Harson Trading China (603958) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Harson Trading China (China)

Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Harson Trading China is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, technology disruption, geopolitical disruptions, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing household debt because of falling income levels, etc

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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Harson Trading China

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

Strengths of Harson Trading China | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Harson Trading China are -

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Harson Trading China 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.

Innovation driven organization

– Harson Trading China is one of the most innovative firm in Footwear sector.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Harson Trading China is one of the leading players in the Footwear industry in China. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in China. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Analytics focus

– Harson Trading China 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 Footwear industry. The technology infrastructure of China 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Digital Transformation in Footwear industry

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Harson Trading China is present in almost all the verticals within the Footwear industry. This has provided Harson Trading China 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.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

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

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Footwear industry

– Harson Trading China has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Harson Trading China to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Footwear industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Harson Trading China to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Harson Trading China comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Footwear 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.

Learning organization

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

Weaknesses of Harson Trading China | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Harson Trading China are -

Lack of clear differentiation of Harson Trading China products

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

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Harson Trading China is just above the Footwear industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Harson Trading China, in the dynamic environment of Footwear industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Harson Trading China has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Skills based hiring in Footwear industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Harson Trading China 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Harson Trading China strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Harson Trading China 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 Harson Trading China ‘s star products

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

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Harson Trading China has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Footwear industry over the last five years. Harson Trading China 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.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Harson Trading China has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Footwear industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Harson Trading China needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Footwear industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Harson Trading China can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Harson Trading China is planning to shift buying processes online.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Harson Trading China 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 Footwear industry using digital technology.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Harson Trading China has high operating costs in the Footwear industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Harson Trading China lucrative customers.

Harson Trading China Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The opportunities of Harson Trading China are -

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Harson Trading China 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 Footwear industry.

Loyalty marketing

– Harson Trading China 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 Harson Trading China to increase its market reach. Harson Trading China 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.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Harson Trading China 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Footwear industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Harson Trading China 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. Harson Trading China 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.

Developing new processes and practices

– Harson Trading China can develop new processes and procedures in Footwear 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, Harson Trading China can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Harson Trading China operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Footwear sector.

Buying journey improvements

– Harson Trading China can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Footwear 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.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Harson Trading China is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Harson Trading China can utilize new technology in the field of Footwear industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Harson Trading China 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.

Threats Harson Trading China External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The threats of Harson Trading China are -

Aging population

– 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

– Harson Trading China 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 Footwear industry.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Harson Trading China needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Footwear industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Learning curve for new practices

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

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Harson Trading China is facing in Footwear 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 Footwear industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Harson Trading China can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Increasing wage structure of Harson Trading China

– 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 Harson Trading China.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Harson Trading China in Footwear industry. The Footwear 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.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Harson Trading China has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Footwear industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Harson Trading China needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Footwear 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.

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 Harson Trading China business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Harson Trading China 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.

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. Harson Trading China 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.

Weighted SWOT Analysis of Harson Trading China Template, Example

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

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