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Pyxus (PYX) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Pyxus (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Pyxus is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – there is backlash against globalization, wage bills are increasing, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing commodity prices, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, technology disruption, increasing energy prices, 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 Pyxus


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




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

The strengths of Pyxus are -

Analytics focus

– Pyxus 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 Tobacco 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.

Learning organization

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

Digital Transformation in Tobacco industry

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Pyxus 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Pyxus is present in almost all the verticals within the Tobacco industry. This has provided Pyxus 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.

Organizational Resilience of Pyxus

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

High brand equity

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Pyxus is one of the leading players in the Tobacco 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Tobacco industry

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Superior customer experience

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






Weaknesses of Pyxus | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Pyxus are -

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Pyxus 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 Tobacco industry using digital technology.

Lack of clear differentiation of Pyxus products

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

Skills based hiring in Tobacco industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Pyxus has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Slow decision making process

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

High operating costs

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

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Employees’ less understanding of Pyxus strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Pyxus 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, Pyxus 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.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Tobacco industry, Pyxus 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.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Pyxus is just above the Tobacco 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.




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


The opportunities of Pyxus 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 Pyxus 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.

Increase in government spending

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

Loyalty marketing

– Pyxus 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 Pyxus 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Tobacco industry

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

Buying journey improvements

– Pyxus can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Tobacco 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Pyxus 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

– Pyxus can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Tobacco 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

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




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


The threats of Pyxus are -

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. Pyxus 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.

Easy access to finance

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

Consumer confidence and its impact on Pyxus 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 Tobacco industry and other sectors.

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 Pyxus.

Environmental challenges

– Pyxus 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. Pyxus can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Tobacco industry.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Pyxus 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 Tobacco industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

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.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Pyxus 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 Pyxus prominent markets.

Regulatory challenges

– Pyxus 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 Tobacco industry regulations.

Increasing wage structure of Pyxus

– 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 Pyxus.

Shortening product life cycle

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

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Pyxus Template, Example


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



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