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 – increasing energy prices, 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, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google,
increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing commodity prices, etc
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 -
Innovation driven organization
– Northcliff Resources is one of the most innovative firm in Metal Mining sector.
Diverse revenue streams
– Northcliff Resources is present in almost all the verticals within the Metal Mining industry. This has provided Northcliff Resources 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.
Sustainable margins compare to other players in Metal Mining industry
– Northcliff Resources has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Northcliff Resources to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Metal Mining industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Northcliff Resources to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
- Northcliff Resources 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 Northcliff Resources is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Northcliff Resources emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.
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.
Training and development
– Northcliff Resources 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.
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.
Weaknesses of Northcliff Resources | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of Northcliff Resources are -
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.
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.
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.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that Northcliff Resources needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Metal Mining industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Northcliff Resources can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Northcliff Resources is planning to shift buying processes online.
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.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, Northcliff Resources 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 Metal Mining industry using digital technology.
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.
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 Northcliff Resources supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Northcliff Resources is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Northcliff Resources vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.
– 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.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at Northcliff Resources, in the dynamic environment of Metal Mining industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Northcliff Resources has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
Northcliff Resources Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of Northcliff Resources are -
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities
– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Northcliff Resources 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 Northcliff Resources to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.
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.
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.
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 Northcliff Resources 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.
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.
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.
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.
Threats Northcliff Resources External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of Northcliff Resources 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 Northcliff Resources business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, 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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.
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.