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|Thursday, May 26, 2011
Plex Systems Eyes Initial Public Offering In 2012
|AUBURN HILLS - An initial public offering on Wall Street sometime next year could be in the cards for Plex Systems, which provides Plex Online, a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning software for manufacturers.
Plex CEO Mark Symonds, during an interview earlier this month at PowerPlex 2011 Conference in Dearborn, said Plex is looking to “go public” mid to late 2012. The company is now trying to take the correct steps to get it ready for the intense scrutiny of not only the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but also Wall Street investors.
Earlier this month, Plex announced the appointment of Edwin J. Gillis, who has held senior level positions at Skype and Avaya, to its five member board of directors. Gillis heads the newly formed audit committee.
In April, Plex hired S. Craig Huke as Chief Financial Officer. Huke joins Plex from Double-Take Software. Huke served as CFO during the initial public stock offerings of Double-Take Software and Bluestone Software.
“We’re making sure we’re ready,” he said. “We just hired a new Chief Financial Officer. We’ve appointed some board members with public company audit experience. We’re making sure we comply with the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley.”
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is a federal law that sets enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms that includes fines and jail time for violators.
“The market is strong for Software as a Service companies,” Symonds said. “SaaS companies are getting ten times revenue valuations.”
While the privately held company does not report revenues and profits, Symonds acknowledged that 2010 revenues were in the low $30 million range. He expects the company to top $40 million in 2011.
Plex went global in 2010 when it launched international operations in Germany after receiving certification from the German Institute of Auditors (Institut der Wirtchaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V.) The certification validates Plex Online’s suitability for use by multinational companies with operations in Germany or by companies headquartered in Germany.
Plex has been growing so fast, it hired 54 new employees in 2010 and could hire around 40 additional employees this year, Symonds said. The new hires should max out a second building that Plex opened in Auburn Hills in 2010. Symonds said he’d love to have all his employees “in one big building in Auburn Hills area” in the future. But right now they’re all in the second building while the headquarters gets a face lift.
Symonds said this year Plex hopes to continue its build out in the food and beverage manufacturing sector. Just last year, Plex added Meijer Stores, based in Grand Rapids.
“They make baked goods and salads and choose us to manage that process,” he said. “We want to take advantage of the food safety act just signed and continue this expansion. We’d also like to grow our presence in the electronics industry. Our biggest job is continuing to execute. We think we’ve built a good foundation for growth. We just need to follow through.”
The company added 37 new customers in 2010, including its largest ever, Invensys Controls, one of three business units of Invensys PLC, a London-headquartered, global technology company focused on industrial automation, rail transportation and controls.
Plex Systems is the developer of Plex Online, a SaaS ERP (software as a service) / Cloud ERP solution for the manufacturing enterprise. Plex Online offers features for virtually every department within a manufacturer, including Manufacturing Execution Systems and Quality Management Systems for the shop floor, Supply Chain Management for procurement, and Enterprise Resource Planning for finance and management. Plex Online’s comprehensive functional coverage delivers a “shop floor to top floor” view of a manufacturer’s operations.
Earlier this month, some 700 Plex Online users assembled at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn for the PowerPlex 2011 conference – focusing on community driven product enhancements for the Plex software . Plex, in a report submitted during the conference, said the community driven model signals the end to the static development and version upgrade process for software.
On Wednesday, Plex announced that Plex Online has been awarded the top prize in the prestigious “Best in Operations Management Solution” Supercategory in the 2011 CODiE Business Software Awards.
Plex Online was also awarded “Best Business/Competitive Intelligence Solution” and was named a finalist in the Best Cloud Management Solution and the Best Supply Chain Management Solution categories.
The CODiE Awards are presented annually by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) to showcase the industry's finest products and services and to honor excellence in corporate achievement. The award name combines the word "CODE" with the symbol for information ("i") to visually represent the CODiE Awards' focus on the software and digital industries.
For more on Plex, click on Plex.Com
Author: Mike Brennan