At a Glance
Strong salaries and benefits package
Opportunity for advancement
Lots of job openings
Work schedules can be hectic
Demand for company's main product line falling thanks to new technologies
Managers sometimes fail to recognize good work
Pitney Bowes offers positions in a wide range of fields, but some employees fear how it will respond to a changing business environment.
About Pitney Bowes Inc.
Known as the world's largest producer of postage meters (1.1 million installed worldwide), Pitney Bowes Inc. has moved into other areas of getting information from point A to point B. For sure, sending mail and packages is a big part of its business with services like pre-sort, label printing, and logistics among its offerings. But Pitney Bowes has integrated digital capabilities with its physical mail services and expanded into other digital areas. The company offers software-as-a-service and cloud-based services for e-commerce that facilitate cross-border shipping, enabling its clients to provide their customers with the complete cost of the transaction at checkout. The US accounts for about 80% of sales.
Pitney Bowes operates in three business segments: Small & Medium Business Solutions, Global Commerce, and Software Solutions.
Small & Medium Business Solutions (mail finishing, mail creation, shipping equipment, and software) includes North America Mailing and International Mailing. It accounts for about 45% of the company's sales.
Commerce Services, which also accounts for nearly 45% of sales, includes Global Ecommerce (cross-border e-commerce, domestic retail and ecommerce shipping and fulfillment), delivery and return services, and Presort Services.
The Software Solutions segment, about 10% of sales, provides Software-as-a-Service and on-demand applications for data, customer information management, customer engagement, and mailing, customer engagement, and location intelligence software.
Pitney Bowes handles some of its own manufacturing but most of it is done by third-party suppliers. The company also outsources the hosting of its software-as-a-service offerings and the logistics portion of its e-commerce business.
Connecticut-based Pitney Bowes leases facilities worldwide, which house sales offices, service locations, data centers, call centers, and parcel and mail processing facilities. Its principal research and development facilities are in Shelton, Connecticut, and Noida and Pune, India.
Pitney Bowes depends on the US market for 80% of its revenue.
Sales and Marketing
Pitney Bowes sells products and services to a variety of business, governmental, institutional, and other organizations though its sales force, direct mailings, outbound telemarketing, independent dealers and distributors, and over the internet. With a long history, the Pitney Bowes name is well-known among US corporations. The company counts 90% of companies listed in the FORTUNE 500 as customers, although small and medium businesses account for about half of revenue.
Pitney Bowes halted a several-year decline in revenue in 2017 and maintained upward momentum with higher sales in 2018.
Revenue rose 13% to $3.5 billion in 2018 from 2017, driven by an 85% increase in Global Ecommerce sales ($471 million higher than in 2017). The addition of Newgistics revenue provided most of the increase. Software Solutions posted 3% higher sales in 2018, while SMB Solutions revenue dropped 6%.
Pitney Bowes’ net income slipped about $38 million to $223.7 million in 2018 from 2017. While the company has reduced costs in a multi-year effort, it continues to spend on product development and sales and marketing for its growth businesses.
The company concluded 2018 with $867.3 million in its cash coffers compared to about $1 billion in 2017. In 2018, Pitney Bowes generated $392 million from operations, while investing activities provided $259 million and financing activities used $766 million.
For nearly 100 years Pitney Bowes was a postage company, selling businesses postage meters and other products and services that moved mail. The company still moves mail: It processes about 15 billion pieces of mail a year through its operating centers in the US. But in the face of increased use of email and overnight services like FedEx, Pitney Bowes has restyled itself as a technology company, complete with digitization and cloud-based services.
Leading its technology charge is Commerce Cloud, an offering with analytics, logistics, application programming interfaces, payment management, and other functions. Commerce Cloud also includes the company’s SendPro services that enable customers to send packages through multiple carriers from the same device or software application that they use to send letters.
Another business, Global Ecommerce, which delivered more than $1 billion in revenue in 2018 (up 85% from 2017), helps retailers as well as sellers on eBay get goods to customers. Much of the Global Ecommerce growth came from Newgistics, acquired in 2017. The company leverages Newgistics' network and volumes to benefit its parcel platform and the Global Ecommerce and Presort Services segments.
Pitney Bowes is under pressure to increase the volume of its digital and cloud businesses, which have lower margins than its SMB Solutions and Software Solutions businesses. The company also wants to decrease costs to widen margins.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Pitney Bowes has made several acquisitions in recent years to bolster its ecommerce capabilities and diversify its offerings.
In 2019 the company bought Emtex Ltd. for $41 million. Emtex's software and services allow large-volume mailers to simplify document production and centrally manage complex multi-vendor and multi-site print operations.
Pitney Bowes acquired DDD Co. for $49.5 million in 2019. DDD provides fulfillment services, secure mail processing, messenger services, logistics support, and record and information management. The deal accelerated Pitney Bowes’ diversification of the PBMS customer base into the government sector.
In 2017 the company bought Newgistics Inc., a provider of parcel delivery, returns, fulfillment, and digital commerce services for retailers and ecommerce companies, for $475 million. The deal speeds up Pitney Bowes’ expansion into the parcels market in the US and enhances its domestic ecommerce and presort offerings.
In 1912 Walter Bowes, an address machine salesman, gained control of Universal Stamping Machine, which made stamp canceling machines. In 1920 Bowes joined with Arthur Pitney, who had developed a postage metering machine. After creating a market by forcing through Congress legislation that outlawed the sale of meters, the Pitney-Bowes Postage Meter Company began leasing new machines in 1921. During the 1920s Pitney-Bowes built a large service fleet with leasing and repair expertise; added mail handling machines, including stampers and counters, to its product line; and expanded into Canada, Germany, and the UK.
Pitney left in 1924 to start a competing company. Other competitors, including IBM and NCR, entered the market, but they were never able to catch up with Pitney-Bowes. The company was so successful that almost no competitors remained. The US Justice Department investigated the business practices of the company, which agreed to license its patents to potential competitors, free of charge.
Facing the prospect of increased competition, Pitney-Bowes began to diversify its operations. In 1967 the company took on Xerox with a line of copiers. In the late 1960s it moved into pricing and inventory control equipment and credit and ID card products. It also established a joint venture with Alpex for point-of-sale terminals that proved a flop. In 1973 the company wrote off its investment, resulting in its first-ever loss.
3001 SUMMER ST
Stamford, CT 06905-4321
Phone: 1 (203) 356-5000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: PBI
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
President and CEO: Marc B. Lautenbach
EVP and COO: Michael Monahan
Chairman: Michael I. Roth
Employees (This Location): 3,500
Employees (All Locations): 13,300
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