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Viasystems Review

         

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Viasystems is one of the country’s leading providers of complex, high-reliability PCBs — most notably multi-layer rigid, backplanes, flex, and rigid flex circuit boards. Since 1996 Viasystems has served top OEMs and EMS providers. Half of Viasytems $1.7 billion in revenue is from North America.

While Viasystems supplies to numerous end-markets, the company receives more than half of its net sales from automotive and industrial instrumentation. PCB fabrication represents 85% of Viasystems revenue, but they are also a vertically integrated supplier of electro-mechancal solutions (15% of revenue).

Markets: Automotive, telecommunications, industrial & instrumentation, medical, consumer, computing, military & aerospace.

U.S. Locations (manufacturing): Anaheim, CA; Milpitas, CA; San Jose, CA; Forest Grove, OR; Denver, CO; Cleveland, OH; North Jackson, OH; Sterling, VA.

U.S. Locations (tech support): Austin, TX; Richardson, TX; Bedford, NH; Boston, MA; Forest Grove, OR; Long Island, NY; Minneapolis, MN; Phoenix, AZ; Richmond, VA; Silicon Valley, CA; Tampa, FL.   

Offshore Locations (manufacturing): Canada (Toronto); Mexico (Juarez); China (Shenzhen, Huiyang, Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Shanghai.

Offshore Locations (tech support): United Kingdom (Coventry); Netherlands (Echt); Canada (Montreal, Toronto); China (Shanghai).

Certifications: ISO 9001: 2008; QS9000, ISO/TS 16949:2009 (Automotive); ISO 13485:2003 (Medical); TL 9000, Bellcore, BABT (Telecom); AS 9100C, MIL-PRF-31032-55110, MIL-PRF-55110(G), MIL-P-50884, PRF-50884, NADCAP, ITAR/CGP (Aerospace/Military);  ISO 14001:2006 (Environmental); ISO/TS 17025:2005 (Labratory), UL.

Specialty:  Multi-layer PCB fabrication, advanced technology PCB's, large format backplanes, sheet metal & enclosures, electro-mechanical assembly.

Size: 5 million square feet worldwide manufacturing space; 14,000 employees

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Financial: $1.71 billion in revenue in FY2013, up 9.5% from FY2012.

In FY2014Q2, Viasystems reported net sales of $300.9 million, a year-over-year increase of 5.4%.  Although Viasystems’ didn’t offer a specific guidance for FY2014Q3, it stated the company expects "modest" sequential growth moving into the next quarter.

Comments:

Viasystems is a premier American PCB fabricator and a leader in higher-volume PCBs for automotive and telecom products.The company has been awarded fifty-five patents, including FLAT-WRAP™ Technology, which reduces the amount surface plated copper needed to meet the IPC specification for wrap plating. Viasystems is also a pioneer in stacked microvia technology.

The company was incorporated in 1996 as “Circo Craft Holdings Company” but months later changed its name to “Circo Technologies,” having run no prior operations. In 1997, Circo Technologies officially became Viasystems.

From 1997 to 2001, ViaSystems expanded rapidly through acquisitions of multiple businesses in North America, Europe, and China. During this period, the company focused on full systems assemblies, wire harnesses, and cable assemblies for telecommunications and networking OEMs. In 2001, however, the telecommunications markets hit a major downturn. To compensate for losses and excess inventory, the comapny closed 24 of its under-performing facilities, diversified its customers and end-markets, and streamlined its product focus to PCBs, electro-mechanical solutions, and wire harnesses. 

By 2006, ViaSystems sold its wire harness business and repositioned itself strictly as a PCB and electro-mechanial manufacturer. A few years later Viasystems reduced its electro-mechanical business to compensate for losses spurred by the global recession. In February 2010, the company was recapitalized pursuant to a recapitalization agreement in which many of the company’s preferred holdings were either converted into, or exchanged for, common shares.  

The same year, Viasystems acquired Merix Corporation, a leading manufacturer of complex, multi-layer PCBs. The deal added a total of four new facilities to the company's quick-turn capabilities in China and North America and eventually lead Viasystems into military and aerospace manufacturing. In 2012, Viasystems acquired DDi Corp., which provided the company with seven additional production facilities and bolstered its flexible circuit and quick-turn manufacturing capabilities.     

Most recently, in 2013, Viasystems terminated its stockholder agreement with VG Holdings, LLC—a company that held 75% of Viasystems' common stock—following a mandatory distribution of VG’s ownership to its respective owners, including affiliates of HM Capital Partners, affiliates of Black Diamond Management, LLC, and TCW Share Opportunities Fund III, L.P.  

Viasystems supplies more than 1,000 OEMs and CEMs. In 2013, the company’s ten largest customers accounted for approximately 40.6% of its net sales--Robert Bosch GmbH representing 12.6%. Some of Viasystems’ other top customers include: Cisco Systems, Apple Inc., Tesla Motors, General Electric Company, Raytheon Company, and Rockwell Automation, among other leading OEMs. Viasystems' top EMS customers include: Foxconnn, Flextronics, Jabil, Celestica, Benchmark, and Plexus. 

In FY2013, Viasystems earned a majority of its net sales from the automotive (30.2%) and industrial & instrumentation (25.4%) end-markets. Sales in its other markets--telecommunications, computing, and military & aerospace--comprised 44.4% of Viasystems’ 2013 net sales. In recent years, the company has shown increasing interest in military & aerospace contracts, earning 10.5% of its net sales from these markets 2013, compared with 4.0% in 2011.

Awards: Rockwell Collins Supplier of the Year Award (2014), Tesla Motors Supplier of the Year Award (2013), United Automotive Electronic Systems Grade 1 Supplier Award (2012), and Celestica TCOO Supplier Award Honoree (2009), among others. 

Glassdoor: Based on 12 reviews on Glassdoor.com, Viasystems received 2.2/5 stars, with 18% of respondents recommending the company to a friend. Based on 4 ratings Viasystems’ CEO, David M. Sindelar, received a 50% approval rating.

Very good work environment, average benefits and good payment. I can work from my home with no problems and the shift hours are very flexible.” - Current Materials Engineer.

“No regular performance reviews given so you really don't know if they are satisfied with your work. Only a chosen few move on to better positions.” - Former Accountant.

(See Viasystems’ complete Glassdoor review)

Web (about): http://www.viasystems.com/about-us/profile.html

Web (contact): http://www.viasystems.com/contact/contact-us.html

 

Further Reading: 3 Biggest Myths In Contract Manufacturing Supplier Selection