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St Augustine (SAU) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for St Augustine (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , St Augustine is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing energy prices, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, wage bills are increasing, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of St Augustine


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




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

The strengths of St Augustine are -

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of St Augustine in Gold & Silver industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to recruit top talent

– St Augustine is one of the leading players in the Gold & Silver 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that St Augustine 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.

Learning organization

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

High brand equity

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

Analytics focus

– St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver 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.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Gold & Silver industry

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

Training and development

– St Augustine 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 lead change in Gold & Silver

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

Strong track record of project management in the Gold & Silver industry

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

Diverse revenue streams

– St Augustine is present in almost all the verticals within the Gold & Silver industry. This has provided St Augustine 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.






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

The weaknesses of St Augustine are -

Employees’ less understanding of St Augustine strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of St Augustine 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.

Skills based hiring in Gold & Silver industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at St Augustine 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, St Augustine 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.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver industry using digital technology.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that St Augustine needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Gold & Silver industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at St Augustine can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as St Augustine is planning to shift buying processes online.

High dependence on St Augustine ‘s star products

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

Need for greater diversity

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

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of St Augustine is just above the Gold & Silver 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.




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


The opportunities of St Augustine are -

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, St Augustine is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. St Augustine can utilize new technology in the field of Gold & Silver 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 St Augustine 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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for St Augustine 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver industry.

Increase in government spending

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

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of St Augustine has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Gold & Silver industry. This can help St Augustine to build a more holistic ecosystem for St Augustine products in the Gold & Silver 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 Gold & Silver industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. St Augustine can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Leveraging digital technologies

– St Augustine 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 St Augustine 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 St Augustine 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. St Augustine can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.




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


The threats of St Augustine 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. St Augustine 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.

Shortening product life cycle

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

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 St Augustine in the Gold & Silver sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Learning curve for new practices

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

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. St Augustine needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Gold & Silver industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Increasing wage structure of St Augustine

– 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 St Augustine.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– St Augustine has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Gold & Silver industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, St Augustine needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Gold & Silver 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.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver industry.

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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver industry and other sectors.

Regulatory challenges

– St Augustine 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 Gold & Silver industry regulations.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of St Augustine Template, Example


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



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