About Symbol Technologies, LLC

Zebra Technologies helps customers keep track of inventory, supplies, trucks, and even football players. The company makes a range technologies for identifying and tracking corporate assets as and capturing and analyzing information gained from the tracking. Zebra's customers can use that data to better deploy their assets. Zebra also makes and sells devices that print and read bar codes, ATM cards, drivers' licenses, labels, tickets, and receipts. Zebra's customers are in the retail, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries. The company is engaged in a pilot program with the National Football League to track players on the gridiron from sensors placed in shoulder pads.

Operations

Zebra Technologies' Enterprise segment accounts for almost two-thirds of the company's revenue. The unit makes mobile computing, data capture, and radio frequency identification devices (RFID)and provides services for installing and using those products. Common applications include asset identification and tracking and workflow management.

The Legacy Zebra segment, about a third of revenue, offers barcode and card printers, location-based products and services, supplies, and services. Customers employ the products to locate, track, manage, and improve utilization of assets, equipment, and people.

The final assembly of Zebra's hardware products is done by third-parties, including electronics manufacturing services companies and joint design manufacturers.

Geographic Reach

Zebra Technologies is headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and has laboratory and warehouse facilities the US, the UK, and Canada. The company's hardware products are made primarily in facilities in China, Mexico, and Brazil. Overall, it has facilities in more than 80 countries.

About half of Zebra's sales are to customers in the North American region and about a third are bought by users in the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region. Asia accounts for about 15%.

Sales and Marketing

Zebra Technologies' customers are in retail, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, warehouse and distribution, energy and utilities, education, and government. About 45% of the company's sales are to three customers, with the biggest accounting for a fifth of the company's revenue.

The company reaches customers through its direct sales force as well as distributors, value added resellers, independent software vendors, direct marketers, and original equipment manufacturers.

Financial Performance

Zebra Technologies had moved up to about $1.6 billion in revenue by 2014 and then it added about $2 billion in revenue when it acquired Motorola Solutions, which became its Enterprise segment.

Zebra Technologies reported a 2% revenue drop to about $3.6 billion in 2016 from about $3.7 billion in 2015. Lower sales were recorded for the Legacy segment's barcode printer and data capture products and the Enterprise unit's wireless LAN and location products in North America, EMEA, and Latin America. A 4% increase in hardware sales in Asia took some of the sting out of the lower sales elsewhere. The company reported improved sales of supplies and mobile computing products in 2016.

Zebra's net income didn't budge year-to-year, remaining at $137 million in 2016. Costs were mostly lower in 2016, compared to those of 2015. But in 2016 the company took a $62 million write-down on goodwill related to the divestiture of the wireless LAN business and spent more on selling, general, and administrative costs.

Zebra's cash flow from operations rose to $372 million in 2016 from $111 million in 2015. The increase was aided by a lower deferred income tax benefit of about $98 million and asset impairment for goodwill, intangibles and other assets of $69 million. Further, the company had improved working capital of $85 million in 2016.

Strategy

Zebra Technologies believes it has the tools to help its customers extract and analyze information from their physical assets and translate it into digital data for making better decisions. The company is focused on combining mobility, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and smart devices as an information generation-and-collection engine. It is designing its product to analyze the information for its customers so they can get it to the people who need it in the office or in the field.

In 2016 Zebra offered new generations of smart devices in mobile computing, data capture, and printing that are deployed in the field, warehouses, and stores. The TC51, a hand-held computing that runs on the Android operating system, was well received by customers in the company's retail and ecommerce and healthcare businesses. On a broader note, Zebra is shifting its mobile products to the Android OS and away from Microsoft Windows (which Microsoft is due to stop supporting). Zebra sees itself ahead of the competition in the shift to Android.

Zebra is working on a pilot program with the National Football League, outfitting shoulder pads with sensors that record information about players and how they move in action. In another test program, the company has inserted sensors in footballs. The data collected from the devices could inform teams - and fans - about the effectiveness of players.

In 2016 Zebra sold its wireless LAN business to Extreme Networks for about $55 million. The deal helps Zebra management better focus on its core businesses and removes a drag on sales.

The acquisition of Motorola Solutions added about $2 billion in sales and a wealth of technology to Zebra. But the company must integrate processes and cultures. It plans to conclude the process in 2017 with the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that serves the whole company.

The acquisition also saddled Zebra with a load of debt. In 2016 the company paid down $382 million of debt, getting more than halfway to its goal of reducing debt by $650 million in 2016 and 2017. Reducing debt would free up capital and improve its credit rating, allowing the company to borrow at lower interest rates.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2015, Zebra Technologies bought ITR Group's mobile consulting and software development firm, ITR Mobility and its mobile platform, iFactr. ITR Group provides strategic staffing services to regional, national, and international organizations.

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Symbol Technologies, LLC

1 Zebra Plz
Holtsville, NY 11742-1300
Phone: 1 (631) 737-6851
Fax: 1 (631) 738-3824

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Vp-cto: Ray Martino
  • Sr V Pres-gm: Satya Sharma
  • Cto-vp/symbol Mobility Sol Grp: Lou Steinberg
  • Employees: 4,500

Major Office Locations

  • Holtsville, NY

Other Locations

  • Alameda, CA
  • Centennial, CO
  • Conifer, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Coral Springs, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Bohemia, NY
  • Holbrook, NY
  • Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Mcallen, TX
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