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Ascendant Resources (ASND) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ascendant Resources (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ascendant Resources is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, wage bills are increasing, technology disruption, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ascendant Resources


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




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

The strengths of Ascendant Resources are -

Training and development

– Ascendant Resources has one of the best training and development program in Basic Materials 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.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Ascendant Resources is one of the leading players in the Metal Mining industry in Canada. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Canada. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Organizational Resilience of Ascendant Resources

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

Learning organization

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

Analytics focus

– Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining 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.

Strong track record of project management in the Metal Mining industry

– Ascendant Resources 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

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Innovation driven organization

– Ascendant Resources is one of the most innovative firm in Metal Mining sector.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

High brand equity

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ascendant Resources comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Metal Mining 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 Ascendant Resources | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Ascendant Resources are -

Low market penetration in new markets

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

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Ascendant Resources has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Metal Mining industry over the last five years. Ascendant Resources 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Metal Mining industry, Ascendant Resources 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Products dominated business model

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining industry using digital technology.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

High dependence on Ascendant Resources ‘s star products

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

Need for greater diversity

– Ascendant Resources 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.

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Ascendant Resources 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.




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


The opportunities of Ascendant Resources are -

Loyalty marketing

– Ascendant Resources 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Metal Mining industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Ascendant Resources in the Metal Mining industry. Now Ascendant Resources 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 Ascendant Resources in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Metal Mining industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Creating value in data economy

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

Leveraging digital technologies

– Ascendant Resources 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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

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

Developing new processes and practices

– Ascendant Resources can develop new processes and procedures in Metal Mining 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining industry.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Buying journey improvements

– Ascendant Resources can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Metal Mining 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Ascendant Resources 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.




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


The threats of Ascendant Resources 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 Ascendant Resources.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Ascendant Resources has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Metal Mining industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Ascendant Resources needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Metal Mining 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.

Shortening product life cycle

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

Increasing wage structure of Ascendant Resources

– 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 Ascendant Resources.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining industry and other sectors.

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.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Metal Mining industry are lowering. It can presents Ascendant Resources with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Metal Mining sector.

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 Ascendant Resources business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Easy access to finance

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

Regulatory challenges

– Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining industry regulations.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Ascendant Resources 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 Metal Mining industry.

Learning curve for new practices

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Ascendant Resources Template, Example


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



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