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Barnes (B) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Barnes (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Barnes is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing commodity prices, wage bills are increasing, geopolitical disruptions, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, technology disruption, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing transportation and logistics costs, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Barnes


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




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

The strengths of Barnes are -

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Barnes 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.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Strong track record of project management in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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

Superior customer experience

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

Innovation driven organization

– Barnes is one of the most innovative firm in Misc. Fabricated Products sector.

Digital Transformation in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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

High brand equity

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Barnes is present in almost all the verticals within the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This has provided Barnes 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.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Barnes comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Misc. Fabricated 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.

Training and development

– Barnes 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.






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

The weaknesses of Barnes are -

High dependence on Barnes ‘s star products

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Products dominated business model

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

Ability to respond to the competition

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

High bargaining power of channel partners in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Barnes 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry.

Lack of clear differentiation of Barnes products

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

Skills based hiring in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Barnes 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.

Aligning sales with marketing

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

Employees’ less understanding of Barnes strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Barnes 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.

Need for greater diversity

– Barnes 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Barnes 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.




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


The opportunities of Barnes are -

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Barnes 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 Barnes to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Manufacturing automation

– Barnes can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Misc. Fabricated 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– Barnes can develop new processes and procedures in Misc. Fabricated Products 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, Barnes 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

Increase in government spending

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Misc. Fabricated Products industry

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Barnes 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 Barnes External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Barnes are -

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Barnes has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Barnes needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Misc. Fabricated Products 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.

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

Regulatory challenges

– Barnes 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry regulations.

Easy access to finance

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

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Barnes 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.

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. Barnes needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Misc. Fabricated Products industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Barnes 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 Misc. Fabricated Products industry and other sectors.

Environmental challenges

– Barnes 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. Barnes can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Misc. Fabricated Products 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 Barnes.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Barnes is facing in Misc. Fabricated Products sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Barnes in Misc. Fabricated Products industry. The Misc. Fabricated 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.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Barnes Template, Example


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



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