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SWOT analysis of the NEF

The SWOT analysis is a useful tool that aids an organisation to identify the strengths and weaknesses (internal factors) and the opportunities and threats (external factors) that could impact on the success of the organisation and its strategies. By carrying out a SWOT analysis n the NEF, one can devise a strategy that aims to exploit its strengths and opportunities as well as neutralise its weaknesses and threats.

Strengths of the NEF: The NEF targets more than one type of renewable energy source hence appealing to a wider audience to suit different industries and preferences. The types of renewable energy that the NEF is involved with includes:  Passive solar energy  Solar water heating  Photovoltaic (solar electric) Wind energy (the UK has the largest wind source in Europe) Biomass energy Hydropower The NEF targets more than one type of customer, and hence have a wide variety of cliental. Having a variety of clients is a strength, as less the revenue generation does not depend on one industry or type of customer.

The cliental of the NEF includes: – Urban households – Small businesses and other small organisations – Farms and rural dwellings – Self builders and Housing Associations In addition to this, the NEF has quite a large product portfolio and ongoing projects which means that it

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is not dependent on the success of just one of the services for its revenue. These services include: – Project management – Consulting services – Educational services i.e. Power Ed – Advisory services / information i.e.

Energy bus and Selfsol Generally, the staff and board of Trustees are experienced and come from well educated backgrounds. The NEF also has different branches, which offer its services, allowing it to focus on each one and making it more specialised. These branches include: – The NEF org. which includes services for households and general educational services  National Energy Services Ltd.- this is a trading company that offers project management and consulting advice. Energy Efficiency Advice centres – the NEF was instrumental in setting up and running these centres 1993-2001 mainly for householders and small businesses

The NEF is able to benefit from local economies of scale and has strong local alliances with the Milton Keynes Energy Agency. Milton Keynes is renound for its approach to the environment and for being a new environmentally friendly city. Milton Keynes is the focal point for sustainable green energy in the UK as it has its own energy parks. The NEF receives funding from more than one source, hence making it more independent and less reliant on one source of income, this is a strength as it allows the NEF to be independent and also the risk of making a deficit is lowered if one fund donor stops its funds.

The NEF’s cause and objectives are inline with social and governmental objectives hence making it more relevant and attractive to fund donors and society as a whole. This also means that the NEF has a future as this cause has been identified as ongoing and important to modern day society.  Weaknesses of the NEF: Although the NEF has a strong presence in Milton Keynes and is influential in the renewable energy communities, it does not have a strong presence and reputation nationally. Such services like Energy bus is a good and innovative way of increasing awareness for the cause and the company, however, it is only able to travel within a 100 mile radius of Milton Keynes. Hence, although the NEF targets a wide array of customers and appeals to more than one service interest, it is more or less restricting awareness and Word of Mouth beyond Milton Keynes.

There is no current formal marketing strategy in place for the NEF or for the future. This is considered to be a weakness as without effective marketing the NEF is restricting funding from potential donors or funders. Without a marketing strategy the NEF as no formal action plan to follow in order to fulfil its objectives and create awareness for its cause or its services. This is partly due to the lack of marketing function within the company. The member in charge of marketing is new and inexperienced in this function. The NEF does not currently have effective marketing and promotional activities in place nationally, there is no use of media advertising or alliance promotion- just standard leaflets.

The NEF does not recognise competitors and has not got a benchmark to compare itself with. This considered as a significant weakness as it is not recognising that funders can choose to donate funds to other organisations with the same cause. Also, without having a competitive attitude, the NEF could become complacent and may be overtaken by other organisations such as Energy 21. Although the website is useful and informative, it is not easy to make a donation and hence is limiting its fundraising capability. Also the website does not make it easy for different clients and users to find information specific to them. Hence, the website could be better orgainsed.

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