Smithfield Inc. is a multinational food company and the largest hog producer and pork processor in the world. Founded in 1936, in Smithfield, Virginia, the company’s mission is to produce good food the right way (“About Smithfield,” 2020). The venture concerns itself with the humane treatment of animals, the production of safe and high-quality foods, environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and creating an ethical, fair, and rewarding work environment for its employees. The primary strategy at Smithfield Foods is guided by responsibility, operational excellence, and innovation (ROI) (“About Smithfield,” 2020). It takes the responsibility of treating its workers well, handling their animals with respect, encouraging sustainability, and overall observance of food safety (“About Smithfield,” 2020). The strategy is communicated to its customers through its brand slogan “Good Food Responsibly.” Moreover, the firm’s focus on operational excellence is unrelenting since it continuously loos of opportunities to enhance its business operations in areas such as timely delivery, customer service, product consistency, and product quality (“About Smithfield,” 2020).
Products and Services
The company is the leading producer of packaged meat categories in the US and Europe. Its product brands include Eckrich, Farmland, Smithfield, Nathan’s Famous, Farmer John, Armour, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Carando, Gwaltney, Healthy Ones, Morliny, Berlinki, Krakus, and Cook’s (“About Smithfield,” 2020).
Smithfield’s Internal and External Structures
A strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis is a great management tool to facilitate a company to evaluate its operations and performance concerning the industry and competitors (Gürel & Tat, 2017). Strengths and weaknesses form an organization’s internal structure, which can be leveraged to enhance business sustainability, while threats and opportunities form the external structure (Phadermrod, Crowder, & Wills, 2019).
Smithfield’s strengths include an extensive global footprint in the US, South America, Europe, and China. The company is the largest hog and pork producer in the world, which drives its sales revenues and growth opportunities. Additionally, the company has a vast market share, and it leads the market in three product categories that include smoked hams, Bacon, and specialty ham cuts. Moreover, Europe supports the hog production business fuelling the firm’s profitability in global operations. Mergers and acquisitions serve as the venture's strengths and key market penetration strategy, for example, its merger with Shuanghui International allowed it to venture into the Chinese market.
The company’s weaknesses include its minimal participation in ready-to eat-market, which might disadvantage it in the market. Most market movers in the Food and Beverage industry, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Starbucks, have incorporated ready-to-eat products that provide their customers with timely and convenient solutions. Additionally, lack of physical presence in most of its markets such as in the sub-Saharan region reduces its sales revenue collection.
The looming economic boom post-COVID-19 provides an opportunity for established multinationals such as Smithfield to increase its sales revenue more readily. Additionally, meeting consumer demand for better foods with lower amounts of lean protein, sodium, and natural ingredients can improve its market share since people have become more diet-conscious to avoid lifestyle diseases such as cancer and obesity. Venturing into the ready-to-eat market can provide its consumers with time-saving solutions.
Smithfield's threats include hiking prices of raw materials, feed ingredients, supplies, and fuel, especially during this COVID-19 period. Increasing COVID -19 infection rates have led to emergency measures such as lockdowns and business closures, which have foreseen not only sales reductions but also increased the cost of production. Smithfield Foods Inc. may also experience a shortage of specialized labor as people choose to work from home or contract the disease. Additionally, the decreased consumption of pork among other animals due to fear of another disease outbreak such as swine flu may impact the firm's sales negatively. Noticeably, since the company does not have subsidiaries in many target markets during this period, fluctuations in foreign currencies, taxations, and legal frameworks may adversely affect its operations.
Performance Management Policies and Practices
Smithfield Foods envisions providing its emotes with an ethical, fair, and rewarding environment for its workers (“About Smithfield,” 2020). The above elements make up its performance management system, which is geared towards ensuring that the company remains top of its innovation strategy. The company has outlined objectives and goals for each strategic business unit and subsidiary, which are aligned to its overarching aim. Implementation of challenging and realistic goals motivate workers to enhance their performance (Van Looy & Shafagatova, 2016).
Smithfield also has a robust communication system that allows managers to keep in touch with team activities and reports and give suggestions. Effective communication allows a manager to follow up on their team’s progress and challenges before the performance review stage. Moreover, performance reviews are essential in the company as they help human resource managers to evaluate the performance of specific teams or employees (Tilca, Mare, & Apatean, 2018).
Noticeably, Smithfield persists on recognition of good performance through rewards such as promotions, salary increments, and employee of the year mentions. The process motivates workers to enhance their productivity (Ali, Mahmood, & Mehreen, 2019). Employee training and career development are indispensable in Smithfield as the company strives to enhance innovation. Employees are regularly trained to help them explore their performance potential. Additionally, practices such as networking evident in Smithfield NEXT and Women’s Connect initiates helps the company’s employees network, explore development opportunities, and enhance their core competencies, which have a direct positive impact on their performance.
About Smithfield. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/about-smithfield/diversity-and-inclusion
Ali, Z., Mahmood, B., & Mehreen, A. (2019). Linking succession planning to employee performance: The mediating roles of career development and performance appraisal. Australian Journal of Career Development, 28(2), 112-121. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/sues-2018-0005
Gürel, E., & Tat, M. (2017). SWOT analysis: a theoretical review. Journal of International Social Research, 10(51), 994-1006. http://sosyalarastirmalar.com/cilt10/sayi51_pdf/6iksisat_kamu_isletme/gurel_emet.pdf
Phadermrod, B., Crowder, R. M., & Wills, G. B. (2019). Importance-performance analysis based SWOT analysis. International Journal of Information Management, 44, 194-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2016.03.009
Tilca, M., Mare, E., & Apatean, A. (2018). A model to measure the performance of human resources in organizations. Studia Universitatis „Vasile Goldis.” Arad–Economics Series, 28(1), 57-73. https://content.sciendo.com/downloadpdf/journals/sues/28/1/article-p57.pdf?pdfJsInlineViewToken=1664765176&inlineView=true
Van Looy, A., & Shafagatova, A. (2016). Business process performance measurement: a structured literature review of indicators, measures, and metrics. Springer Plus, 5(1), 1700-1797. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40064-016-3498-1
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