SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Churchill Downs (United States)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Churchill Downs is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, geopolitical disruptions, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing commodity prices, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%,
central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Churchill Downs can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Churchill Downs, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Churchill Downs
2. Improving business portfolio management of Churchill Downs
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United States
4. Making a Recreational Activities sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Churchill Downs
Strengths of Churchill Downs | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Churchill Downs are -
Organizational Resilience of Churchill Downs
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Churchill Downs does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
High brand equity
– Churchill Downs has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Churchill Downs to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.
Superior customer experience
– The customer experience strategy of Churchill Downs in Recreational Activities industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Churchill Downs has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Churchill Downs 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.
Highly skilled collaborators
– Churchill Downs has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Recreational Activities industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Churchill Downs have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Churchill Downs is one of the leading players in the Recreational Activities industry in United States. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United States. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Ability to lead change in Recreational Activities
– Churchill Downs is one of the leading players in the Recreational Activities industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Recreational Activities industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Churchill Downs in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
– The operational resilience strategy of Churchill Downs comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Recreational Activities 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.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of Churchill Downs in the Services sector have low bargaining power. Churchill Downs has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Churchill Downs to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Recreational Activities industry
– Churchill Downs has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Churchill Downs to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Recreational Activities industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Churchill Downs to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
– Churchill Downs 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 Recreational Activities industry. The technology infrastructure of United States 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.
- Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Churchill Downs emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
Weaknesses of Churchill Downs | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Churchill Downs are -
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that Churchill Downs needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Recreational Activities industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Churchill Downs can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Churchill Downs is planning to shift buying processes online.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Churchill Downs is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Churchill Downs to provide better information regarding Recreational Activities products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Churchill Downs 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 Recreational Activities industry using digital technology.
Workers concerns about automation
– As automation is fast increasing in the Recreational Activities industry, Churchill Downs 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.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Churchill Downs is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Recreational Activities industry, but Churchill Downs needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Churchill Downs to focus more on services in the Recreational Activities industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Lack of clear differentiation of Churchill Downs products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Churchill Downs needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
High dependence on Churchill Downs ‘s star products
– The top 2 products and services of Churchill Downs still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Recreational Activities industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Churchill Downs has relatively successful track record of launching new products.
Skills based hiring in Recreational Activities industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Churchill Downs 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.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As Churchill Downs is one of the leading players in the Recreational Activities industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Recreational Activities industry in last five years.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, Churchill Downs has high operating costs in the Recreational Activities industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Churchill Downs lucrative customers.
Compensation and incentives
– The revenue per employee of Churchill Downs is just above the Recreational Activities 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.
Churchill Downs Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Churchill Downs are -
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Churchill Downs 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. Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Recreational Activities industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
– Churchill Downs 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.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Churchill Downs 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.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
– Churchill Downs can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Recreational Activities 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
– Churchill Downs can develop new processes and procedures in Recreational Activities 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.
Buying journey improvements
– Churchill Downs can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Recreational Activities 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.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Recreational Activities industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Churchill Downs in the Recreational Activities industry. Now Churchill Downs can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Creating value in data economy
– The success of analytics program of Churchill Downs has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Recreational Activities industry. This can help Churchill Downs to build a more holistic ecosystem for Churchill Downs products in the Recreational Activities industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Churchill Downs is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Churchill Downs can utilize new technology in the field of Recreational Activities industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Threats Churchill Downs External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Churchill Downs are -
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Recreational Activities industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Churchill Downs can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
– 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.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Churchill Downs may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Recreational Activities sector.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Churchill Downs 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.
Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution
– Churchill Downs has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Recreational Activities industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Churchill Downs needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Recreational Activities 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 Churchill Downs 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 Recreational Activities 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 Churchill Downs in Recreational Activities industry. The Recreational Activities 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
– Churchill Downs 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 Recreational Activities industry.
– Churchill Downs 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. Churchill Downs can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Recreational Activities 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 Churchill Downs.
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.
– Churchill Downs 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 Recreational Activities industry regulations.
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 Churchill Downs business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Churchill Downs Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs 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 Churchill Downs needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.