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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 – talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, increasing transportation and logistics costs, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, technology disruption, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, 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 -

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.

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.

Strong track record of project management in the Metal Mining industry

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Innovation driven organization

– Northcliff Resources is one of the most innovative firm in Metal Mining sector.

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.

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.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

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 -

Products dominated business model

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

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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Northcliff Resources 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.

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.

High dependence on Northcliff Resources ‘s star products

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

Employees’ less understanding of Northcliff Resources strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Northcliff Resources 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.

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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

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.

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 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.




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


The opportunities of Northcliff Resources are -

Loyalty marketing

– Northcliff Resources 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.

Buying journey improvements

– Northcliff Resources can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Metal Mining 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.

Low interest rates

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

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.

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.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Northcliff Resources 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.

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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Northcliff Resources 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.

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.

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.

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.

Increase in government spending

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

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.




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


The threats of Northcliff Resources are -

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Northcliff Resources 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Northcliff Resources business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Learning curve for new practices

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




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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