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Trent (TREN) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Trent (India)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Trent is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, geopolitical disruptions, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, technology disruption, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, there is backlash against globalization, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Trent


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Trent can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Trent, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Trent 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 Trent can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Trent
2. Improving business portfolio management of Trent
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in India
4. Making a Retail (Apparel) sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Trent




Strengths of Trent | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Trent are -

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Trent 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Trent is present in almost all the verticals within the Retail (Apparel) industry. This has provided Trent a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Digital Transformation in Retail (Apparel) industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Trent digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Trent 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Retail (Apparel) industry

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Trent has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Trent staying ahead in the Retail (Apparel) industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Learning organization

- Trent is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Trent is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Trent emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Trent has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Trent 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.

High brand equity

– Trent has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Trent to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Trent has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Retail (Apparel) industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Trent have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Training and development

– Trent has one of the best training and development program in Services industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Retail (Apparel) industry

– Trent has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Trent to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Retail (Apparel) industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Trent to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.






Weaknesses of Trent | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Trent are -

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Trent 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 Retail (Apparel) industry using digital technology.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Trent has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Retail (Apparel) industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Trent has some of the most successful models in the Retail (Apparel) industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Trent should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Trent has high operating costs in the Retail (Apparel) industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Trent lucrative customers.

Need for greater diversity

– Trent 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Trent, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Retail (Apparel) industry. 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.

Lack of clear differentiation of Trent products

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Trent is just above the Retail (Apparel) industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

High dependence on Trent ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Trent still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Retail (Apparel) industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Trent has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Trent, in the dynamic environment of Retail (Apparel) industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Trent has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Trent 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.




Trent Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Trent are -

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Trent 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.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Trent 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.

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Trent has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Retail (Apparel) sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Trent to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Trent to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Trent 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 Trent to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Trent has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Retail (Apparel) industry. This can help Trent to build a more holistic ecosystem for Trent products in the Retail (Apparel) industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

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. Trent can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Trent in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Retail (Apparel) industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Trent is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Trent can utilize new technology in the field of Retail (Apparel) industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Manufacturing automation

– Trent can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Retail (Apparel) sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Trent to increase its market reach. Trent will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Retail (Apparel) industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Trent in the Retail (Apparel) industry. Now Trent can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Trent can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Trent operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Retail (Apparel) sector.




Threats Trent External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Trent are -

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Trent in the Retail (Apparel) sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Trent in Retail (Apparel) industry. The Retail (Apparel) 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. Trent needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Retail (Apparel) industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

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 Trent business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Increasing wage structure of Trent

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Trent.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Trent has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Retail (Apparel) industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Trent needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Retail (Apparel) sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Trent 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 Trent prominent markets.

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.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Retail (Apparel) industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Trent can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Environmental challenges

– Trent 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. Trent can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Retail (Apparel) industry.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Trent 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 Retail (Apparel) industry.

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. Trent 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.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Trent Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Trent 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 Trent 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 Trent 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 Trent 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 Trent needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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