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ZCL Composites Inc. (ZCL) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for ZCL Composites Inc. (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , ZCL Composites Inc. is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, increasing commodity prices, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of ZCL Composites Inc.


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




Strengths of ZCL Composites Inc. | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of ZCL Composites Inc. are -

Digital Transformation in Containers & Packaging industry

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– ZCL Composites Inc. has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

High brand equity

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

Analytics focus

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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 Containers & Packaging industry. The technology infrastructure of Canada 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Ability to lead change in Containers & Packaging

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of ZCL Composites Inc. in Containers & Packaging industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Containers & Packaging industry

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

Learning organization

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

Diverse revenue streams

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of ZCL Composites Inc. comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Containers & Packaging 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.






Weaknesses of ZCL Composites Inc. | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of ZCL Composites Inc. are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

High bargaining power of channel partners in Containers & Packaging industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Canada, ZCL Composites Inc. 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 Containers & Packaging industry.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Lack of clear differentiation of ZCL Composites Inc. products

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Products dominated business model

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

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Canada, ZCL Composites Inc. needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at ZCL Composites Inc., in the dynamic environment of Containers & Packaging industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. ZCL Composites Inc. has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. lucrative customers.

Employees’ less understanding of ZCL Composites Inc. strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

High dependence on ZCL Composites Inc. ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. has relatively successful track record of launching new products.




ZCL Composites Inc. Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of ZCL Composites Inc. are -

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Containers & Packaging industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. ZCL Composites Inc. 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. ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, ZCL Composites Inc. is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. ZCL Composites Inc. can utilize new technology in the field of Containers & Packaging industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, 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 ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. in the Containers & Packaging industry. Now ZCL Composites Inc. can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Buying journey improvements

– ZCL Composites Inc. can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Containers & Packaging 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.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, ZCL Composites Inc. can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that ZCL Composites Inc. operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Containers & Packaging sector.

Manufacturing automation

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.




Threats ZCL Composites Inc. External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of ZCL Composites Inc. are -

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 ZCL Composites Inc..

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, ZCL Composites Inc. 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 ZCL Composites Inc. prominent markets.

Regulatory challenges

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

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 ZCL Composites Inc. in the Containers & Packaging sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– ZCL Composites Inc. 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 Containers & Packaging industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Containers & Packaging industry are lowering. It can presents ZCL Composites Inc. with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Containers & Packaging sector.

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. ZCL Composites Inc. can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

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. ZCL Composites Inc. 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.

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 ZCL Composites Inc. business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Increasing wage structure of ZCL Composites Inc.

– 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 ZCL Composites Inc..

Consumer confidence and its impact on ZCL Composites Inc. 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 Containers & Packaging industry and other sectors.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of ZCL Composites Inc. Template, Example


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



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