St Augustine (SAU) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources
Gold & Silver
Strategy / 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 – there is increasing trade war between United States & China, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, increasing transportation and logistics costs, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%,
wage bills are increasing, there is backlash against globalization, etc
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 -
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.
– The operational resilience strategy of St Augustine comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Gold & Silver 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.
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.
Digital Transformation in Gold & Silver industry
- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For St Augustine digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. St Augustine 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.
Low bargaining power of suppliers
– Suppliers of St Augustine in the Basic Materials sector have low bargaining power. St Augustine has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps St Augustine to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.
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.
- 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.
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.
Highly skilled collaborators
– St Augustine has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Gold & Silver industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of St Augustine have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.
Organizational Resilience of St Augustine
– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing St Augustine does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.
– 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.
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 -
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.
Low market penetration in new markets
– Outside its home market of Canada, St Augustine needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.
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.
Slow to strategic competitive environment developments
– As St Augustine is one of the leading players in the Gold & Silver industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Gold & Silver industry in last five years.
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.
High cash cycle compare to competitors
St Augustine has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Gold & Silver industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.
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.
Slow decision making process
– As mentioned earlier in the report, St Augustine has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Gold & Silver industry over the last five years. St Augustine 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.
Increasing silos among functional specialists
– The organizational structure of St Augustine is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Gold & Silver industry, but St Augustine needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help St Augustine to focus more on services in the Gold & Silver industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.
Products dominated business model
– Even though St Augustine has some of the most successful models in the Gold & Silver industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. St Augustine should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.
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 -
– St Augustine can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Gold & Silver 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.
Using analytics as competitive advantage
– St Augustine has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Gold & Silver sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled St Augustine to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help St Augustine to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.
Buying journey improvements
– St Augustine can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Gold & Silver 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.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help St Augustine to increase its market reach. St Augustine 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.
Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Gold & Silver industry
– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for St Augustine in the Gold & Silver industry. Now St Augustine can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.
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.
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.
Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19
– consumer behavior has changed in the Gold & Silver industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. St Augustine 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. St Augustine 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Threats St Augustine External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of St Augustine are -
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 St Augustine business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.
– 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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
Trade war between China and United States
– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for St Augustine in Gold & Silver industry. The Gold & Silver 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
– St Augustine 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.
– St Augustine 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. St Augustine can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Gold & Silver industry.
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.
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.