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Sichuan Expressway (107) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Sichuan Expressway (Hong Kong)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Sichuan Expressway is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – there is backlash against globalization, challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing transportation and logistics costs, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Sichuan Expressway


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




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

The strengths of Sichuan Expressway are -

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Sichuan Expressway in the Transportation sector have low bargaining power. Sichuan Expressway has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Sichuan Expressway to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Sichuan Expressway 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.

Highly skilled collaborators

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

Training and development

– Sichuan Expressway has one of the best training and development program in Transportation 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.

Learning organization

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

Ability to recruit top talent

– Sichuan Expressway is one of the leading players in the Misc. Transportation industry in Hong Kong. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in Hong Kong. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Sichuan Expressway comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Misc. Transportation 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

– Sichuan Expressway is present in almost all the verticals within the Misc. Transportation industry. This has provided Sichuan Expressway 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.

Successful track record of launching new products

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

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Sichuan Expressway 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.

Innovation driven organization

– Sichuan Expressway is one of the most innovative firm in Misc. Transportation sector.

Analytics focus

– Sichuan Expressway 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 Misc. Transportation industry. The technology infrastructure of Hong Kong 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.






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

The weaknesses of Sichuan Expressway are -

Need for greater diversity

– Sichuan Expressway 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.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Sichuan Expressway 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.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Sichuan Expressway has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Misc. Transportation industry over the last five years. Sichuan Expressway 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.

Lack of clear differentiation of Sichuan Expressway products

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

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Sichuan Expressway 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 Misc. Transportation industry using digital technology.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of Hong Kong, Sichuan Expressway needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Sichuan Expressway is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Sichuan Expressway to provide better information regarding Misc. Transportation products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Employees’ less understanding of Sichuan Expressway strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Sichuan Expressway 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 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 Sichuan Expressway supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Sichuan Expressway is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Sichuan Expressway vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

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

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Misc. Transportation industry, Sichuan Expressway 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.




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


The opportunities of Sichuan Expressway are -

Manufacturing automation

– Sichuan Expressway can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Misc. Transportation 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, Sichuan Expressway is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Sichuan Expressway can utilize new technology in the field of Misc. Transportation 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 Sichuan Expressway 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.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

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

Using analytics as competitive advantage

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

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Sichuan Expressway 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 Sichuan Expressway has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Misc. Transportation industry. This can help Sichuan Expressway to build a more holistic ecosystem for Sichuan Expressway products in the Misc. Transportation industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

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

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Buying journey improvements

– Sichuan Expressway can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Misc. Transportation 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.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Misc. Transportation industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Sichuan Expressway 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. Sichuan Expressway 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.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Sichuan Expressway 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. Sichuan Expressway can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.




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


The threats of Sichuan Expressway are -

Environmental challenges

– Sichuan Expressway 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. Sichuan Expressway can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Misc. Transportation 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. Sichuan Expressway needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Misc. Transportation 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, Sichuan Expressway may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Misc. Transportation sector.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Sichuan Expressway 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 Misc. Transportation industry.

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 Sichuan Expressway.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Sichuan Expressway in Misc. Transportation industry. The Misc. Transportation 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.

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 Sichuan Expressway 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, Sichuan Expressway 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 Sichuan Expressway prominent markets.

Barriers of entry lowering

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

Increasing wage structure of Sichuan Expressway

– 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 Sichuan Expressway.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Sichuan Expressway 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.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Sichuan Expressway 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 Misc. Transportation industry and other sectors.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Sichuan Expressway is facing in Misc. Transportation sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Sichuan Expressway Template, Example


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



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