is its focus on high-end breads. This will be a chance for the bakery to have dramatically high increase in profit margins. Following lack of many bakeries with high quality breads, as their final product, Amy’s Bread may have a reliable market since it would be assured of high sales. In most cases, the success of a company depends on kind of products that it releases into the market. Amy’s Bread would command the bread market in New York following its ability to produce high quality breads (Scribd, 2014).
The other opportunity that Amy’s Bread has is the existence of reliable legal procedures for registration and expansion of companies in the United States. There is always need for governments to allow companies operate within the most lenient rules possible. In New York, operating a bakery is not very expensive since there are minimal legal requirements to start a bakery. Licensing for bakeries in New York has been extremely cheap allowing Amy’s Bread to open different points of operation in the city. The Bakery may also take advantage of the political stability in the city to expand its operations. The politics in the city supports expansion in terms of business thus it is motivating for Amy’s to operate within New York (Scribd, 2014).
The other opportunity that may be helpful to Amy’s Bread is existence of fast growing retail businesses sector in New York City, as well as the United States. This is an economic opportunity since Amy’s Bread has been given a chance to expand on its operations. With such a chance, the bakery will be in a position to open its operations in different locations with certainty that the business will thrive. The ability to open operations in different areas is an assurance of increased customer service and there would be minimal time wasted by customers as they wait in the line for service (Scribd, 2014).
Also, as time passes the population of the United States continues to expand. High population means that there are high chances for business people to make extensive sales at a particular time. This is a great opportunity for companies that manufacture food which is a basic need for human beings. Therefore, for Amy’s Bread there are extensive opportunities to make high sales since there would be high demand for breakfast where bread is a major requirement (Scribd, 2014).
Technology would be the other opportunity that Amy’s Bread would take as an advantage. Technology is a definition of modern ways of doing things. In the Bakery business, technology would play critical role through use of reliable systems of production. There are modern forms of technology that are being used in defining the success of businesses. Production systems would be fundamental if they embrace modern technology.


These are external factors that may influence the performance of Amy’s Bread as it seeks to survive in its industry. At some point, these factors are not optional but they can be controlled through proper preparation by the specific company.
The first threat that the Amy’s Bread may face is downturn in the economy that will make consumers purchase cheaper commodities form competitors. At such times, consumers mainly focus on quantity and not quantity. They will not be willing to spend more money on breads form Amy’s Bakery while they can afford a bread from a competitor to Amy’s Bread. The downturn would also affect the operations of Amy’s Bread since it would be extremely expensive to purchase the ingredients required.
The other challenge is based on the regulations given by the government in dieting and health trends. There have been various cases on poor feeding and health habits that have been witnessed in the United States, which has resulted to critical consideration on the most efficient ways to control the poor eating habits. At some point, bakery businesses may be affected by such a policy since there would be extensive principles being put in place to control their production. Such policies would be extremely expensive for Amy’s Bread since its baking formula may have to be altered to suit the required ingredients (Scribd, 2014).

Differences between retail and wholesale operation

Amy’s Bread, operates within the restaurant industry. This is an extremely competitive industry and it experiences an increasing demand in bread products. This has been the major cause of existence of retail and wholesale business in Amy’s Bread. This is a strategy for the company to win a wide range of customers who would become loyal to the company and remain consumer of its products for a long time.
The first difference between wholesale and retail trade for Amy’s Bread Company is based on the price charged to the specific business partners. The price charged to retail traders is not the same for wholesale traders. The difference is mainly inclined to the motive of engaging in trade with Amy’s Bread. For whole sale traders, their motive is to do business and their prices cannot be similar to those of retail traders. Therefore, the sales department in Amy’s Bread emphasizes on lower price to wholesale traders. Although, there are numerous retailers willing to consume breads from Amy’s Bread, the company insists on wholesale business. This has been the main cause of the company paying close attention to wholesalers (Scribd, 2014). As a result of this, wholesalers are charged lower prices than retailers.
Also, following the large number of customers willing to consume Amy breads it has been extremely difficult for the company to allow service for the two types of customers to be served at the same outlets. In regards to this, the company has invested in development of special outlets for retailers, as well as wholesalers (Scribd, 2014). This makes service fast and the customers do not have to wait for extremely long time.
Services at wholesale points are extremely demanding and are likely to attract extensively high costs. This is because they usually involve extensive procedures that require a lot of resources. For excellent services to wholesalers, the management must be ready to incur higher costs. This would involve the cost of hiring new employees who would assist in service to the wholesalers. Also, Amy’s Bread would be required to come up with new operations points. This raises the expenses for the company because it will to provide the money needed in erecting the needed business premises (Taylor, 2013).

The significance of wholesale business for Amy’s Bread

Operations of the company in regards to retailers and wholesalers are different in Amy’s Bread. The company has invested extensively on wholesale trade making the main outlet a wholesale distribution point. The company wishes to extend its operations in the country and this would be achieved through its ability to reach many customers. This may only be achieved through the presence of a wide range of wholesalers (Evelly, 2013). These will be the people who will bring the company into the public image.
In most cases, wholesale traders operate in different locations. They are the most reliable link between the manufacturer and the consumer. This means if they are strategically organized or placed they would reach a wide range of customers. Wholesalers are able to make a company known in an extremely wide area. The moment they get goods from the manufacturer they immediately assume the role of a manufacturer and they become responsible of noble tasks such as marketing and promotions (Scribd, 2014). It is through this that wholesalers attract more customers to Amy’s Bread.
Also, wholesalers would be of extensive assistance to the company since they would act as risk takers for Amy’s Bread. It is risky for Amy’s Bread to engage in massive production and there are no customers for the manufactured products. Wholesalers relieve the manufacturer the stress of holding massive products. In this case, Amy’s Bread benefits from its wholesalers through their ability to reach many customers who may be individuals or restaurants (Evelly, 2013).
Following the above merits about business relationship between wholesalers and companies, it would be advisable for Amy’s Bread to concentrate on business contracts with wholesalers.


Although, Amy’s Bread has succeeded in achieving high business heights there are alternatives that may be considered to make the performance of the company excellent. The bakery industry is extremely competitive and it requires extensive strategies to control the market.
One of the strategies that could be used in the enhancement of performance for Amy’s Bread is execution of excellent marketing strategies. The company mainly depends on word of mouth as the means of advertisement. Following the extensive competition in the industry, there would be exclusive demand for a reliable marketing strategy. This would be achieved through determination of the most outstanding advertisement media. One of the media that would be used is the TV. This is one of the media that would attract massive views attracting a wide range of consumers. TVs work magic in attracting a wide range of customers. TVs may show clients the various products that Amy’s Bread bakes (Reddy, 2010).
The other strategy that would be recommendable to Amy’s Bread is execution of mergers and acquisition. Merger is a strategy where the company combines efforts with other companies in the same industry. This strategy is usually carried out with the aim of enhancing the performance of a company within a given industry. Acquisition is a business strategy where one company buys off another company to enhance the operations of the acquiring company. In most cases, the companies the merge must have similar goals and excellent strategies must be executed through the two or more companies to win control of a given industry or market (Reddy, 2010).

Mistakes for Amy’s Bread

The first mistake that is identifiable in the organization is concentration in one line of production. The company mainly deals with breads. There is need to expand production or the output of the company through baking other products such as cakes among other bakery products.
The second mistake that is evident in the organization is inadequate investment in advertisements. The company does not recognize advertisements as major requirements for excellence in business.
The third mistake is lack of adequate expertise needed to bake highly competitive products. The baker should be a highly qualified individual with adequate knowledge on modern technology required in bakery processes.


Amy’s Bread is a major player in the bakery industry. The company has been extensively competent in the industry. This has been as a result of exclusive investment on the strengths that it possesses, as well as rectification of weaknesses that are available in the organization. Also, the company has to be considerate of external factors which are defined as opportunities and threats of the company. There is need for the company to invest in search for necessary information needed to make improvements in the organization.


Amy’s Bread. (n. d.). Welcome to Amy’s Baking Company. Amy’s Baking Company. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://amys-baking-company. myshopify. com/
Evelly, J. (2013, October 2). Amy’s Bread Opens Retail Outlet at its Long Island City Kitchen. DNAinfo New York. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www. dnainfo. com/new-york/20131002/long-island-city/amys-bread-opens-retail-outlet-at-its-long-island-city-kitchen
Guttman, A. (2013, April 16). Italy’s Financial Crisis Means More (Bread) Dough At Home. NPR. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www. npr. org/blogs/thesalt/2013/04/16/177457582/economic-crunch-has-italians-rediscovering-homemade-bread
Reddy, P. (2010). Business management(Rev. ed.). Mumbai [India: Himalaya Pub. House.
Scribd. (n. d.). M4 A1 NLindstrom (Amy’s Bread). Scribd. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www. scribd. com/doc/82715557/m4-a1-nlindstrom-amy-s-bread
Taylor, V. (2013, May 22). Amy’s Baking Company of ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ fame reopens as co-owner faces deportation . NY Daily News. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from http://www. nydailynews. com/life-style/eats/amy-baking-company-reopens-co-owner-faces-deportation-article-1. 1352051