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 – challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%,
technology disruption, increasing transportation and logistics costs, etc
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 -
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.
Cross disciplinary teams
– Horizontal connected teams at the SOPerior Fertilizer 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.
– SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Successful track record of launching new products
– SOPerior Fertilizer has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. SOPerior Fertilizer 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 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.
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.
Weaknesses of SOPerior Fertilizer | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The weaknesses of SOPerior Fertilizer are -
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.
Lack of clear differentiation of SOPerior Fertilizer products
– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, SOPerior Fertilizer needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.
– 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.
Aligning sales with marketing
– From the outside it seems that SOPerior Fertilizer needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Non-Metallic Mining industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at SOPerior Fertilizer can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as SOPerior Fertilizer is planning to shift buying processes online.
No frontier risks strategy
– From the 10K / annual statement of SOPerior Fertilizer, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Non-Metallic 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.
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.
Ability to respond to the competition
– As the decision making is very deliberative at SOPerior Fertilizer, in the dynamic environment of Non-Metallic Mining industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. SOPerior Fertilizer has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.
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.
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.
High operating costs
– Compare to the competitors, SOPerior Fertilizer has high operating costs in the Non-Metallic Mining industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract SOPerior Fertilizer lucrative customers.
Capital Spending Reduction
– Even during the low interest decade, SOPerior Fertilizer 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 Non-Metallic Mining industry using digital technology.
SOPerior Fertilizer Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The opportunities of SOPerior Fertilizer are -
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.
– 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.
Better consumer reach
– The expansion of the 5G network will help SOPerior Fertilizer to increase its market reach. SOPerior Fertilizer 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
– 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.
– SOPerior Fertilizer can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Non-Metallic 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.
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.
Redefining models of collaboration and team work
– As explained in the weaknesses section, SOPerior Fertilizer is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. SOPerior Fertilizer can utilize new technology in the field of Non-Metallic Mining industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.
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.
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.
Buying journey improvements
– SOPerior Fertilizer can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Non-Metallic 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.
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.
Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains
– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, SOPerior Fertilizer 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 SOPerior Fertilizer to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.
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.
Threats SOPerior Fertilizer External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis
The threats of SOPerior Fertilizer are -
Increasing wage structure of SOPerior Fertilizer
– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of SOPerior Fertilizer.
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.
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.
– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for SOPerior Fertilizer in the Non-Metallic Mining sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.
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.
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.
Barriers of entry lowering
– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Non-Metallic Mining industry are lowering. It can presents SOPerior Fertilizer with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Non-Metallic Mining sector.
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.
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.
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.
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.
– 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.
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.