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© rangizzz dreamstime.com Electronics Production | February 24, 2016

Flex – how is it different from Flextronics?

Evertiq's Polish branch had a sit down with Flex' Michael Mendenhall, CMO and CCO, to talk about what sparked the name-change from Flextronics to Flex.
Mr. Mendenhall explains that the company's strategy has evolved steadily over the past 40 years. It grew from contract manufacturer to being an electronics manufacturing company. The latest stage in the transformation has been the development into an end-to-end supply-chain solutions provider. He adds that the biggest opportunity lies in the increasing number – and variety – of smart connected products (most commonly referred to as internet of things, IoT). Flex has chosen to call it “The Intelligence of Things”, because the value ultimately lies in the intelligence created by the connectivity.

“These days, brands that historically made simple, standalone products – like kitchen appliances, for example – are trying to figure out how to make these products connected and intelligent. And Flex can help. We are in a very unique, strategic position, since we’ve been doing this for so long. We understand the technology of almost every industry, ranging from Healthcare and Automotive, to Industrial, Energy, Communications, Enterprise Computing and Consumer Electronics,” says Michael Mendenhall.

Mr. Mendenhall says that the company sees more and more convergence between previously independent technologies and industries. The value that Flex provides to its customers is its expertise in all of these technologies and industries,. This allows for the integration of the best technologies from multiple industries into any new product. As an example he mentions new technology developed for medical devices, which can also be extremely valuable in designing new automotive interiors.

“Regarding our geographic presence and future plans – Flex is a truly global company with 200'000 employees in over 30 countries, including over 3'000 design engineers in locations around the world, helping brands create innovative new products. This large scale and distributed global presence is very important to our customers, as it allows us to provide services in locations best suited to our customers’ end-markets and supply chains. So our plan is to maintain, and expand, this broad geographic presence,” he says.

What are the main obstacles holding back the development of the electronics industry?

“The electronics industry will continue to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future. IoT analysts predict that up to 50 billion devices or “things” will be connected to the Internet by 2020. This means we are entering a period of rapid transition and transformation, full of disruptive new technologies and business models. Our customers face a future that requires connectivity and intelligence in new products from almost every industry. This represents both big challenges and big opportunities,” Mr. Mendenhall concludes.

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