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Level One Bancorp (LEVL) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Level One Bancorp (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Level One Bancorp is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – geopolitical disruptions, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, technology disruption, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing transportation and logistics costs, increasing commodity prices, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Level One Bancorp


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Level One Bancorp can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Level One Bancorp, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Level One Bancorp
2. Improving business portfolio management of Level One Bancorp
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 Level One Bancorp




Strengths of Level One Bancorp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Level One Bancorp are -

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Regional Banks industry

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

Successful track record of launching new products

– Level One Bancorp has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Level One Bancorp 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.

Learning organization

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Level One Bancorp in Regional Banks industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Strong track record of project management in the Regional Banks industry

– Level One Bancorp is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Level One Bancorp 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Level One Bancorp 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.

Ability to lead change in Regional Banks

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

Analytics focus

– Level One Bancorp 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.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Level One Bancorp 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

– Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Level One Bancorp are -

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Level One Bancorp, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Regional Banks 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.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp lucrative customers.

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 Level One Bancorp supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Level One Bancorp is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Level One Bancorp vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Level One Bancorp 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.

Products dominated business model

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Level One Bancorp 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.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Regional Banks industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United States, Level One Bancorp 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Level One Bancorp 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 Regional Banks industry using digital technology.

Need for greater diversity

– Level One Bancorp 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.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Level One Bancorp is planning to shift buying processes online.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Level One Bancorp 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.




Level One Bancorp Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Level One Bancorp are -

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. Level One Bancorp can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Level One Bancorp can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Level One Bancorp operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Regional Banks sector.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Level One Bancorp 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.

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 Level One Bancorp in the Regional Banks industry. Now Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp to increase its market reach. Level One Bancorp 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Level One Bancorp 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.

Creating value in data economy

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Level One Bancorp in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Regional Banks industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Level One Bancorp 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.

Manufacturing automation

– Level One Bancorp can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Regional Banks 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Level One Bancorp 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.




Threats Level One Bancorp External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Level One Bancorp are -

Increasing wage structure of Level One Bancorp

– 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 Level One Bancorp.

Regulatory challenges

– Level One Bancorp 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 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.

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. Level One Bancorp needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Regional Banks industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Environmental challenges

– Level One Bancorp 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. Level One Bancorp can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Regional Banks industry.

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 Level One Bancorp business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

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 Level One Bancorp.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Level One Bancorp 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.

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. Level One Bancorp can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

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 Level One Bancorp in the Regional Banks sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Level One Bancorp 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.

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. Level One Bancorp 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 Level One Bancorp Template, Example


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



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