ZBRA » Topics » Business The Company

This excerpt taken from the ZBRA 10-K filed Feb 28, 2006.


The Company

Zebra Technologies designs, manufactures and distributes specialty printing devices that print variable information on demand at the point of issuance. These devices are used worldwide by manufacturers, service organizations and governments for automatic identification, data collection and personal identification in applications that improve productivity, deliver better customer service and provide more effective security. Our product range consists of direct thermal and thermal transfer label and receipt printers, radio frequency identification (RFID) printer/encoders, dye sublimation card printers, and digital photo printers. We also sell a comprehensive range of specialty supplies consisting of self-adhesive labels, thermal transfer ribbons, thermal printheads, batteries and other accessories, including software for label design and printer network management.


We design our products to operate at the point of issuance to produce and dispense high-quality labels, plastic cards, and photographs on demand. The exceptional diversity of applications using our printer products for barcoding and personal identification is comprised of routing and tracking, transactions processing, and identification and authentication. They include applications that require high levels of data accuracy and where speed and reliability are critical. They also include specialty printing for receipts and tickets where improved customer service and productivity gains may be the primary reason for printing, rather than a barcoding application. Plastic cards are used for secure, reliable personal identification or access control. Digital photo printers are sold on an OEM basis to professional photographers and for use in kiosks at retail and other locations.


Applications for our technology span most industries and geographies. They include inventory control, small package delivery, baggage handling, automated warehousing, JIT (Just-In-Time) manufacturing, employee time and attendance records, file management systems, hospital information systems, medical specimen labeling, shop floor control, in-store product labeling, employee ID cards, driver’s licenses, and access control systems. As of December 31, 2005, management estimates that Zebra has sold almost 5,000,000 printers to users in approximately 100 countries.


We believe competitive forces on businesses worldwide to strengthen security, reduce costs, improve quality, deliver better customer service, and increase productivity, support the adoption of bar code, RFID and specialty printing applications because these technologies deliver significant and predictable economic benefits. Industry-mandated compliance requirements for bar code labeling and RFID tagging are also important catalysts in the deployment of these systems. We also believe that companies are adopting automatic identification systems that incorporate barcoding and RFID for business improvement applications. Many of these applications make increasing use of enterprise-wide resource planning (ERP) and other process improvement systems in manufacturing and service organizations. Greater emphasis on supply chain management, the drive to reduce errors in healthcare, and heightened concern over safety and security will lead to increased use of automatic




identification systems. Still other applications are taking advantage of recent advances in wireless and hand-held computing technologies.


Concern for safety and security and personal identification contribute to demand for our card printer products. This concern has heightened interest in systems that provide personal identification and access control, including secure ID systems for driver’s licenses, employee and visitor badges, national identification cards, event passes, club membership cards, and keyless entry systems.


Zebra completed its initial public offering in August 1991. We are organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, and our principal offices are located at 333 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061. Our main telephone number is
(847) 634-6700 and our primary Internet Web site address is www.zebra.com. You can find all of Zebra’s filings with the SEC free of charge through the investor page on this Web site, immediately upon filing.


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