XiDeLang (XIDE) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for XiDeLang (Malaysia)

Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , XiDeLang is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing commodity prices, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing transportation and logistics costs, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, etc

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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of XiDeLang

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

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

The strengths of XiDeLang are -

Ability to recruit top talent

– XiDeLang is one of the leading players in the Footwear industry in Malaysia. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Malaysia. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Innovation driven organization

– XiDeLang is one of the most innovative firm in Footwear sector.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of XiDeLang in Footwear industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Diverse revenue streams

– XiDeLang is present in almost all the verticals within the Footwear industry. This has provided XiDeLang 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Footwear industry

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

High brand equity

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Training and development

– XiDeLang has one of the best training and development program in Consumer Cyclical 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the XiDeLang 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.

Organizational Resilience of XiDeLang

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

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

The weaknesses of XiDeLang are -

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, XiDeLang 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Malaysia, XiDeLang needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, XiDeLang has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Footwear industry over the last five years. XiDeLang even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of XiDeLang, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Footwear 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.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

High dependence on XiDeLang ‘s star products

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

Employees’ less understanding of XiDeLang strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of XiDeLang 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 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 XiDeLang supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, XiDeLang is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left XiDeLang vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Need for greater diversity

– XiDeLang 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.

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

The opportunities of XiDeLang are -

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help XiDeLang to increase its market reach. XiDeLang 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for XiDeLang 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.

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

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Low interest rates

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

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

Manufacturing automation

– XiDeLang can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Footwear 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Footwear industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. XiDeLang 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. XiDeLang 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at XiDeLang 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 Footwear industry.

Developing new processes and practices

– XiDeLang can develop new processes and procedures in Footwear 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

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

The threats of XiDeLang are -

Learning curve for new practices

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

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.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for XiDeLang in Footwear industry. The Footwear 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.

Increasing wage structure of XiDeLang

– 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 XiDeLang.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Consumer confidence and its impact on XiDeLang 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 Footwear industry and other sectors.

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

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 XiDeLang in the Footwear sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

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 XiDeLang.

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. XiDeLang needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Footwear industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– XiDeLang 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 Footwear industry.

Easy access to finance

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

Weighted SWOT Analysis of XiDeLang Template, Example

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

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