Zebra Technologies: Supplying Fortune 500 Companies for Nearly 50 Years

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Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) is a little known company, but nevertheless a very successful one. It is a publicly traded company that was founded in 1969 by Edward L. Kaplan and Gerhard Cless. Its headquarters are based at Lincolnshire, Illinois, but its reach extends worldwide. In fact, it is one of the most influential technology-based companies out there. Here is a comprehensive review of Zebra Technologies.

Zebra Technologies was initially founded under the name “Data Specialties Incorporated”. Back in 1969, the company dealt with high-speed electromechanical products. However, in 1982, it diverted to selling on- demand labeling & ticketing systems. Four years later in 1986, the company changed its name to Zebra Technologies Corporation, and it went public in 1991.

Acquisitions

Zebra Technologies’ period of growth started in 1998 when it fused with Eltron International, Inc. soon after the merger, the company set its sights on other smaller companies. To this end, it acquired Comtec Information Systems in 2000 and later in 2003 it also acquired Atlanted, Inc. Over the following years, the company expanded and acquired several other companies: Swecoin, WhereNet Corp, Navis Holdings, Proveo AG, and LLC. However, two of the company’s acquisitions made headlines for their significance and for the huge amount of money that changed hand.

Hart Systems, which was acquired in 2013, was bought for a whopping $94 million. However, it was the acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise that really made headlines for two reasons. First, it was bought for $3.45 billion. Second, it gave Zebra Technologies greater capability in providing mobile computing technologies. Additionally, the acquisition helped create more than 2,500 jobs worldwide in 2014 alone, and since then it has opened up job opportunities for about 2000 more people.

Regional Scope

As mentioned earlier, Zebra Technologies is a U.S. based company with headquarters at Lincolnshire, Illinois and Doral, Florida. However, since it has a wide presence in Europe, it also has headquarters in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. It also recently set up an office in Singapore to cater for its clients in the Asia region.

Employees and Income

Zebra Technologies has helped to create thousands of jobs worldwide. As of 2014, the company’s employee registry registered a total of 7,100 worldwide. However, it is speculated that this number has increased significantly since the acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise. What’s more, the company has been expanding its presence in Africa and Asia, and the expansion comes with more employment opportunities for the locals. The company’s income has also grown steadily since it began its acquisitions in the 2000s. As of the spring of 2014, Zebra Technologies was estimated to have assets totaling about $5.5 billion. Its total equity, on the other hand, totaled $1.04 billion.

What it Does

There may be a chance that you have used one of Zebra Technologies’ products without knowing it. This is because it deals with a wide range of products and market niches. The company describes itself as a dealer in tracking, marking, and computer printing technologies. However, its inventory is much more comprehensive than this. Its products include:

Mobile computers

Zebra Technologies sells a wide range of mobile computers for business use. They include: handheld computers, vehicle mounted computers, wearable computers, narrowband digital wireless computers, RFID handheld computers, and discontinued computers.

Printers

Printers are one of the company’s main products. Its inventory of computers include: industrial printers, desktop printers, RFID printers, kiosk printers, mobile printers, card printers, and print engines. The company also sells printer parts and accessories. It excels in this niche thanks to the superior quality of its printers, and it is considered the brand of choice for most U.S. businesses according to Medill Reports. However, since 2008, Zebra Technologies has been outsourcing most of its printer manufacturing operations to China. The operations are handled by a company called Jabil Circuit, which is based in the city of Guangzhou.

Barcode Scanners

The company also sells a wide range of barcode scanners. Its inventory includes: ultra-rugged scanners, general purpose scanners, multi-plane scanners, rugged scanners, companion scanners, fixed mount scanners, and health care scanners.

Location Solutions

The company also offers location solutions with its range of software. Its most popular software in this niche is WhereNet, which is a platform that provides accurate personnel and asset visibility solutions over long ranges. Another of its popular platforms in this niche is the Dart Ultra Wideband Technology, which provides high update and precise real-time location of personnel and assets. Other products in this niche are MPact and RTLS Software.

Interactive Kiosks

Zebra Technologies also produces and sells interactive kiosks. However, its inventory is quite limited. It includes: the MK500 Micro Kiosk, the MK4000 Interactive Kiosk, the MK3100 Interactive Kiosk, and the CC5000 Customer Concierge.

Software

Finally, Zebra Technologies also designs a wide range of software that are designed to be compatible with its technological devices. Its software products include: WLAN systems, Internet of Things, card software, and development services.

Supplies

Finally, the company also sells a wide range of supplies and accessories for its products. Its inventory of supplies includes: labels, tags, ribbons, custom supplies, receipt papers, laser wristbands, cards, card laminates, thermal wristbands, card printer cleaning supplies, RFID wristbands, card printer ribbons, Quikcard professional photo ID kits, RFID inlay placement guidelines, and card overlays. The company’s wide range of products and services has seen it grow its patent portfolio greatly over the years. Currently, the company has more than 4000 patents in the U.S., Europe, and over 100 other countries.

Zebra Technologies Stock Prices

As mentioned earlier, Zebra Technologies is a publicly traded company in the United States. Its stock is designated ZBRA, and it is currently valued at $73.94. it registers an average volume of 538,402, and a market capital of 3.96 billion.

Zebra Technologies is one of the most successful companies in the tracking, marking, and computer printing technologies industry. It owes its success to its superior quality products, and, consequently, it supplies over 90% of the leading Fortune 500 companies. The company has expanded greatly since its acquisition of Motorola Solutions Enterprise in 2014, and it is expected to expand even further over the coming years.



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