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Transcontinental (TCLa) 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 – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, technology disruption, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing commodity prices, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, geopolitical disruptions, increasing energy prices, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, 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 -

Innovation driven organization

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Transcontinental is present in almost all the verticals within the Containers & Packaging industry. This has provided Transcontinental 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.

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.

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.






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

The weaknesses of Transcontinental are -

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Interest costs

– 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.




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


The opportunities of Transcontinental are -

Leveraging digital technologies

– Transcontinental 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.

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.

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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

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.

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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Better consumer reach

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




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


The threats of Transcontinental are -

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.

Increasing wage structure of Transcontinental

– 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 Transcontinental.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Regulatory challenges

– Transcontinental 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 Containers & Packaging industry regulations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.




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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