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Safran (SAFRF) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Safran (United States)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Safran is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, increasing commodity prices, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing energy prices, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Safran


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




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

The strengths of Safran are -

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Safran 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Safran is present in almost all the verticals within the Aerospace & Defense industry. This has provided Safran 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 Safran

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Training and development

– Safran has one of the best training and development program in Capital Goods 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.

Digital Transformation in Aerospace & Defense industry

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

Superior customer experience

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

Innovation driven organization

– Safran is one of the most innovative firm in Aerospace & Defense sector.

Strong track record of project management in the Aerospace & Defense industry

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

Learning organization

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






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

The weaknesses of Safran are -

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Aerospace & Defense industry, Safran 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Safran, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Aerospace & Defense 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 dependence on Safran ‘s star products

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

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Safran has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Aerospace & Defense industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

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

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Safran, in the dynamic environment of Aerospace & Defense industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Safran 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 Safran strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Safran 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.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Safran 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 Aerospace & Defense industry using digital technology.

Slow decision making process

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




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


The opportunities of Safran are -

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Safran 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.

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

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Increase in government spending

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

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 Safran 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Safran 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 Aerospace & Defense industry.

Low interest rates

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Better consumer reach

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




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


The threats of Safran are -

Shortening product life cycle

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

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Easy access to finance

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

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. Safran 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.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Environmental challenges

– Safran 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. Safran can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Aerospace & Defense industry.

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 Safran.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Safran 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

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

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Safran in Aerospace & Defense industry. The Aerospace & Defense 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.

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 Safran in the Aerospace & Defense sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Safran 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 Aerospace & Defense 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 Safran business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Safran Template, Example


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



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