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Transcontinental (TCLb) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / 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 – increasing energy prices, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, wage bills are increasing, there is backlash against globalization, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, technology disruption, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Transcontinental


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 -

Digital Transformation in Containers & Packaging industry

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

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.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Transcontinental has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Transcontinental staying ahead in the Containers & Packaging industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Transcontinental 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.

Analytics focus

– 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Transcontinental 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.

Operational resilience

– 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Innovation driven organization

– Transcontinental is one of the most innovative firm in Containers & Packaging sector.






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.

Ability to respond to the competition

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

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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Containers & Packaging industry, Transcontinental 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Transcontinental strategy

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

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.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

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

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 strategic competitive environment developments

– As Transcontinental is one of the leading players in the Containers & Packaging industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Containers & Packaging industry in last five years.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging industry using digital technology.

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.




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


The opportunities of Transcontinental are -

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Containers & Packaging industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Transcontinental 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. Transcontinental 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.

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.

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.

Loyalty marketing

– Transcontinental 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

– 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Low interest rates

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

Manufacturing automation

– 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.

Creating value in data economy

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




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


The threats of Transcontinental are -

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. Transcontinental 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.

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.

Environmental challenges

– Transcontinental 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. Transcontinental can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Containers & Packaging industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Transcontinental has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Containers & Packaging industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Transcontinental needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Containers & Packaging 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Transcontinental in the Containers & Packaging sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

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.

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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging industry and other sectors.




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.



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