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Carriage Services (CSV) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Carriage Services (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Carriage Services is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing energy prices, wage bills are increasing, 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, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Carriage Services


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




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

The strengths of Carriage Services are -

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Analytics focus

– Carriage Services 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 Personal Services 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.

High brand equity

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Carriage Services is one of the leading players in the Personal Services 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.

Training and development

– Carriage Services has one of the best training and development program in Services 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.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Carriage Services is present in almost all the verticals within the Personal Services industry. This has provided Carriage Services 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.

Superior customer experience

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

Digital Transformation in Personal Services industry

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

Learning organization

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Carriage Services comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Personal Services 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Carriage Services 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.






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

The weaknesses of Carriage Services are -

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Carriage Services has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Personal Services industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Need for greater diversity

– Carriage Services 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 operating costs

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

Lack of clear differentiation of Carriage Services products

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Carriage Services is just above the Personal Services 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Carriage Services strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Carriage Services 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Personal Services industry, Carriage Services 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Carriage Services, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Personal Services 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United States, Carriage Services needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

High dependence on Carriage Services ‘s star products

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




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


The opportunities of Carriage Services are -

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

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. Carriage Services can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

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 Carriage Services 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Carriage Services 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Carriage Services to increase its market reach. Carriage Services 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.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Carriage Services has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Personal Services industry. This can help Carriage Services to build a more holistic ecosystem for Carriage Services products in the Personal Services 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 Personal Services industry

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Carriage Services 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Carriage Services in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Personal Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Loyalty marketing

– Carriage Services 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.




Threats Carriage Services External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Carriage Services are -

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.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Environmental challenges

– Carriage Services 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. Carriage Services can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Personal Services industry.

Easy access to finance

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

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

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Shortening product life cycle

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

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 Carriage Services in the Personal Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Regulatory challenges

– Carriage Services 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 Personal Services industry regulations.

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. Carriage Services 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.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Carriage Services 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.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Carriage Services Template, Example


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



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