Alliant Techsystems

www.atk.com

Alliant Techsystems Reviews

Updated January 22, 2015
Updated January 22, 2015
174 Reviews
2.8
174 Reviews
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Alliant Techsystems President, CEO, and Director Mark W. DeYoung
Mark W. DeYoung
59 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great benefits, good pay and vacation including health insurance (in 13 reviews)

  • The company has fairly good benefits but the medical costs are quite steep for a large company (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Difficult to move up in management unless related to or friends with members of upper management (in 15 reviews)

  • High overhead, poor management in an extremely competitive low growth industry (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

35 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    ATK - operator of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Skilled Trades in Independence, MO
    Former Employee - Skilled Trades in Independence, MO

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems

    Pros

    Pay decent wages and provide specific training for job duties. Decent benefits for full time employees. Most co-workers seem to be engaged in the mission of making high quality ammunition for our troops.

    Cons

    Policies on attendance, job performance, zero tolerance late punch in and others were applied very subjectively or not at all. I was never impacted negatively or positively by this, but feel that policies should be enforced equally in every instance. One of the biggest negatives is an obvious lack of concern for employees lives outside of work. I am a single parent with two young boys and no family or support group in the area. I was hired for one shift, told the day I reported for initial training on a friday that I would be on a completely different shift as of the next following monday. I had one weekend to try to find day care for overnight shift that I was going to be on , rather than the day shift that I had been hired onto and had arranged daycare for. Three time in the 3 years I was there, my shift was changed like this with as little as 2 days notice. Staff was continually reduced with the remaining individuals expected to cover all the duties of the staff that was let go. Mass layoffs of 250 people or more were common. When I was layed off , I lost all my health care and day care flex spend funds that I had set aside under a special pre-tax savings plan, because I had no opportunity to spend them before the end of the current year and they were "use it or lose it" plans regulated by the government ,but administered by the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to the needs of your employees and their quality of life, rather than just trying to squeeze every drop of production out of them for your own purposes. No money available for raises or cost of living increases for the common worker, but large bonuses for middle and upper management, including reportedly, a $15,000,000.00 bonus for the CEO. No wonder the IAM union was able to get voted in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Review of Corp. HR - Orbital ATK merger

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Flexible work schedule - 9/80 (Although, that will not continue after the close of Orbital ATK merger)
    - Competitive benefits

    Cons

    - Low morale across the company due to merger with Orbital Sciences
    - Non-existent talent recruitment
    - Lack of trust in Corporate HR
    - Inconsistent performance management process - rarely enforced, and its use varies across deparments. I was told by HR staff to "make up" goals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mergers contribute to a challenging work environment. - employees are concerned with keeping their job and adapting to change. However, HR did little to communicate the transition process or make themselves available to employees with questions. In fact, some employees still do not know whether or not they have a job with the new company. HR is completely desensitized and demonstrates a disregard for employee morale.

    This promotes a poor work environment. I advise management to reconsider its outreach strategy. Otherwise, retention will be very low and Orbital ATK risks losing talented staff.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Incompetent Management, Brilliant Engineers, Everyone Terrified.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ronkonkoma, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ronkonkoma, NY

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    -amazing technology, able to develop products that launch
    -machine shop, test facilities and design engineering capabilities all on site

    Cons

    -corporate management is consistently a joke
    -top down hierarchical culture
    -inability to appropriately plan match people's skills to projects
    -severe underbidding on multiple projects hurts valued customers
    -people screaming at each other is allowed - lack of professionalism is rampant from top down
    -everything is a secret - communication is terrible
    -nobody ever explain the "whys" or has a vision of the future
    -no strategic direction, site management is a puppet to the larger organization
    -human resources is a joke - they do not care or monitor that people are unhappy
    -morale is terrible, high degree of nepotism
    -everyone is scared of losing their job, people are just waiting to be fired to collect their severance
    -questionable "bonding" with the PMs on the government side - when your gov't customer gets a DUI after they've been out with you and the company then I think there is a severe cultural problem propagated and encouraged by the site head because they are too scared to actually enforce ethics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is one of the few times where I actually think that a high priced consultant is necessary. Hire McKinsey and clean house of the terrible middle management.
    -Sorely lacking good leadership- develop a leadership development program
    -Offer optional buyouts that are greater than severance. If you did the calcs then you would save a lot more money on overhead.
    -Actually develop your engineers' skill sets

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Space Systems has interesting projects to work on.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tech in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Tech in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Compensation is average,
    Lean Initiatives used to run the business
    Great people to work with overall.

    Cons

    Merger with Orbital led to several layoffs
    Promotions slow and raises low to average.
    Management is running the facility too Lean.
    Not enough Technicians & Inspectors, necessitating a lot of overtime, leading to tired, burnt out staff.
    Training overall is below average which means lots of mistakes, rework, repair and scrap.
    Equipment is dated overall and not enough to do the jobs efficiently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Walk the Talk
    Cut the catered all hands meetings in the parking lot and put the money towards sufficient staff, training, state of the art tools and equipment to do their jobs

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Technically challenging, career & responsibility advancement awful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Engineer
    Current Employee - Design Engineer

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time

    Pros

    For technical careers, there can be some good challenges which keep a person motivated. Benefits were good particularly the health care. Typically, the 'tools' used for a job function were very good.

    Cons

    Promotions are practically non-existent. Chaos with constant re-organizations of management and business groups make it difficult to establish a relationship with a supervisor. Some severe micro-managing inhibits individual development as well as the company excelling beyond its current technical capacity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micro-managing. Delegate and allow individuals to be accountable. Recognize and reward expertise.

    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Strong performance results, weak future planning

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time

    Pros

    Able to purchase ammunition at a low cost

    Cons

    The company changes directions so often, every year in May expect a RIF.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good products, terrible management seems to be the theme

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They pay well, their products are good. At the lower levels, they have some really good and talented people at every site.

    Cons

    Management from the top to the bottom is terrible. Constant changes, decisions made based on little or no data, and a good 'ol boys club of who gets advanced. Customers constantly tell me they hate working with ATK but the products are good. It's a make-the-numbers-first company, so know that if you go there. And the numbers weren't looking that good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some accountability for your poor performance. You aren't doing the employees any favors, and if the job market was better more would be leaving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worked for ATK in Plymouth, but upper management located in West Virginia - obviously a bad situation for all!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in Plymouth, MN
    Current Employee - Design Engineer in Plymouth, MN

    I have been working at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The fellow engineers and analysts are good at what they do and are good people. The building is well maintained and the free coffee/tea is welcome. The benefits are par for a small defense company.

    Cons

    POOR MANAGEMENT! Example: if you run out of work to do, the section lead wants you (engineer) to run around and ask for work - this is not the case in most companies. In most defense or aero companies the section lead finds the work for the engineer. The company is mostly defense, which means that the work flow varies as a roller coaster. Be prepared for layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should be closer to those they mange, either move the operation to Rocket Center West Virginia, or move management to Plymouth - this is a necessity. Also, section leads (middle and lower management) should take more of an interest in their charges - they need to understand that management should manage - it is not realistic to expect employees to run around looking for work from other employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people; poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineering in Northridge, CA
    Former Employee - Engineering in Northridge, CA

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    For the most part, the employees are skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated. The salary growth for younger personnel is good as they are valued and well treated. Although the benefits are relatively good, lately they have been reduced every year and employee contributions have grown.

    Cons

    The Woodland Hills/Northridge facility is not managed well. Older employees tend to be ignored and their contributions are under-recognized or not acknowledged at all. Often hiring is done from the outside with key positions filled by less skilled and capable personnel than some already employed. The facility is run by “personalities” and promotions tend to be made based on the perception of political loyalty instead of competence and capability. Although the leadership solicits diverse approaches and opinions they have proven to be uninterested. If provided and contrary to management’s preferred approach, the employee is likely to be labeled “not a “team player” and marginalized. Although there are documented processes and procedures, many are poorly written, provided for guidance only, and rarely followed. Within the Engineering organization, process audits are too top-level to be of any real value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to listen; you don't have a monopoly on the good ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mixed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Alliant Techsystems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good engineers and technology - innovative projects

    Cons

    emphasis on delivery over quality

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management not being truthful to the government

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Alliant Techsystems Photos

ATK Space systems, tall windowless building located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?
ATK Space systems, tall windowless building located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?
Sign outside ATK Space systems located at 16707 Via Del Campo Court, San Diego, CA?

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