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Zensho Holdings Co Ltd (7550) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Zensho Holdings Co Ltd (Japan)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, increasing transportation and logistics costs, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, technology disruption, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd


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




Strengths of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd are -

Training and development

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Ability to lead change in Restaurants

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is one of the leading players in the Restaurants industry in Japan. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Restaurants industry in Japan but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Zensho Holdings Co Ltd in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Organizational Resilience of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is present in almost all the verticals within the Restaurants industry. This has provided Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd in Restaurants industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Zensho Holdings Co Ltd has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

High brand equity

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

Analytics focus

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Restaurants industry. The technology infrastructure of Japan is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Restaurants industry

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.






Weaknesses of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd are -

Employees’ less understanding of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Restaurants industry, but Zensho Holdings Co Ltd needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Zensho Holdings Co Ltd to focus more on services in the Restaurants industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is one of the leading players in the Restaurants industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Restaurants industry in last five years.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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 Restaurants industry using digital technology.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Restaurants industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Japan, Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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 Restaurants industry.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Zensho Holdings Co Ltd needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Restaurants industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is planning to shift buying processes online.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Zensho Holdings Co Ltd has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Restaurants industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

High dependence on Zensho Holdings Co Ltd ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Restaurants industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Zensho Holdings Co Ltd has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Zensho Holdings Co Ltd, in the dynamic environment of Restaurants industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd is just above the Restaurants 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.




Zensho Holdings Co Ltd Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd are -

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Restaurants industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Loyalty marketing

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Zensho Holdings Co Ltd to increase its market reach. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

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. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can develop new processes and procedures in Restaurants 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Zensho Holdings Co Ltd in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Restaurants industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Restaurants industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Zensho Holdings Co Ltd in the Restaurants industry. Now Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Restaurants industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Restaurants industry.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Restaurants industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It 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.




Threats Zensho Holdings Co Ltd External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd are -

Environmental challenges

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Restaurants industry.

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.

Regulatory challenges

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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 Restaurants industry regulations.

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 Zensho Holdings Co Ltd.

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 Zensho Holdings Co Ltd business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

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.

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. Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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.

Easy access to finance

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

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Zensho Holdings Co Ltd may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Restaurants sector.

Increasing wage structure of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd

– 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 Zensho Holdings Co Ltd.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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

– Zensho Holdings Co Ltd 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 Restaurants industry.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Zensho Holdings Co Ltd Template, Example


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



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