About Trimble Inc.

Trimble Inc. makes equipment to prepare a site for construction, build the building, manage it once built, and keep track of vehicles and workers. The company makes GPS, Global Navigation Satellite System, laser, and optical technologies and software that help guide and track machines, equipment, parts, and people. The company's products target areas such as surveying, construction site project management, building information modeling, mapping, mobile personnel management, and mobile and fixed asset management. Trimble sells to end users, such as government entities, farmers, engineering firms, and public safety workers, as well as equipment manufacturers. Sales are evenly split between US and international customers.


Trimble Inc.'s operating segments are Engineering and Construction, Field Solutions, Mobile Solutions, and Advanced Devices.

Engineering and Construction accounts for more than half of the company's sales. The segment's products include construction machine guidance systems and robotic optical surveying instruments. The company uses the term "Connected Site" to describe its civil construction portfolio, which brings together data from across the construction process. Geospatial products include field-based data collection systems and software, real-time communications systems, and back-office software for processing, modeling, reporting, and analysis.

Mobile Solutions, about a quarter of sales, makes hardware and software used to handle scheduling for field service technicians and other mobile workers. It provides in-vehicle GPS receivers and other systems for tracking vehicles and other mobile assets. Mobile products are sold under the brands Trimble, PeopleNet, TMW, and ALK Technologies.

Field Solutions, about 15% of sales, makes devices and software for agricultural and geographic information system (GIS) applications. Agricultural offerings include systems that provide navigation guidance for farm equipment. It also sells handheld data collection units designed to work with GIS databases. Utility companies use such systems to gather and store information about transmission poles, water lines, and other infrastructure.

Advanced Devices (about 5% of sales) encompasses mobile mapping, embedded technologies (boards, modules, chipsets, licenses), military and advanced systems (aircraft navigation), and Military and Advanced Systems.

Trimble makes its own laser and optics-based products as well as some GPS products. The company sends the rest of its hardware manufacturing work to Flextronics International Limited, Benchmark Electronics Inc., and Jabil.

Geographic Reach

Besides its US operations, California-based Trimble Inc. has facilities in Canada, China, India, New Zealand, and several European countries. The US is its largest single market, accounting for about 50% of sales. Customers in Europe generate about a quarter of sales and customers in the Asia/Pacific region are responsible for about 14%.

Sales and Marketing

Trimble Inc. sells through indirect channels, including distributors, dealers, and authorized representatives. Its key distribution partners include CNH Global, Caterpillar, and Nikon. The company supports sales channels from its regional sales offices throughout the world.

Trimble's customers include some 70% of the top geospatial firms, 80% of the top 25 building contractors, and the top 10 civil contractors in North America. In agriculture, Trimble products keep track of more than 125 million acres of farmland worldwide.

Financial Performance

Trimble Inc.'s revenue has been stuck between about $2 billion and $2.4 billion for the past five years as the company has struggled to grow. It has been profitable, but net income peaked (so far) at about $220 million in 2014.

The company's revenue ticked up about 3% in 2016 to about $2.4 billion from about $2.3 billion in 2015. The Mobile segment led the company with an 8% revenue increase (about $40 million) in 2016 driven by transportation and logistics. Engineering and Construction revenue rose about 3% ($30 million) from sales for building construction and civil engineering and construction. Field Solutions sales were flat due to softness in GIS markets. Advanced Devices revenue rose about 3% from OEM and end-user demand. The Asia/Pacific region and Japan led geographic sales, rising 10%. A 3% sales increase in Europe might have been higher, but UK sales slowed after the Brexit vote. North American sales inched about 1% higher.

Trimble's profit rose 9% to $132 million in 2016 from about $120 million in 2015. Most expense items were higher in 2016, but accounted for the same percentage of revenue as they did the year before.

Cash provided by operating activities was about $407 million in 2016 compared to about $355 million in 2015. The increase was due to higher net income and a decrease in working capital requirements due to inventory improvements. The company turned inventory 4.8 times in 2016 compared to 4 times in 2015.


After several years of steady, if unspectacular, sales and profit, Trimble Inc. might be headed for growth - if rising organic revenue in the second half of 2016 is an indication. The company changed its name from Trimble Navigation Ltd. to Trimble Inc. in 2016 to reflect its broader range of products and services.

In 2016, the company tightened expenses, controlled the number of employees, divested several businesses, and shored up underperforming businesses. It sold its public safety, drone, and ThingMagic businesses and the hydro part of the agriculture business. The company centered its fix-it efforts on the field services in Mobile Solutions and the Manhattan Software business. The field services business broke even in the fourth quarter and is expected to grow in 2017. Manhattan Software's performance has improved, but the unit remains a financial drag.

Trimble's maintained the conversion of customers from perpetual software and maintenance licenses to the software-as-a-service subscription model. Revenue from subscriptions increased to nearly half of revenue in 2016. The company's newer products such as TMW, Tekla, agriculture software, and ALK are sold as subscription services.

The company continues to develop its data and software for agriculture applications that provide farmers with real-time field conditions and other information for better managing resources and raising crop yields. In 2016 Trimble consolidated several its agriculture software brands and platforms into a single package, Trimble Ag Software. It is designed to integrate all the information on the farm for the farmer, who can share it with advisors, suppliers, and purchasers.

Trimble was relatively quiet in acquisitions in 2016 (just three), but the company revved up its acquisition engine with seven deals in the first half of 2017. Trimble has concluded more than 15 deals with prices between $2 million and $13 million since 2015. Recent acquisitions were made to add capabilities that extend beyond navigation.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 Trimble Inc. bought privately-held Beena Vision Systems Inc., a manufacturer of vision-based automatic wayside inspection systems for the railroad industry. Beena Vision's non-contact measurement technology makes a detailed condition assessment of train components-ranging from wheel surface condition to full train inspection-on trains operating in service and at high speeds. The deal adds vision-based systems to Trimble's rolling stock data aggregation and analytics tools.

Other acquisitions included:

-- Building Data, which should strengthen Trimble's building information modeling lineup. Building Data brought with it a proprietary database of more than 6 million 3D data components.

-- Innovative Software Engineering, which develops Internet of Things (IoT) and telematics technologies, and mobility applications. The acquisition expands Trimble's fleet safety and compliance products including electronic driver logs as a service.

-- Network Mapping Group (NM GROUP), which develops data modeling and 3D visualization services, expanding Trimble's offerings for the energy industry. NM Group gathers data through remote sensing, runs the data through its data analysis tools, and creates information products such as 3D asset models, engineering assessments, and risk analysis. Utilities use the output to improve asset management, efficiency, and compliance.

-- Müller-Elektronik, a German company that makes software and hardware for precision farming applications. Trimble expects that the combination of its products with Müller's will provide manufacturers a wider selection of precision farming tools for tractors, combine harvesters, field sprayers, drill machines, seeders, and other implements. The deal was expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

-- Sefaira Ltd., a developer of cloud-based software for the design of sustainable and high-performance buildings. It enables Trimble's Design-Build-Operate (DBO) portfolio to include tools for designing high-performing buildings.

-- Cadec Global Inc., a provider of technology for foodservice and private fleets.

-- PocketMobile, Sweden based, provider of enterprise mobile workforce solutions for international customers in the areas of postal service and logistics, security, and field service.

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Trimble Inc.

935 Stewart Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94085-3913
Phone: 1 (408) 481-8000
Fax: 1 (408) 481-6885


  • Employer Type: Public
  • President and CEO: Steven W. Berglund
  • Chairman: Ulf J. Johansson
  • Vice Chairman: Nickolas W. Vande Steeg
  • 2016 Employees: 8,388

Major Office Locations

  • Sunnyvale, CA

Other Locations

  • Huntsville, AL
  • Carlisle, AR
  • Jonesboro, AR
  • Boulder, CO
  • Englewood, CO
  • Westminster, CO
  • Newark, DE
  • Rayville, LA
  • Bedford, MA
  • Marlborough, MA
  • Woburn, MA
  • Marquette, MI
  • Bedford, NH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Dayton, OH
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Portland, OR
  • Tigard, OR
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Lubbock, TX
  • Plano, TX
  • Provo, UT
  • Salem, VA
  • Ieper, Belgium
  • Kanata, Canada
  • Saskatoon, Canada
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • Beijing, China
  • Espoo, Finland
  • Kuhmoinen, Finland
  • Mikkeli, Finland
  • Vaasa, Finland
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Greven, Germany
  • Jena, Germany
  • Leipzig, Germany
  • Schenefeld, Germany
  • Chennai, India
  • Gurgaon, India
  • Bulandet, Norway
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Zürich, Switzerland
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