Research and Development

Though not all companies have a research and development functional area, businesses still need some research capability to monitor the external environment. The ability to conduct and use customer and product research may be a company's strength, allowing it to capitalize on trends or market niches. The facilities, expertise and creativity to develop new products could be a strength, as is the adaptability of a company that is able to quickly adopt technological innovations in the marketplace.


Marketing depends not just on promotions but also on pricing, distribution, packaging and service. A strength in marketing might be a company's distribution channels, which are able to quickly get products out to customers. Customers might be satisfied with the company's products and its service. Indeed, a company might have differentiated itself from its competition by service, a definite strength.

Production or Operations

Efficiency is an important strength that can be measured by determining the productivity index, which is output divided by input. The output is the number of something being produced whereas input is what's invested to create the product units -- hours, labor or money, for instance. Other strengths a company might possess are cutting edge technology, facilities located in strategically important areas, low waste and production capacity.

Human Resources

Of all the resources a company boasts, its employees are the most important. If a company has strength in human resources, it may include an ability to attract and retain the best candidates from the labor pool. A company might also have a superior training program that lets new employees quickly acclimate or one that keeps developing employee know-how through cross-training or leadership development. Other strengths a company might have include depth and breadth of expertise, turnover rate, morale and satisfaction.