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Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Agnico Eagle Mines (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Agnico Eagle Mines is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing household debt because of falling income levels, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, geopolitical disruptions, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing energy prices, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Agnico Eagle Mines


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




Strengths of Agnico Eagle Mines | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Agnico Eagle Mines are -

Organizational Resilience of Agnico Eagle Mines

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

Successful track record of launching new products

– Agnico Eagle Mines has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Agnico Eagle Mines 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 Agnico Eagle Mines in Gold & Silver industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Training and development

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Gold & Silver industry

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Agnico Eagle Mines is present in almost all the verticals within the Gold & Silver industry. This has provided Agnico Eagle Mines 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)

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Innovation driven organization

– Agnico Eagle Mines is one of the most innovative firm in Gold & Silver sector.

Analytics focus

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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 Canada 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.

Learning organization

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






Weaknesses of Agnico Eagle Mines | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Agnico Eagle Mines are -

Lack of clear differentiation of Agnico Eagle Mines products

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

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Agnico Eagle Mines has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Gold & Silver industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Agnico Eagle Mines is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Agnico Eagle Mines to provide better information regarding Gold & Silver products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential 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 Agnico Eagle Mines supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Agnico Eagle Mines is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Agnico Eagle Mines vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Need for greater diversity

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Products dominated business model

– Even though Agnico Eagle Mines 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. Agnico Eagle Mines should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Employees’ less understanding of Agnico Eagle Mines strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Agnico Eagle Mines, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Gold & Silver 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.




Agnico Eagle Mines Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Agnico Eagle Mines are -

Developing new processes and practices

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Increase in government spending

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Agnico Eagle Mines can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Gold & Silver 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Better consumer reach

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

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. Agnico Eagle Mines can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Agnico Eagle Mines in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Gold & Silver industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

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. Agnico Eagle Mines can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Agnico Eagle Mines has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Gold & Silver industry. This can help Agnico Eagle Mines to build a more holistic ecosystem for Agnico Eagle Mines products in the Gold & Silver 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 Agnico Eagle Mines 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.




Threats Agnico Eagle Mines External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Agnico Eagle Mines are -

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. Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Agnico Eagle Mines 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 Agnico Eagle Mines prominent markets.

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.

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 Agnico Eagle Mines in the Gold & Silver sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Increasing wage structure of Agnico Eagle Mines

– 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 Agnico Eagle Mines.

Environmental challenges

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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. Agnico Eagle Mines can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Gold & Silver industry.

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 Agnico Eagle Mines business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Agnico Eagle Mines in Gold & Silver industry. The Gold & Silver 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.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Agnico Eagle Mines has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Gold & Silver industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Agnico Eagle Mines needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Gold & Silver 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.

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.

Easy access to finance

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

Regulatory challenges

– Agnico Eagle Mines 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.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Agnico Eagle Mines Template, Example


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



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