Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for J Trust (Japan)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , J Trust is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing energy prices, increasing transportation and logistics costs, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google,
banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, etc
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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of J Trust
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that J Trust can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the J Trust, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which J Trust 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 J Trust can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of J Trust
2. Improving business portfolio management of J Trust
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Japan
4. Making a Consumer Financial Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of J Trust
Strengths of J Trust | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of J Trust are -
Ability to recruit top talent
– J Trust is one of the leading players in the Consumer Financial Services industry in Japan. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Japan. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Diverse revenue streams
– J Trust is present in almost all the verticals within the Consumer Financial Services industry. This has provided J Trust 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.
Organizational Resilience of J Trust
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing J Trust does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
Successful track record of launching new products
– J Trust has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. J Trust 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.
Strong track record of project management in the Consumer Financial Services industry
– J Trust is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.
Highly skilled collaborators
– J Trust has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Consumer Financial Services industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of J Trust have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the J Trust 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.
– The operational resilience strategy of J Trust comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Consumer Financial Services industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of J Trust in the Financial sector have low bargaining power. J Trust has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps J Trust to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Innovation driven organization
– J Trust is one of the most innovative firm in Consumer Financial Services sector.
Effective Research and Development (R&D)
– J Trust has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – J Trust staying ahead in the Consumer Financial Services industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.
Digital Transformation in Consumer Financial Services industry
- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For J Trust digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. J Trust 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.
Weaknesses of J Trust | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of J Trust are -
Employees’ less understanding of J Trust strategy
– From the outside it seems that the employees of J Trust 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.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
J Trust has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Consumer Financial Services industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of Japan, J Trust needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As J Trust is one of the leading players in the Consumer Financial Services industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Consumer Financial Services industry in last five years.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of J Trust, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Consumer Financial Services 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.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that J Trust needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Consumer Financial Services industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at J Trust can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as J Trust is planning to shift buying processes online.
High dependence on J Trust ‘s star products
– The top 2 products and services of J Trust still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Consumer Financial Services industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though J Trust has relatively successful track record of launching new products.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, J Trust has high operating costs in the Consumer Financial Services industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract J Trust lucrative customers.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of J Trust is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Consumer Financial Services industry, but J Trust needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help J Trust to focus more on services in the Consumer Financial Services industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Need for greater diversity
– J Trust 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.
Skills based hiring in Consumer Financial Services industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at J Trust has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.
J Trust Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of J Trust are -
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– J Trust has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Consumer Financial Services sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled J Trust to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help J Trust to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Developing new processes and practices
– J Trust can develop new processes and procedures in Consumer Financial Services 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.
Low interest rates
– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, J Trust 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.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Consumer Financial Services industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. J Trust can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
– J Trust can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Consumer Financial Services 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.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects J Trust can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Leveraging digital technologies
– J Trust 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.
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. J Trust can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at J Trust 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 Consumer Financial Services industry.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for J Trust 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 J Trust to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
Buying journey improvements
– J Trust can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Consumer Financial Services 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.
– J Trust 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.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for J Trust 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.
Threats J Trust External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of J Trust are -
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 J Trust 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, J Trust may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Consumer Financial Services sector.
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.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for J Trust in Consumer Financial Services industry. The Consumer Financial Services 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.
– 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.
– J Trust 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. J Trust can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Consumer Financial Services industry.
Consumer confidence and its impact on J Trust demand
– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Consumer Financial Services industry and other sectors.
Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins
– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, J Trust 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 J Trust prominent markets.
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. J Trust needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Consumer Financial Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– J Trust has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Consumer Financial Services industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, J Trust needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Consumer Financial Services 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.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Consumer Financial Services industry are lowering. It can presents J Trust with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Consumer Financial Services sector.
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that J Trust is facing in Consumer Financial Services sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– J Trust 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.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of J Trust Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at J Trust 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 J Trust 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 J Trust 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 J Trust 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 J Trust needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.