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The Big Easy, Not So Easy SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

Case Study SWOT Analysis Solution

Case Study Description of The Big Easy, Not So Easy


Enterprise Community Partners must determine whether to rebuild the Lafitte housing projects in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, and if so, how to mitigate the risks. Set in January 2007, more than a year after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the case examines how Enterprise has a number of environmental, contractual, reputational, and legal risks to overcome in making the project a success. Given these risks, Enterprise is unsure whether to rebuild in New Orleans at all, and whether to renovate the site or redevelop it into a mixed-income community.

Authors :: Nicolas P. Retsinas, Arthur I Segel, Ben Creo

Topics :: Finance & Accounting

Tags :: Emerging markets, Project management, Public relations, Risk management, SWOT Analysis, SWOT Matrix, TOWS, Weighted SWOT Analysis

Swot Analysis of "The Big Easy, Not So Easy" written by Nicolas P. Retsinas, Arthur I Segel, Ben Creo includes – strengths weakness that are internal strategic factors of the organization, and opportunities and threats that Orleans Hurricane facing as an external strategic factors. Some of the topics covered in The Big Easy, Not So Easy case study are - Strategic Management Strategies, Emerging markets, Project management, Public relations, Risk management and Finance & Accounting.


Some of the macro environment factors that can be used to understand the The Big Easy, Not So Easy casestudy better are - – banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, wage bills are increasing, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of The Big Easy, Not So Easy


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University , we believe that protagonist in The Big Easy, Not So Easy case study can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Orleans Hurricane, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Orleans Hurricane operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of The Big Easy, Not So Easy can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning using facts provided in The Big Easy, Not So Easy case study
2. Improving business portfolio management of Orleans Hurricane
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Finance & Accounting field.
4. Making a Finance & Accounting topic specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Orleans Hurricane




Strengths The Big Easy, Not So Easy | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Orleans Hurricane in The Big Easy, Not So Easy Harvard Business Review case study are -

Highly skilled collaborators

– Orleans Hurricane has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive segment. Secondly the value chain collaborators of the firm in The Big Easy, Not So Easy HBR case study have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Digital Transformation in Finance & Accounting segment

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Orleans Hurricane digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Orleans Hurricane has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Orleans Hurricane has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Orleans Hurricane has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Orleans Hurricane is one of the leading recruiters in the industry. Managers in the The Big Easy, Not So Easy are in a position to attract the best talent available. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Finance & Accounting industry

– The Big Easy, Not So Easy firm has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Orleans Hurricane to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Finance & Accounting industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Orleans Hurricane to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Orleans Hurricane in the segment is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Orleans Hurricane has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in, as mentioned in case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy - staying ahead in the industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Innovation driven organization

– Orleans Hurricane is one of the most innovative firm in sector. Manager in The Big Easy, Not So Easy Harvard Business Review case study can use Clayton Christensen Disruptive Innovation strategies to further increase the scale of innovtions in the organization.

Organizational Resilience of Orleans Hurricane

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing that Orleans Hurricane does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Orleans Hurricane are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Orleans Hurricane in the sector have low bargaining power. The Big Easy, Not So Easy has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Orleans Hurricane to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Strong track record of project management

– Orleans Hurricane is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.






Weaknesses The Big Easy, Not So Easy | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of The Big Easy, Not So Easy are -

High bargaining power of channel partners

– Because of the regulatory requirements, Nicolas P. Retsinas, Arthur I Segel, Ben Creo suggests that, Orleans Hurricane is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the industry.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Orleans Hurricane has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As The Big Easy, Not So Easy HBR case study mentions - Orleans Hurricane takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the industry in last five years.

Lack of clear differentiation of Orleans Hurricane products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Orleans Hurricane needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

Employees’ incomplete understanding of strategy

– From the instances in the HBR case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy, it seems that the employees of Orleans Hurricane don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Orleans Hurricane is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication mentioned in marketing section of case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy can help to provide better information regarding products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

No frontier risks strategy

– After analyzing the HBR case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy, it seems that company is thinking about the frontier risks that can impact Finance & Accounting strategy. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the segment, Orleans Hurricane needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Need for greater diversity

– Orleans Hurricane has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Orleans Hurricane has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the industry using digital technology.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative, highlighted in the case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy, in the dynamic environment Orleans Hurricane has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Orleans Hurricane has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.




Opportunities The Big Easy, Not So Easy | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities highlighted in the Harvard Business Review case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy are -

Buying journey improvements

– Orleans Hurricane can improve the customer journey of consumers in the industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. The Big Easy, Not So Easy suggest that firm can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Orleans Hurricane in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Finance & Accounting segment, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Orleans Hurricane to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Orleans Hurricane has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in the sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled, as illustrated in the Harvard case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy - to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Orleans Hurricane to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– Consumer behavior has changed in the Finance & Accounting industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Orleans Hurricane can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Orleans Hurricane can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Developing new processes and practices

– Orleans Hurricane can develop new processes and procedures in Finance & Accounting industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Orleans Hurricane can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Orleans Hurricane can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Orleans Hurricane to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Orleans Hurricane to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Orleans Hurricane can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Orleans Hurricane is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. The Big Easy, Not So Easy case study suggests that firm can utilize new technology to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Orleans Hurricane can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Orleans Hurricane to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.




Threats The Big Easy, Not So Easy External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats mentioned in the HBR case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy are -

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Orleans Hurricane will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Orleans Hurricane in the Finance & Accounting industry. The Finance & Accounting industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Orleans Hurricane needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Finance & Accounting industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Environmental challenges

– Orleans Hurricane needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Orleans Hurricane can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Finance & Accounting industry.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Orleans Hurricane high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Orleans Hurricane can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the field.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry in the industry are lowering. It can presents Orleans Hurricane with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the sector.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Orleans Hurricane can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate prominent markets illustrated in HBR case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy .

Regulatory challenges

– Orleans Hurricane needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Finance & Accounting industry regulations.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Orleans Hurricane business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, as highlighted in case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy, Orleans Hurricane may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Finance & Accounting .

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Orleans Hurricane.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of The Big Easy, Not So Easy Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers in the HBR case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of the case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of the Harvard case study The Big Easy, Not So Easy is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of The Big Easy, Not So Easy is to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Orleans Hurricane needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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