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KBC Group SA (KBCSY) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for KBC Group SA (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , KBC Group SA is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, technology disruption, increasing transportation and logistics costs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, wage bills are increasing, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, geopolitical disruptions, there is backlash against globalization, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of KBC Group SA


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




Strengths of KBC Group SA | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of KBC Group SA are -

Digital Transformation in industry

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of KBC Group SA comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the 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.

Organizational Resilience of KBC Group SA

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in industry

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– KBC Group SA is one of the leading players in the 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that KBC Group SA 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

– KBC Group SA has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of KBC Group SA have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Ability to lead change in

– KBC Group SA is one of the leading players in the industry in United States. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the industry in United States but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled KBC Group SA 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 KBC Group SA in the sector have low bargaining power. KBC Group SA has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps KBC Group SA to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Training and development

– KBC Group SA has one of the best training and development program in 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.

Learning organization

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of KBC Group SA in industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.






Weaknesses of KBC Group SA | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of KBC Group SA are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, KBC Group SA is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help KBC Group SA to provide better information regarding products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of KBC Group SA is just above the 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Products dominated business model

– Even though KBC Group SA has some of the most successful models in the industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. KBC Group SA should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Lack of clear differentiation of KBC Group SA products

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

High operating costs

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, KBC Group SA 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.

Employees’ less understanding of KBC Group SA strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of KBC Group SA 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.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, KBC Group SA has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the industry over the last five years. KBC Group SA even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of United States, KBC Group SA needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, KBC Group SA 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 industry using digital technology.




KBC Group SA Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of KBC Group SA are -

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. KBC Group SA can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, KBC Group SA is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. KBC Group SA can utilize new technology in the field of industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at KBC Group SA 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 industry.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Better consumer reach

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– KBC Group SA 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– KBC Group SA can develop new processes and procedures in 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 KBC Group SA in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. KBC Group SA 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. KBC Group SA 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.

Manufacturing automation

– KBC Group SA can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– KBC Group SA has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled KBC Group SA to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help KBC Group SA to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Creating value in data economy

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




Threats KBC Group SA External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of KBC Group SA are -

Increasing wage structure of KBC Group SA

– 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 KBC Group SA.

Easy access to finance

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

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– KBC Group SA 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 industry.

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.

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 KBC Group SA.

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 KBC Group SA business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– KBC Group SA has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, KBC Group SA needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the 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.

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.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for KBC Group SA in industry. The 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.

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 KBC Group SA in the sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Regulatory challenges

– KBC Group SA 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 industry regulations.

Shortening product life cycle

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

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. KBC Group SA 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.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of KBC Group SA Template, Example


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



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