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Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ivanhoe Mines (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ivanhoe Mines is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – technology disruption, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, there is backlash against globalization, increasing commodity prices, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ivanhoe Mines


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




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

The strengths of Ivanhoe Mines are -

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Innovation driven organization

– Ivanhoe Mines is one of the most innovative firm in Metal Mining sector.

High brand equity

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

Learning organization

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ivanhoe Mines comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Metal Mining 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Metal Mining industry

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

Analytics focus

– Ivanhoe 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 Metal Mining 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.

Training and development

– Ivanhoe 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Metal Mining industry

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Ivanhoe Mines has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Ivanhoe Mines 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 Ivanhoe Mines | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Ivanhoe Mines are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Ivanhoe Mines is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Ivanhoe Mines to provide better information regarding Metal Mining products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Products dominated business model

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

Lack of clear differentiation of Ivanhoe Mines products

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

Need for greater diversity

– Ivanhoe 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Canada, Ivanhoe Mines needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Aligning sales with marketing

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

High cash cycle compare to competitors

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

Ability to respond to the competition

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

High operating costs

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Ivanhoe Mines is just above the Metal Mining 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.

Skills based hiring in Metal Mining industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Ivanhoe Mines 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.




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


The opportunities of Ivanhoe Mines are -

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Ivanhoe 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 Metal Mining industry.

Loyalty marketing

– Ivanhoe Mines 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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Ivanhoe Mines 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Metal Mining industry

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Ivanhoe 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 Metal Mining industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Metal Mining industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Ivanhoe Mines 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. Ivanhoe Mines 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Ivanhoe Mines 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Ivanhoe Mines can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Metal Mining industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Manufacturing automation

– Ivanhoe Mines can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Metal Mining 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.




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


The threats of Ivanhoe Mines are -

Learning curve for new practices

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

Increasing wage structure of Ivanhoe 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 Ivanhoe Mines.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Ivanhoe Mines is facing in Metal Mining 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 Ivanhoe Mines in Metal Mining industry. The Metal Mining 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Ivanhoe Mines has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Metal Mining industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Ivanhoe Mines needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Metal Mining 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.

Regulatory challenges

– Ivanhoe 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 Metal Mining industry regulations.

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. Ivanhoe Mines needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Metal Mining industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

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 Ivanhoe Mines.

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 Ivanhoe Mines in the Metal Mining sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Ivanhoe 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 Metal Mining 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 Ivanhoe Mines business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

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 Ivanhoe Mines Template, Example


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



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