Transcontinental (TCLb) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources
Containers & Packaging
Strategy / MBA Resources
Introduction to SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Transcontinental (Canada)
Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Transcontinental is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing commodity prices, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy,
talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc
SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Transcontinental can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Transcontinental, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Transcontinental
2. Improving business portfolio management of Transcontinental
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Canada
4. Making a Containers & Packaging sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Transcontinental
Strengths of Transcontinental | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The strengths of Transcontinental are -
Training and development
– Transcontinental 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.
– The operational resilience strategy of Transcontinental comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Containers & Packaging 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 Transcontinental in the Basic Materials sector have low bargaining power. Transcontinental has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Transcontinental to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
Organizational Resilience of Transcontinental
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental in Containers & Packaging industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.
Strong track record of project management in the Containers & Packaging industry
– Transcontinental is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.
Successful track record of launching new products
– Transcontinental has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Transcontinental 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
– Transcontinental has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Containers & Packaging industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Transcontinental have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Ability to recruit top talent
– Transcontinental is one of the leading players in the Containers & Packaging industry in Canada. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Canada. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.
Ability to lead change in Containers & Packaging
– Transcontinental is one of the leading players in the Containers & Packaging industry in Canada. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Containers & Packaging industry in Canada but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Transcontinental in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.
– Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging 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.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Containers & Packaging industry
– Transcontinental has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Transcontinental to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Containers & Packaging industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Transcontinental to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
Weaknesses of Transcontinental | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Transcontinental are -
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 Transcontinental supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Transcontinental is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Transcontinental vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
High bargaining power of channel partners in Containers & Packaging industry
– because of the regulatory requirements in Canada, Transcontinental is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Containers & Packaging industry.
Lack of clear differentiation of Transcontinental products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Transcontinental needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
Slow to harness new channels of communication
– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Transcontinental is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Transcontinental to provide better information regarding Containers & Packaging products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of Canada, Transcontinental needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of Transcontinental is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Containers & Packaging industry, but Transcontinental needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Transcontinental to focus more on services in the Containers & Packaging industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
High dependence on Transcontinental ‘s star products
– The top 2 products and services of Transcontinental still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Containers & Packaging industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Transcontinental has relatively successful track record of launching new products.
– Compare to the competition, Transcontinental has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, Transcontinental has high operating costs in the Containers & Packaging industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Transcontinental lucrative customers.
Need for greater diversity
– Transcontinental 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.
Skills based hiring in Containers & Packaging industry
– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Transcontinental 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.
Transcontinental Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Transcontinental are -
Increase in government spending
– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Transcontinental can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Transcontinental operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Containers & Packaging sector.
Building a culture of innovation
– managers at Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging industry.
Finding new ways to collaborate
– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Containers & Packaging industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Transcontinental can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
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 Transcontinental 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.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– Transcontinental has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Containers & Packaging sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Transcontinental to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Transcontinental to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Reforming the budgeting process
- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Transcontinental can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.
Buying journey improvements
– Transcontinental can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Containers & Packaging 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.
Developing new processes and practices
– Transcontinental can develop new processes and procedures in Containers & Packaging 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.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, Transcontinental is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Transcontinental can utilize new technology in the field of Containers & Packaging industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
Learning at scale
– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Transcontinental 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.
– Transcontinental can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Containers & Packaging 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.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Containers & Packaging industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Transcontinental in the Containers & Packaging industry. Now Transcontinental can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
Threats Transcontinental External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Transcontinental are -
Shortening product life cycle
– it is one of the major threat that Transcontinental is facing in Containers & Packaging sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.
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 Transcontinental.
– 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.
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. Transcontinental needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Containers & Packaging industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.
Learning curve for new practices
– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Transcontinental may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Containers & Packaging sector.
High dependence on third party suppliers
– Transcontinental 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.
Easy access to finance
– Easy access to finance in Containers & Packaging industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Transcontinental can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.
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.
Stagnating economy with rate increase
– Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging industry.
– 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 Transcontinental in the Containers & Packaging sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins
– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental prominent markets.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Transcontinental in Containers & Packaging industry. The Containers & Packaging 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.
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 Transcontinental business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Transcontinental Template, Example
Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental 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 Transcontinental needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.