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Independent Bank Corp (IBCP) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Independent Bank Corp (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Independent Bank Corp is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing household debt because of falling income levels, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, there is backlash against globalization, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing transportation and logistics costs, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, geopolitical disruptions, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Independent Bank Corp


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




Strengths of Independent Bank Corp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Independent Bank Corp are -

Diverse revenue streams

– Independent Bank Corp is present in almost all the verticals within the Regional Banks industry. This has provided Independent Bank Corp 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Regional Banks industry

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Independent Bank Corp 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.

Organizational Resilience of Independent Bank Corp

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

Analytics focus

– Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks industry. The technology infrastructure of United States 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 Regional Banks industry

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

Training and development

– Independent Bank Corp has one of the best training and development program in Financial 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Independent Bank Corp 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.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Learning organization

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Independent Bank Corp comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Regional Banks 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.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Independent Bank Corp is one of the leading players in the Regional Banks 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.






Weaknesses of Independent Bank Corp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Independent Bank Corp are -

Employees’ less understanding of Independent Bank Corp strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Independent Bank Corp 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Independent Bank Corp 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United States, Independent Bank Corp needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Independent Bank Corp is one of the leading players in the Regional Banks industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Regional Banks industry in last five years.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Independent Bank Corp needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Regional Banks industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Independent Bank Corp can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Independent Bank Corp is planning to shift buying processes online.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Independent Bank Corp is just above the Regional Banks 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.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Independent Bank Corp has high operating costs in the Regional Banks industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Independent Bank Corp lucrative customers.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Regional Banks industry, Independent Bank Corp 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, Independent Bank Corp is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Independent Bank Corp to provide better information regarding Regional Banks products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Regional Banks industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks industry.

Ability to respond to the competition

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




Independent Bank Corp Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Independent Bank Corp are -

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 Independent Bank Corp 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, Independent Bank Corp is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Independent Bank Corp can utilize new technology in the field of Regional Banks 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, Independent Bank Corp can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Independent Bank Corp operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Regional Banks sector.

Loyalty marketing

– Independent Bank Corp 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Independent Bank Corp 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Independent Bank Corp can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Regional Banks 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks industry.

Better consumer reach

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

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Regional Banks industry

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– Independent Bank Corp 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.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Independent Bank Corp 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.

Reforming the budgeting process

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




Threats Independent Bank Corp External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Independent Bank Corp are -

Learning curve for new practices

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

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks 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. Independent Bank Corp needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Regional Banks industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Regional Banks industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Independent Bank Corp can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

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.

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.

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 Independent Bank Corp business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Regulatory challenges

– Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks industry regulations.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Independent Bank Corp has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Regional Banks industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Independent Bank Corp needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Regional Banks 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.

Environmental challenges

– Independent Bank Corp 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. Independent Bank Corp can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Regional Banks industry.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Independent Bank Corp 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 Regional Banks industry and other sectors.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Independent Bank Corp in Regional Banks industry. The Regional Banks 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.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Independent Bank Corp is facing in Regional Banks sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Independent Bank Corp Template, Example


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



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