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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 increasing trade war between United States & China, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, wage bills are increasing, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, geopolitical disruptions, increasing commodity prices, there is backlash against globalization, increasing transportation and logistics costs, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, 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 -

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.

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.

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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Pyxus 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.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Pyxus in the Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector have low bargaining power. Pyxus has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Pyxus to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

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.

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.

Ability to lead change in Tobacco

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

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.

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.

Training and development

– Pyxus has one of the best training and development program in Consumer/Non-Cyclical 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.

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.






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

The weaknesses of Pyxus are -

Need for greater diversity

– Pyxus 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.

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.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

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.

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.

Products dominated business model

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

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.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

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.

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.




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


The opportunities of Pyxus are -

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.

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.

Better consumer reach

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

Developing new processes and practices

– Pyxus can develop new processes and procedures in Tobacco 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.

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.

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.

Creating value in data economy

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

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.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Pyxus 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

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.

Reforming the budgeting process

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




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


The threats of Pyxus are -

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.

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. Pyxus needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Tobacco industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

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

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.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Pyxus in Tobacco industry. The Tobacco 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.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Pyxus high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

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.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Pyxus may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Tobacco 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 Pyxus business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

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.

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.

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.




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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