Changes for Flextronics

Adapting to change is nothing new for Flextronics. The company which made a name for itself in the heyday of outsourced high tech manufacturing during the early 2000s is looking to do it once again.

The Singapore-based electronics manufacturing and assembly company which works with such customers as Apple, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, SunEdison and Ford Motor Co., recently reported a 16% decline in year-over-year quarterly net sales for the period ending June 26. Adjusted operating income was down 13.1% to $159m for the same period.

Adaptability is always needed in the fast changing high tech industry. Earlier this month, the company announced that it created software, Flex Pulse, to help it manage its global network of 14,000 suppliers in real time. According to the Wall Street Journal, the software will help identify potential problems with suppliers early and redirect work to keep inventory moving.

And, as part of this adaptability, Flextronics announced that it would consolidate its Plano-Texas Global operations with its Austin-Texas Global operations. The Plano/Fort Worth facility opened with much fanfare in 2013 when Google’s Motorola Mobility and Flextronics announced the location would serve as the US’s first smart phone manufacturing location. However poor sales and the ultimate sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo in 2014 resulted in the facility’s closure in 2014.

Last week Flextronics announced that, to reflect these latest changes, it would alter its name to ‘Flex’. According to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, “We have progressed in our product and service offering over the years, adding many new solutions, and today we are much more than just an EMS, supply chain solutions or ‘tronics’ company. And while we recognize that the company flourished in the Information Age, we are now defining the new Age of Intelligence. Our name change – from Flextronics to Flex – reflects our evolution.”

And indeed it has moved beyond its EMS roots. In April, it acquired Mirror Controls International, a global manufacturer of glass and powerfold mirror actuators in the automotive market. According to the president of Flex Automotive, “Upon completion, the acquisition of MCi will further expand our solutions offering with expertise that addresses the key technology trends in automobile electronics.”

Furthermore the CEO of the company noted, “Our M&A strategy remains focused on identifying and acquiring technologies that deliver innovative solutions to our customers in companies that have longer and stable product life cycles.” Perhaps that is the key to financial success for companies such as Flex, longer and stable product life cycles.