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Nevsun (NSU) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Nevsun (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Nevsun is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, technology disruption, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is backlash against globalization, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Nevsun


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Nevsun can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Nevsun, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Nevsun 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 Nevsun can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Nevsun
2. Improving business portfolio management of Nevsun
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 Nevsun




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

The strengths of Nevsun are -

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Metal Mining industry

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

Organizational Resilience of Nevsun

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

Superior customer experience

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

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Nevsun 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Nevsun 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 Nevsun have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Strong track record of project management in the Metal Mining industry

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

Analytics focus

– Nevsun 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.

Digital Transformation in Metal Mining industry

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Nevsun is present in almost all the verticals within the Metal Mining industry. This has provided Nevsun 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Nevsun 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.






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

The weaknesses of Nevsun are -

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Nevsun has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Metal Mining industry over the last five years. Nevsun even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Nevsun 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Nevsun 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 Metal Mining industry using digital technology.

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 Nevsun supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Nevsun is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Nevsun vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Nevsun 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 Nevsun can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Nevsun is planning to shift buying processes online.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Nevsun 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 Nevsun lucrative customers.

Lack of clear differentiation of Nevsun products

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

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Nevsun, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Metal Mining 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Nevsun strategy

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Low market penetration in new markets

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




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


The opportunities of Nevsun are -

Developing new processes and practices

– Nevsun can develop new processes and procedures in Metal Mining 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.

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

Increase in government spending

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

Loyalty marketing

– Nevsun 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Nevsun 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– Nevsun 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Low interest rates

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

Better consumer reach

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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




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


The threats of Nevsun are -

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Increasing wage structure of Nevsun

– 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 Nevsun.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Nevsun has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Metal Mining industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Nevsun 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.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Nevsun 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.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Nevsun 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.

Environmental challenges

– Nevsun 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. Nevsun can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Metal Mining industry.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Nevsun 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 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Nevsun 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 Metal Mining industry and other sectors.

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 Nevsun.

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 Nevsun in the Metal Mining sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

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. Nevsun 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.

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Nevsun Template, Example


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



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