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Versatile Creative Bhd (VSTL) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Versatile Creative Bhd (Malaysia)


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



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Versatile Creative Bhd


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




Strengths of Versatile Creative Bhd | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Versatile Creative Bhd are -

Ability to lead change in Paper & Paper Products

– Versatile Creative Bhd is one of the leading players in the Paper & Paper Products industry in Malaysia. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Paper & Paper Products industry in Malaysia but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Versatile Creative Bhd in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Versatile Creative Bhd is one of the leading players in the Paper & Paper Products 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.

Training and development

– Versatile Creative Bhd has one of the best training and development program in Basic Materials 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.

Digital Transformation in Paper & Paper Products industry

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Paper & Paper Products industry

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Versatile Creative Bhd comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Paper & Paper Products 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.

High brand equity

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Organizational Resilience of Versatile Creative Bhd

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

Learning organization

- Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Versatile Creative Bhd is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Versatile Creative Bhd emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.






Weaknesses of Versatile Creative Bhd | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Versatile Creative Bhd are -

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Versatile Creative Bhd, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Paper & Paper Products 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.

High dependence on Versatile Creative Bhd ‘s star products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry using digital technology.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Versatile Creative Bhd is just above the Paper & Paper Products 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Skills based hiring in Paper & Paper Products industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Versatile Creative Bhd 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.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Paper & Paper Products industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Malaysia, Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry.

Ability to respond to the competition

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

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 Versatile Creative Bhd supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Versatile Creative Bhd is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Versatile Creative Bhd vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Versatile Creative Bhd has high operating costs in the Paper & Paper Products industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Versatile Creative Bhd lucrative customers.

Lack of clear differentiation of Versatile Creative Bhd products

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




Versatile Creative Bhd Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Versatile Creative Bhd are -

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Versatile Creative Bhd 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.

Manufacturing automation

– Versatile Creative Bhd can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Paper & Paper Products 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Versatile Creative Bhd in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Paper & Paper Products industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

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 Versatile Creative Bhd 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.

Better consumer reach

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Buying journey improvements

– Versatile Creative Bhd can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Paper & Paper Products 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Versatile Creative Bhd 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Paper & Paper Products industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Versatile Creative Bhd 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. Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry.

Reforming the budgeting process

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

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. Versatile Creative Bhd can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.




Threats Versatile Creative Bhd External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Versatile Creative Bhd are -

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Versatile Creative Bhd in Paper & Paper Products industry. The Paper & Paper Products 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.

Learning curve for new practices

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

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 Versatile Creative Bhd.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Versatile Creative Bhd 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.

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.

Easy access to finance

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

Consumer confidence and its impact on Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry and other sectors.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Versatile Creative Bhd is facing in Paper & Paper Products sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Regulatory challenges

– Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry regulations.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Paper & Paper Products industry.

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. Versatile Creative Bhd needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Paper & Paper Products 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, Versatile Creative Bhd 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 Versatile Creative Bhd prominent markets.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Versatile Creative Bhd Template, Example


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



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