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HLH Group (HONL) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for HLH Group (Singapore)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , HLH Group is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – geopolitical disruptions, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, increasing transportation and logistics costs, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of HLH Group


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




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

The strengths of HLH Group are -

Learning organization

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

Organizational Resilience of HLH Group

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Diverse revenue streams

– HLH Group is present in almost all the verticals within the Crops industry. This has provided HLH Group 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.

Innovation driven organization

– HLH Group is one of the most innovative firm in Crops sector.

Analytics focus

– HLH Group 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 Crops industry. The technology infrastructure of Singapore 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

High brand equity

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

Ability to lead change in Crops

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of HLH Group comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Crops 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.

Superior customer experience

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






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

The weaknesses of HLH Group are -

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, HLH Group 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 dependence on HLH Group ‘s star products

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of HLH Group is just above the Crops 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Crops industry, HLH Group needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Lack of clear differentiation of HLH Group products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, HLH Group 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 Crops industry using digital technology.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, HLH Group has high operating costs in the Crops industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract HLH Group lucrative customers.

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Low market penetration in new markets

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

Need for greater diversity

– HLH Group 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.

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




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


The opportunities of HLH Group are -

Leveraging digital technologies

– HLH Group 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Increase in government spending

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

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 HLH Group 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

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

Loyalty marketing

– HLH Group 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.

Buying journey improvements

– HLH Group can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Crops 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for HLH Group 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 HLH Group to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for HLH Group 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

Manufacturing automation

– HLH Group can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Crops 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– HLH Group can develop new processes and procedures in Crops 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.




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


The threats of HLH Group are -

Increasing wage structure of HLH Group

– 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 HLH Group.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– HLH Group has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Crops industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, HLH Group needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Crops 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on HLH Group 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 Crops industry and other sectors.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for HLH Group in Crops industry. The Crops 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.

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. HLH Group 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.

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

Easy access to finance

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

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 HLH Group in the Crops sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Learning curve for new practices

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

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. HLH Group needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Crops industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of HLH Group Template, Example


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



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