SOPerior Fertilizer (SOP) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for SOPerior Fertilizer (Canada)

Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , SOPerior Fertilizer is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, wage bills are increasing, geopolitical disruptions, increasing commodity prices, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, technology disruption, etc

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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of SOPerior Fertilizer

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

Strengths of SOPerior Fertilizer | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of SOPerior Fertilizer are -

Strong track record of project management in the Non-Metallic Mining industry

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Non-Metallic Mining industry

– SOPerior Fertilizer has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled SOPerior Fertilizer to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Non-Metallic Mining industry. The sustainable margins have also helped SOPerior Fertilizer to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Digital Transformation in Non-Metallic Mining industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For SOPerior Fertilizer digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of SOPerior Fertilizer in Non-Metallic Mining industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to lead change in Non-Metallic Mining

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

Learning organization

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

Training and development

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– SOPerior Fertilizer is present in almost all the verticals within the Non-Metallic Mining industry. This has provided SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Innovation driven organization

– SOPerior Fertilizer is one of the most innovative firm in Non-Metallic Mining sector.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that SOPerior Fertilizer 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 SOPerior Fertilizer in the Basic Materials sector have low bargaining power. SOPerior Fertilizer has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps SOPerior Fertilizer to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Weaknesses of SOPerior Fertilizer | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of SOPerior Fertilizer are -

Skills based hiring in Non-Metallic Mining industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

Employees’ less understanding of SOPerior Fertilizer strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

High dependence on SOPerior Fertilizer ‘s star products

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

High cash cycle compare to competitors

SOPerior Fertilizer has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Non-Metallic Mining industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

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

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, SOPerior Fertilizer has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Non-Metallic Mining industry over the last five years. SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Low market penetration in new markets

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

Products dominated business model

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

SOPerior Fertilizer Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The opportunities of SOPerior Fertilizer are -

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Non-Metallic Mining industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. SOPerior Fertilizer 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. SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Non-Metallic Mining industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for SOPerior Fertilizer in the Non-Metallic Mining industry. Now SOPerior Fertilizer can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

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 SOPerior Fertilizer to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Reforming the budgeting process

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

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. SOPerior Fertilizer can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Loyalty marketing

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Leveraging digital technologies

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic Mining industry.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for SOPerior Fertilizer 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 SOPerior Fertilizer to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Creating value in data economy

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

Developing new processes and practices

– SOPerior Fertilizer can develop new processes and procedures in Non-Metallic 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.

Threats SOPerior Fertilizer External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The threats of SOPerior Fertilizer are -

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic Mining industry.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

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. SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

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. SOPerior Fertilizer needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Non-Metallic Mining industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Regulatory challenges

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic Mining industry regulations.

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 SOPerior Fertilizer business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, SOPerior Fertilizer 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 SOPerior Fertilizer prominent markets.

Consumer confidence and its impact on SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic Mining industry and other sectors.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– SOPerior Fertilizer 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.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Non-Metallic Mining industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. SOPerior Fertilizer 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

– SOPerior Fertilizer has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Non-Metallic Mining industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, SOPerior Fertilizer needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Non-Metallic 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.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that SOPerior Fertilizer is facing in Non-Metallic Mining sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

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 SOPerior Fertilizer.

Weighted SWOT Analysis of SOPerior Fertilizer Template, Example

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

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