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Passat (PASS) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Passat (France)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Passat is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing household debt because of falling income levels, technology disruption, increasing transportation and logistics costs, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, geopolitical disruptions, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Passat


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




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

The strengths of Passat are -

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Passat 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.

Digital Transformation in Retail (Specialty) industry

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

Successful track record of launching new products

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

Strong track record of project management in the Retail (Specialty) industry

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

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Passat in Retail (Specialty) industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Innovation driven organization

– Passat is one of the most innovative firm in Retail (Specialty) sector.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Passat 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Passat is one of the leading players in the Retail (Specialty) industry in France. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in France. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Learning organization

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

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Passat comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Retail (Specialty) 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.

Diverse revenue streams

– Passat is present in almost all the verticals within the Retail (Specialty) industry. This has provided Passat 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.






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

The weaknesses of Passat are -

Skills based hiring in Retail (Specialty) industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Passat 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.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Passat has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Retail (Specialty) industry over the last five years. Passat 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.

Employees’ less understanding of Passat strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Passat 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.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Passat 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 Retail (Specialty) industry using digital technology.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Passat has high operating costs in the Retail (Specialty) industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Passat lucrative customers.

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

Ability to respond to the competition

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

Aligning sales with marketing

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

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Retail (Specialty) industry, Passat needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Lack of clear differentiation of Passat products

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

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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




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


The opportunities of Passat are -

Leveraging digital technologies

– Passat 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Passat in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Retail (Specialty) industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Finding new ways to collaborate

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

Loyalty marketing

– Passat 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.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Passat has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Retail (Specialty) sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Passat to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Passat to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Passat to increase its market reach. Passat 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.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

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

Manufacturing automation

– Passat can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Retail (Specialty) 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.

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 Passat 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.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Passat 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 Retail (Specialty) industry.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Retail (Specialty) industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Passat in the Retail (Specialty) industry. Now Passat can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.




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


The threats of Passat are -

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

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

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Retail (Specialty) industry are lowering. It can presents Passat with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Retail (Specialty) sector.

Increasing wage structure of Passat

– 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 Passat.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Passat 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 Retail (Specialty) industry.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Passat has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Retail (Specialty) industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Passat needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Retail (Specialty) 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Passat 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 Retail (Specialty) industry and other sectors.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Passat 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.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Passat is facing in Retail (Specialty) sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Environmental challenges

– Passat needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Passat can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Retail (Specialty) industry.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Retail (Specialty) industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Passat can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Passat in Retail (Specialty) industry. The Retail (Specialty) 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.

Regulatory challenges

– Passat 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 Retail (Specialty) industry regulations.

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. Passat needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Retail (Specialty) industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Passat Template, Example


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



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