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Black Cat Syndicate (BC8) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Black Cat Syndicate (Australia)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Black Cat Syndicate is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing energy prices, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, geopolitical disruptions, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , wage bills are increasing, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Black Cat Syndicate


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




Strengths of Black Cat Syndicate | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Black Cat Syndicate are -

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Gold & Silver industry

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

Digital Transformation in Gold & Silver industry

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

Innovation driven organization

– Black Cat Syndicate is one of the most innovative firm in Gold & Silver sector.

Analytics focus

– Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry. The technology infrastructure of Australia 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Black Cat Syndicate is present in almost all the verticals within the Gold & Silver industry. This has provided Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Learning organization

- Black Cat Syndicate 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 Black Cat Syndicate is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Black Cat Syndicate emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Black Cat Syndicate is one of the leading players in the Gold & Silver industry in Australia. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Australia. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Strong track record of project management in the Gold & Silver industry

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Black Cat Syndicate comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Gold & Silver 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.






Weaknesses of Black Cat Syndicate | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Black Cat Syndicate are -

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Black Cat Syndicate needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Gold & Silver industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Black Cat Syndicate can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Black Cat Syndicate is planning to shift buying processes online.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Black Cat Syndicate, in the dynamic environment of Gold & Silver industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Black Cat Syndicate has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry using digital technology.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Black Cat Syndicate has high operating costs in the Gold & Silver industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Black Cat Syndicate lucrative customers.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Black Cat Syndicate supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Black Cat Syndicate is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Black Cat Syndicate vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Gold & Silver industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Australia, Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Black Cat Syndicate is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Black Cat Syndicate to provide better information regarding Gold & Silver products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Australia, Black Cat Syndicate needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Products dominated business model

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Black Cat Syndicate is just above the Gold & Silver 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.




Black Cat Syndicate Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Black Cat Syndicate are -

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry.

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 Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Black Cat Syndicate can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Black Cat Syndicate to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Gold & Silver industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Black Cat Syndicate in the Gold & Silver industry. Now Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Black Cat Syndicate can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Developing new processes and practices

– Black Cat Syndicate can develop new processes and procedures in Gold & Silver 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.

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. Black Cat Syndicate can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Black Cat Syndicate can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Black Cat Syndicate operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Gold & Silver sector.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Black Cat Syndicate has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Gold & Silver industry. This can help Black Cat Syndicate to build a more holistic ecosystem for Black Cat Syndicate products in the Gold & Silver industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Manufacturing automation

– Black Cat Syndicate can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Gold & Silver 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.




Threats Black Cat Syndicate External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Black Cat Syndicate are -

Regulatory challenges

– Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver industry regulations.

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. Black Cat Syndicate needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Gold & Silver industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Black Cat Syndicate 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.

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 Black Cat Syndicate in the Gold & Silver sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Black Cat Syndicate 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 Gold & Silver 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. Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Environmental challenges

– Black Cat Syndicate 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. Black Cat Syndicate can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Gold & Silver industry.

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 Black Cat Syndicate.

Increasing wage structure of Black Cat Syndicate

– 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 Black Cat Syndicate.

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 Black Cat Syndicate business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Black Cat Syndicate 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 Black Cat Syndicate 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.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Black Cat Syndicate may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Gold & Silver sector.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Black Cat Syndicate Template, Example


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



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