Glue Companies - SWOT

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Loctite SWOT

Loctite is owned by Henkel and adhesives is the largest unit of the company. The company has been struggling with declining sales and has several opportunities to reverse that. Although sales have been in decline, there was little reporting available on the reason for that, and therefore, information on weaknesses of the company are limited.

About Loctite

Strengths

  • Henkel Loctite is the 3rd leading global manufacturer of adhesives and sealants in the world.
  • Henkel, the parent company of Loctite, has an extensive global presence and distribution network.
  • In September 2018, Henkel broke ground on an Innovation Center for Adhesive Technologies in Germany. This shows a commitment to advancing the adhesives industry and a commitment to Loctite, its consumer facing adhesives company.
  • Henkel continued to grow its adhesives business in 2018 through two acquisitions: Aislantes Nacionales in December 2018 and Union Tecnico Comercial S.R.L. in January 2018.
  • Loctite has a store on Amazon and the product reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of products being rated 4 stars or more out of 5.

Weaknesses

  • During the first quarter of 2018, delivery difficulties in North America caused a slow start to the year. The supply disruptions were caused by "changes in transportation and logistics."
  • Sales in the adhesives unit for Henkel decreased to 1,781 million euros in 2018 from 1,832 million euros in 2017, a 2.8% decline. A thorough reading of the annual report did not explain any reason for a decline in this particular unit. However, a 2019 story in the NY Times indicated that sales in the adhesives unit were declining in 2019 due to a slow down in the auto industry

Opportunities

  • The company can continue its digital transformation to help increase digital sales, which increased at the Group level by double digits in 2018.
  • With Henkel's extensive investment in R&D, one of the opportunities listed in the annual report is the ability to innovate at an unexpected level which could have a large impact on the company's bottom line.
  • According to a recent market report, the biggest growth drivers in the adhesives market are an increased demand for packaging, a move toward composite adhesives, and an increased demand for bio-based adhesives. These all present opportunities for Henkel.
  • Also, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the sector, and in 2018 Henkel's sales in this region declined. This shows they have opportunity for growth in that region. In the third quarter of 2019, organic sales in Asia-Pacific were down 5.7%.
  • The CEO of Henkel, Hans Van Bylen, is stepping down as of January 1, 2020, and Carsten Knobel will take over. This provides an opportunity for the company to move in a different direction and reverse the sales decline that has been occurring.

Threats

  • According to the 2018 Henkel Annual Report, there are several risks the company is facing. The two risks with the highest probability are macroeconomic and sector-specific risks, and risks from pension obligations.
  • The major macroeconomic and sector specific risks facing the company are increased global conflicts, the UK leaving the European Union, increased global trade conflict, increased competition that could lead to downward price pressure, and increased private labels taking market share.
  • The major risks related to pension obligations are market risks. Henkel has reduced risk in this area by converting traditional pensions to new options. However, uncertainty with interest rates, inflation, and life expectancy can all impact pension benefits and there is a risk that the money needed will not be available at any given time. However, even though this was identified as a high probability risk, no extraordinary risks were identified.

Research Strategy

We utilized several strategies to uncover data on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Loctite and its parent company, Henkel. Initially, we focused on company websites, press releases, and annual reports. Company reporting is a good starting point to determine what the company is focusing on, how their growth is looking, and any positive announcements the company wants to highlight.

Next, we utilized a press search to supplement and validate the data we had found in the company resources. This included searches of general news sites such as The New York Times and Irish Times, as well as industry specific publications such as Adhesives.org and ASI. While we were able to supplement our data with information on the company's sales decline in 2019, and the company being ranked as the 3rd largest adhesives company in the world, there was very little recent reporting specific to Henkel and Loctite.

Our final strategy was to examine the adhesives market overall to uncover any trends or industry changes that would impact Loctite. This allowed us to find details on market drivers, regions that are leading the growth, and then tie that back to Loctite.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Shurtape SWOT

Shurtape is a North Carolina based company that had record revenue in 2017 (the most recent available). Research indicates that the company is currently in a strong position, and there was little to no data available on company weaknesses or threats.

About Shurtape

  • Shurtape Technologies was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Hickory, North Carolina. The company manufactures and sells tape products that are used in many industries including packing, electrical, HVAC, painting, plumbing, and construction.

Strengths

  • The company has a singular focus on pressure sensitive tape, which distinguishes it from many of its competitors that offer glues, seals, and other adhesives. This allows the company to focus all resources on tape only which potentially gives them an advantage.
  • Tape University is an educational site created by Shurtape, and appears to be the only such site created by a tape manufacturer. The uniqueness of the resource could be viewed as a strength.
  • A search for the number of visitors to Tape University uncovered data on the global ranking (1,635,786), the U.S. rank (466,509), the Heavy Industry and Engineering category rank (1,716), and information indicating that 75% of the traffic to the site came from searches while 25% came directly. However, no data on the number of visitors was available.
  • In 2018, the company increased the visibility of Shurmed Health by launching a website for the company. Formerly, Shurmed was Syntac Coated Products and the website launch introduced the brand as part of the Shurtape family, and highlighted its footprint in the medical tape industry.
  • Business North Carolina named Shurtape to the North Carolina Power 100 list, which identifies the most influential companies in the state. It was reported that Shurtape's 2017 revenue was $650 million, a record.
  • The company is growing and announced in late 2018 that they would be building a new distribution center in the Town of Catawba. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by 2022 and will add over 200 jobs to the town. However, updated reporting on the ground breaking of the new facility reported that about 100 new jobs are expected, which could indicate the company has pulled back from initial estimates for the facility.

Weaknesses

  • No weaknesses were found in the course of the research.

Opportunities

  • A market report on drivers in the adhesives and sealants market indicated that one of the key drivers in the market was an increased demand for bio-based products. A search of the Shurtape website did not uncover any bio-based products currently being manufactured. Therefore, expansion into this area is a potential opportunity for the company.
  • Asia-Pacific is responsible for more than a 50% share of the pressure sensitive tape market. Although Shurtape has offices in both China and Australia, it is unclear how much market share the company has in the region. Therefore, this region represents a possible growth opportunity.
  • A market report on pressure sensitive tape indicates that the growth in the electronics market due to "robotics & automation, virtual reality, IoT technology for household appliances, and rising demand for smart TV’s," is expected to lead to increased demand for pressure sensitive tape to protect the electronic components. Since Shurtape is already manufacturing solutions for this vertical, this provides an additional growth opportunity.
  • The pressure sensitive tape market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.1% until 2025. Part of this is being driven by the desire to make vehicles lighter by using tape instead of other fasteners and adhesives. It appears that Shurtape currently has limited product offerings in the auto vertical and this may provide a growth opportunity.

Threats

  • No threats were found in the course of the research.

Research Strategy

We utilized several strategies to uncover data on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Shurtape Technologies. Initially, we focused on company websites, social media, press releases, and annual reports. However, the company is private and did not publish an annual report. Additionally, the data from the website had mostly been presented in the initial hour of research so we wanted to move beyond that.

Next, we utilized a press search to uncover details on Shurtape. This included searches of general news sites such as PR Newswire and the Hickory Journal, as well as industry specific publications such as ASI. While this allowed us to find some additional strengths for the company, including details on the company building a new distribution center in NC, there was no information on any weaknesses or threats. Our search included looking for details on negative reporting, lawsuits, recent difficulties the company has had and more, but the results still focused on the positive aspects of the company.

Our final strategy was to examine the pressure sensitive tape market overall to uncover any trends or industry changes that would impact Shurtape. This allowed us to find details on market drivers, and regions that are leading the growth, and then tie that back to Shurtape which resulted in some opportunities.

None of these strategies uncovered any weaknesses for the company. Although it is likely there are weaknesses affecting the business, these may be kept private internally and since Shurtape is a private business, they are not required to disclose financial details that may provide additional insights. Also, none of the trends or drivers found for the industry seemed to be anything that would be a threat to Shurtape's current business model.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Gorilla Glue Company SWOT

Gorilla Glue is a family owned business based in Cincinnati, Ohio, that has been recognized four years running as a best place to work in the region. Although we were able to provide some relevant details for all areas of the SWOT analysis, data on weaknesses and threats, in particular, were limited.

About Gorilla Glue

  • The Gorilla Glue Company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gorilla Glue was the original product of the company, but they have since expanded into other glues, tapes, epoxies, sealants and adhesives.

Strengths

  • Recognized by the Cincinnati Enquirer as one of the best places to work for the last four years.
  • Gorilla Glue has found ways to expand the use of its products by partnering with other companies. For example, in late 2017, LP introduced a sub-floor that used Gorilla Glue technology. The ability to find new uses for its products and technology is a strength of the company.
  • In September 2017, Gorilla Glue won a court case against a cannabis company that had named one of its marijuana strains "Gorilla Glue." The cannabis company had to remove all references to Gorilla Glue by September 2018, and also has to turn over the website www.gorillaglue4.com by January 2020.
  • The company gives back to the community and makes sure they stay visible in the community. A recent example is when the employees spent a day cleaning up a park in the neighborhood the company got its start in.

Weaknesses

  • Gorilla Glue is a family business and co president Nick Ragland revealed that the company has had challenges with leadership and succession. Although the co president model has been working, there is a discussion about whether this is the best model moving forward or whether it is weakening the company's position.

Opportunities

  • A market report on drivers in the adhesives and sealants market indicated that one of the key drivers in the market was an increased demand for bio-based products. A search of the Gorilla Glue website did not uncover any bio-based products currently being manufactured. Therefore, expansion into this area is a potential opportunity for the company.
  • It appears that Gorilla Glue is a consumer facing company that does not offer specific industry related solutions. The growing need for duct tape in the auto industry, as well an increasing need for packing solutions in the food and beverage industry, provide an opportunity for the company to expand outside the consumer market and create more business solutions.

Threats

  • Based on the lawsuit Gorilla Glue won in 2017, they are awaiting the transfer of a website domain that needs to be accomplished by January 2020. Although there is still time for this to happen, the fact that the website transfer has not yet occurred means there is potential that Gorilla Glue will have to continue to fight the issue which could cost money.

Research Strategy

We utilized several strategies to uncover data on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Gorilla Glue. Initially, we focused on company websites, social media, press releases, and annual reports. However, the company is private and did not publish an annual report. The other sources uncovered details on the company's product offerings and its recognition as a best place to work, but did not provide any details on weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Next, we utilized a press search to uncover details on Gorilla Glue. This included searches of general news sites such as Business Wire and WLWT Cincinnati, as well as industry specific publications such as Adhesives.org and Rubber News. This allowed us to find information on Gorilla Glue giving back to the community and partnering with companies to expand its technology use, but these were both strengths. Our search included looking for details on negative reporting, lawsuits, recent difficulties the company has had and more, but the results still mainly focused on the positive aspects of the company.

Our final strategy was to examine the markets that Gorilla Glue operates in, including duct tape, and adhesives and sealants. The goal was to uncover any trends or industry changes that would impact Gorilla Glue. This allowed us to find details on market drivers which we were able to tie back to Gorilla Glue, which resulted in some opportunities.

The lack of publicly available information on threats and weaknesses are likely the result of Gorilla Glue being a private, family-owned business that prefers to keep the inner workings of the company private.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Flex Seal Products SWOT

Flex Seal Products is owned by Swift Response. Although we were able to find some strengths of the company, including viral YouTube videos and a website for direct to consumer sales, there was much less information available on weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

About Flex Seal Products

  • Flex Seal Products was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Weston, Florida. Flex Seal was the company's original product, but the product line has grown over the years to include Flex Seal Liquid, Flex Shot, Flex Tape and Flex Glue. The products focus on sealing, bonding, repairing, and caulking.
  • Additionally, the privacy policy and website terms and conditions on the Flex Seal website indicate that the company is owned by Swift Response LLC. Phil Swift is the CEO of Swift Response.

Strengths

  • Phil Swift stars in over the top videos which have large numbers of viewers on YouTube. For example, the Flex Glue ClearCommercial has over 3 million views on YouTube since it was published two months ago. There are many other videos with well over 1 million views which indicates that Phil Swift himself, along with his over the top behavior in the videos, is a strength of the company because it draws in viewers.
  • Flex Seal products has the "As Seen on TV" designation on its packaging, which has been shown in a study as being one of the more credible seals, according to consumers. That seems to show that the use of the seal is a strength of the company.
  • A paper published in 2018 found that seeing infomercials had a positive impact on the purchasing behaviors of consumers in Pakistan. The main reasons for this is that consumers can easily learn about the product and do not have to leave the house in order to make a purchase. The positive impact of infomercials is a strength for Flex Seal since it is a primary advertising method of the company.
  • Flex Seal has a website where consumers can buy their products directly. This gives the company the freedom to price the products as they like.
  • There are many Flex Seal products on Amazon and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. This shows that consumers have a positive view of the company's products which is a strength.

Weaknesses

  • No weaknesses were found in the course of the research.

Opportunities

  • Although it is unclear where Flex Seal is currently available outside of the U.S., the company has a form on their website to allow potential international distributors to reach out. This seems to indicate the company has room to increase its distribution internationally.
  • A market report on drivers in the adhesives and sealants market indicated that one of the key drivers in the market was an increased demand for bio-based products. A search of the Flex Seal website did not uncover any bio-based products currently being sold. Therefore, expansion into this area is a potential opportunity for the company.

Threats

  • In an example of bad press by association, scammers in the UK were claiming they could repair roofs for the elderly by using Flex Seal. The people would make price claims and then when the work was completed, the price would increase dramatically and the repairs would not be effective. Although Flex Seal does not have any part in this, having their name associated with the scam could be bad for business.

Research Strategy

We utilized several strategies to uncover data on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Flex Seal and its parent company, Swift Response. Initially, we focused on company websites, social media, press releases, and annual reports. However, the company is private and did not publish an annual report. Additionally, the only website found is a consumer facing retail site for the Flex Seal products. There was no separate website for Swift Response.

Next, we utilized a press search to uncover details on Flex Seal. This included searches of general news sites such as South Florida Journal and Hypertext, as well as industry specific publications such as Adhesives.org and Rubber News. This allowed us to find information on a new product release and a new infomercial, but most of the stories found were related to memes associated with Swift's advertising style and Flex Seal's conference participation.

As a final strategy, we examined the adhesives and sealants market overall to uncover any trends or industry changes that would impact Flex Seal. This allowed us to find details on market drivers and regions that are leading the growth, and then tie that back to Flex Seal. This strategy successfully found an additional opportunity for the company, but did not help with weaknesses or threats.

None of these strategies uncovered any weaknesses for the company. Although it is likely there are weaknesses affecting the business, these may be kept private internally and since the Flex Seal is private, they are not required to disclose financial details that may provide additional insights.
Sources
Sources