Plexus isn't perplexed by even complex contract electronics manufacturing. The company develops and manufactures electronic products for companies in the telecommunications, medical, industrial, and defense markets. Plexus provides product design, assembly, and testing of printed circuit boards (PCBs), test equipment, and other electronic components. The company also offers prototyping, materials procurement, warehousing and distribution, and other support services. Its customers include networking equipment maker Juniper Networks (17% of sales) and General Electric. Plexus manufactures in China, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, and the UK, but gets about half of its sales from customers in the US, and a third from Malaysia.
Plexus' sales and profits are dependent on demand from customers and end-users, as well as the mix of products produced for its customers. The company's strategy is to focus on mid-to-low volume, higher complexity turnkey programs focusing on flexibility, technology, quality, and adhering to regulatory requirements. It also offers value-added services such as logistics management and repair services. It also segments its R&D, with teams dedicated to each of its target sectors.
Almost every business segment contributed to the nearly 11% increase in sales for 2011 from both new and existing customers. Only the wireless infrastructure sector saw an overall decline. Between 50% and 60% of sales comes from Plexus' top 10 customers, so losing just one can costly. Two of the company's customers, which collectively accounted for about 8% of total 2010 sales, were acquired early that year, one of them a wireless infrastructure customer (the other a wireline/networking client), partially accounting for that segment's drop. The other main contributor to the segment's shortfall was a decrease in end-market demand for products of another of Plexus' customers in that market. Though Plexus lost a significant defense customer during 2009, it added The Coca-Cola Company as an industrial customer. Plexus will manufacture the Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispenser.
In 2012 the company announced it would sign an agreement with Kontron AG to acquire certain assets and employees of Malaysian subsidiary Kontron Design Manufacturing Services for between $30 million and $35 million. Those operations would be moved to Plexus facilities in the same region, and Kontron AG would commit to about $100 million of incremental revenue a year for two years.
In 2010 it began leasing space in Darmstadt, Germany (about 50 miles south of Frankfurt) to house design, engineering, and product development operations. Later that year it bought land in China to construct a new 180,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility, where it expects production to start in the latter half of 2012. – less