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Northcliff Resources (NCF) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Northcliff Resources (Canada)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Northcliff Resources is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – wage bills are increasing, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, increasing transportation and logistics costs, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing energy prices, technology disruption, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Northcliff Resources


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




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

The strengths of Northcliff Resources are -

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Organizational Resilience of Northcliff Resources

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

Analytics focus

– Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining 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.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Northcliff Resources 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.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Northcliff Resources 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.

High brand equity

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

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Northcliff Resources comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Metal Mining 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 Metal Mining

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

Superior customer experience

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Northcliff Resources is one of the leading players in the Metal Mining 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.






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

The weaknesses of Northcliff Resources are -

Need for greater diversity

– Northcliff Resources 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, Northcliff Resources has high operating costs in the Metal Mining industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Northcliff Resources lucrative customers.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

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

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Canada, Northcliff Resources needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Metal Mining industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Canada, Northcliff Resources is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Metal Mining industry.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Metal Mining industry, Northcliff Resources 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.

Skills based hiring in Metal Mining industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Northcliff Resources 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.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Northcliff Resources, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Metal Mining 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.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Northcliff Resources is just above the Metal Mining 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.

Lack of clear differentiation of Northcliff Resources products

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




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


The opportunities of Northcliff Resources are -

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Manufacturing automation

– Northcliff Resources can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Metal Mining 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

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

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Metal Mining industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Northcliff Resources in the Metal Mining industry. Now Northcliff Resources 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, Northcliff Resources is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Northcliff Resources can utilize new technology in the field of Metal Mining industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Creating value in data economy

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

Developing new processes and practices

– Northcliff Resources can develop new processes and procedures in Metal Mining 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining industry.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

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

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Northcliff Resources to increase its market reach. Northcliff Resources 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 Northcliff Resources External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Northcliff Resources are -

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 Northcliff Resources.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

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. Northcliff Resources 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.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Northcliff Resources in Metal Mining industry. The Metal Mining 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.

Shortening product life cycle

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

Consumer confidence and its impact on Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining industry and other sectors.

Regulatory challenges

– Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining industry regulations.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining industry.

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. Northcliff Resources needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Metal Mining industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Easy access to finance

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

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

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




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Northcliff Resources Template, Example


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



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