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Fossil (FOSL) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Fossil (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Fossil is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing transportation and logistics costs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, increasing commodity prices, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Fossil


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




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

The strengths of Fossil are -

Ability to recruit top talent

– Fossil is one of the leading players in the Jewelry & Silverware industry in United States. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United States. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Training and development

– Fossil has one of the best training and development program in Consumer Cyclical 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.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Fossil in Jewelry & Silverware industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

High brand equity

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Digital Transformation in Jewelry & Silverware industry

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Organizational Resilience of Fossil

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

Learning organization

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

Ability to lead change in Jewelry & Silverware

– Fossil is one of the leading players in the Jewelry & Silverware industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Jewelry & Silverware industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Fossil in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Fossil comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Jewelry & Silverware 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Fossil 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 Fossil | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Fossil are -

High dependence on Fossil ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Fossil still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Jewelry & Silverware industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Fossil has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Fossil 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Fossil, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Jewelry & Silverware 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Jewelry & Silverware industry, Fossil 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.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Lack of clear differentiation of Fossil products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Fossil 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry using digital technology.

Skills based hiring in Jewelry & Silverware industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Fossil 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.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Fossil is just above the Jewelry & Silverware 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.




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


The opportunities of Fossil are -

Creating value in data economy

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Fossil is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Fossil can utilize new technology in the field of Jewelry & Silverware industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, 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, Fossil can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Fossil operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Jewelry & Silverware sector.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Manufacturing automation

– Fossil can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Jewelry & Silverware 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Fossil 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry.

Loyalty marketing

– Fossil 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.

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

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Jewelry & Silverware industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Fossil 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, Fossil 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 Fossil to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Low interest rates

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




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


The threats of Fossil are -

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.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Fossil in Jewelry & Silverware industry. The Jewelry & Silverware 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Fossil 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry and other sectors.

Increasing wage structure of Fossil

– 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 Fossil.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Fossil 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Fossil is facing in Jewelry & Silverware sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Fossil 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.

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. Fossil needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Jewelry & Silverware industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Regulatory challenges

– Fossil 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 Jewelry & Silverware industry regulations.

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 Fossil.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Fossil Template, Example


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



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