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Jabil Review

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It goes without saying that Jabil Circuit is one of industry's most esteemed EMS providers. Founded almost fifty years ago, the company has grown into the world's third-largest EMS by revenue, largely through its exemplary business practices, supply chain management, innovation, and quality. 

Markets (segments): Jabil’s operations are divided into three segments: “Diversified Manufacturing Services” (healthcare, instrumentation, defense and aerospace, industrial and energy, and growth markets), “Enterprise and Infrastructure” (computing and storage, networking and communications) and "High Velocity Solutions” (automotive, digital home, mobility, point of sale, printing).

Services: Integrated design and engineering; component selection, sourcing, and procurement; automated assembly; design implementation of product testing; parallel global production; enclosure services; systems assembly; direct order fulfillment and configure to order; injection molding, plastics, precision machining and automation; and aftermarket services.

Specialties: Healthcare, instrumentation, defense and aerospace, industrial and energy, and growth markets. 

U.S. Locations: Anaheim, CA; San Jose, CA; Chula Vista, CA; Gurnee, IL; Hanover Park, IL; Chicago, IL; Northborough, MA; Clinton, MA (3); Mebane, NC; Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Auburn Hills, MI; Colorado Springs, CO; Dothan AL; St. Petersburg, FL; Memphis, TN; Mt. Pleasant, IN; Poughkeepsie, NY; Tempe, AZ; Cayey, Puerto Rico. 

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Offshore Locations:

Americas - Brazil (Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Valinhos); Mexico (Chiluahua [2], Guadalahara [2]).

EMEA - Vienna (Austria); Belgium (Hasselt [2]); Denmark (Copenhagen); France (Brest, Eure, Gallargues); Germany (Jena, Knittlingen); Hungary (Tiszaujvaros); Italy (Marcainise); The Netherlands (Venray); Poland (Kwidzyn); Scotland (Livingston); Ukraine (Uzhgorod); Russia (Moscow, Tver).

Asia  - China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Hsinchu, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzhen [5], Suzhou [3], Tianjin [2], Wuxi,  Yantai);  India (Pune); Japan (Gotemba, Tokyo); Malaysia (Penang); Singapore (Singapore City); Taiwan (Hsinchu, Taichung, Taipei); Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City).

Certifications: AS/EN 9100; TS16949; FDA medical; IECQ Certificate of Conformity; ISO13485; OHSAS 18001; TL 9000; ESD/ANSI 20:20 standard; C-TPAT; Controlled Substance Registration; ISO 9001:2008; ISO-14001:2004.  

Financial: FY2013 $18.3 billion in revenue, up 6.5% from FY2012.

Size: 177,000 employees, more than 60 plants, over 24 million square feet.


A close competitor with industry leaders Foxconn and Flextronics, Jabil Circuit’s main competitive advantage is highly automated manufacturing for diversified markets (medical, defense and aerospace, etc.). However, the company provides comprehensive, individualized, focused solutions to OEMs in a wide range of markets. Jabil maintains a standard of excellence through eclectic and ever-improving capabilities.   

Founded in 1966 in suburban Detroit, Jabil Circuit, Inc. began repairing and producing circuit board assemblies for Control Data Systems, a major mainframe computer manufacturer. The name “Jabil” combines first names of its two founders, James Golden and Bill Morean (JAY-Bill). In 1979, Jabil moved into high-volume, turnkey production for General Motors, transforming Jabil’s strategy from manual production into advanced automated assembly. In 1982, Jabil obtained a contract with IBM, leading the company to move its headquarters to St. Petersburg, Florida. At the end of the 1980s, Jabil’s net sales reached $96 million.

In 1993, Jabil made an initial public offering of 20-30 percent of its shares. At this time, Jabil’s strategy was dependent on contracts with relatively few customers—NEC technologies, Quantum Corp., and Zenith Data—these three comprising 38 percent of net sales. In 1996, as the company opened offshore locations and increased its workforce to 2,000 employees, revenue reached $2 billion with a tripled net income of $7.3 million and stock prices exceeding $100 per share. Jabil also completed a merger with GET Manufacturing Inc. of Hong Kong. Into the 2000s, Jabil continued to expand through more offshored sites, a second stock offering, and major acquisitions: Philips Contract Manufacturing Services (2002), Lucent Technologies (2002), Varian, Inc. (2005), Taiwan Green Point Enterprises (2006), Telmar Network Technology, Inc. (2011), and Nypro (2013).  

Today, Jabil continues its detail-oriented operations through a work cell structure and holds relatively few contracts. The company is a pioneer in green technologies and continues its excellence in complex, diversified markets. 

Although Jabil completed the most recent quarter as planned ($3.8 billion), the company reported a 9.5 percent loss in revenue relative to Q4 2013 ($4.2 billion). Decline in revenue has been attributed to the discontinuation of mutliple unspecified programs, Jabil’s ongoing disengagement with BlackBerry, and the sale of their aftermarket services company, Jabil AMS. However, Jabil expects healthy recovery in 2015, mostly through good performance in their high velocity and automotive businesses. Jabil also reported “multiple program ramps from new business wins,” mentioning accordingly a fiscal year 2015 guidance of $1.65 to $1.95 core earnings per share. In the coming quarter, Jabil expects flat year-over-year growth. (Q4 guidance $3.7-$3.8 billion).  

More broadly, Jabil cites its main business strategy as maintaining long-term relationships with leading electronics companies able to benefit from highly automated, continuous flow manufacturing. In recent years, the company has made efforts to diversify its industry sectors.

As noted above, Jabil's operations are divided into three segments: “Diversified Manufacturing Services" (DMS), “Enterprise and Infrastructure” (E&I), and “High Velocity Solutions" (HVS). DMS accounted for 45 percent of the company’s net revenue, E&I represented 30 percent, and HVS represent 25 percent.

In 2013, Jabil’s five largest customers accounted for approximately 53 percent of their net revenue, and 58 customers accounted for approximately 90 percent. Their three largest customers are: Apple Inc. (19%), BlackBerry Limited (12%), and Cisco Systems (undisclosed).

Awards: Fortune 500 Most Admired Companies (2013), S&P 500 Green Company (2011), Barron's 500 (2009), US Department of Energy’s Save Energy Now Award (2010), Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award (2009), Frost & Sullivan Market Leadership of the Year Award (2009), among many others. 

Glassdoor: Based on 161 reviews on Glassdoor.com, Jabil Circuit received 2.9/5 stars, with 48 percent of respondents recommending the company to a friend. Based on 23 ratings, Jabil’s CEO, Mark Mondello, received a 70 percent approval rating.

“Good business practices, solid compensation and benefits, and exciting place to work. There are lots of opportunities to move around geographically and to cross train in other positions.” – Former Business Unit Manager

“Manufacturing processes are not linear; can be very complex which leads to chaos. But I find that as a challenge more than a con really. Most employees just complain about it, rather than offer solutions, which is what we are hired to do.” – Current Production Planner

(See Jabil Circuit’s complete Glassdoor review

Web (about): http://www.jabil.com/about_us/jabil_overview/

Web (contact): http://www.jabil.com/contact_us/general_company_information/

Further Reading: 3 Biggest Myths In Contract Manufacturing Supplier Selection


This post originally appeared on the DigiSource Blog