Anvil Corp

www.anvilcorp.com

Anvil Corp Reviews

Updated January 22, 2015
Updated January 22, 2015
13 Reviews
3.8
13 Reviews
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Jim Wakefield
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company, good work environment

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

    I have been working at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The project groups are full of great people, every team I have been on has worked very well together. Anvil has good benefits, and living in the Bellingham Washington area is wonderful! During down-swings the lower level management does try to protect their staff.

    Cons

    They need to be more committed to slow growth so that employees that come on-board have time to acclimate to the design team environment. The new CEO/President is not ideal. Doesn't feel like there is much upward mobility.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Elect new CEO, I was happy with Jim Wakefield & Jim Macpherson. Upper management should show more interest in the everyday worker bees. Never see them talking with designers or engineers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Medium size engineering company with great folks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Bellingham, WA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Bellingham, WA

    I worked at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Anvil is an ESOP (employee owned company) and has a very diverse employee base. Like most companies today, it consists of new people picked right out of school and older experienced individuals that are about ready to retire. Thus, there are many opportunities to be had if you are new to the business and a type A personality. The salaries and benefits packages are competitive.
    Many of the newer designers have been trained by industry professionals of the 60's and 70's. Their training, zeal for a job well done and attention to detail makes them some of the best I have seen.

    Cons

    Anvil previously had a very good training program. Due to frustrations with people being trained and then leaving, they have discontinued it. New hires out of college are left on their own to figure out an industry that they likely had absolutely no prior training. The mentors are available, but some are not approachable.
    Upper management attempts to appear accessible through State of Anvil meetings, but it is very rare to see them in the halls. Middle management only pays attention when there is a problem.
    The company is very conservative and risk adverse. Expansion into new industries or projects that do not meet the traditional mold are viewed with disdain. A select few do traditional engineering, most engineers are tasked with specification review and work package assembly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reinstate the training. Expand to provide engineering services for other industries other than midstream oil. Pursue customers and projects that go off the beaten path. Focus less on project controls checklists and covering butt. Focus more on providing value to the client.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Fun, encouraging place to work and learn.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Process Engineer in Bellingham, WA
    Current Employee - Process Engineer in Bellingham, WA

    I have been working at Anvil Corp full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, great benefits and great place to live. I have enjoyed working with my coworkers. Everyone is willing to help when you have a question and your work schedule is very flexible.

    Cons

    The only down side to working at Anvil is the swings in the work load. Because anvil is a contract company there are seasons where there is little work and people may need to work 32 hour work weeks instead of a full 40. However, they ask for volunteers first and this usually works out well.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Company to work for growing leaps and bounds!

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

    I have been working at Anvil Corp full-time

    Pros

    They are have great company culture, work-life balance is good. You don't get overtime just straight time or time off.

    Cons

    Growing too fast to keep up.

    Recommends
  6.  

    Great for building the fundamentals

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Bellingham, WA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Bellingham, WA

    I have been working at Anvil Corp as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very relaxed atmosphere, people are easy to work with, many nerdy pranksters.

    Cons

    Cubicle life can get old, especially when trying to contact the clients. Document Control can really be a hassle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in more software and better computers. Engineers shouldn't be doing work on bare bones desktops from several years ago... It's worth the upgrade.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great small company

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

    I worked at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great retirement benefits pay fine for area

    Cons

    no training young or old work force no mid level people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    spend more time with subordinates

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good people, mediocre management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Piping Designer in Bellingham, WA
    Current Employee - Piping Designer in Bellingham, WA

    I have been working at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some very talented and friendly coworkers. Beautiful Pacific Northwest location. Flexible working hours, good benefits and generous ESOP. Also, good company contribution to 401k.

    Cons

    Management is limited in their skill sets, being mostly made up of promoted project engineers. The quality of the work and infrastructure seem to be slowly deteriorating over the years as decisions are made on a project-by-project basis.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find out from your people what the core strengths of the company are that are not related to a single project. Hold managers at a higher performance standard since they set company direction.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    A good place to start a career

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

    I have been working at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The company offers great opportunities to new engineers as they have an aging workforce and this are experiencing a growth period. Management uses interesting methods to retain young professionals.

    Cons

    It is very easy to stall in your career for middle tiered experienced professional. Career paths are not always typically followed and succession plans are made well in advance of a vacancy being known to the rank and file. This does not allow the rank and file employees an opportunity to express interest for positions with more opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your resources with respect and communicate career advancement opportunities to your resource pool to determine who has interest in being your future leaders.

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

    Great Place to Develop Engineering Skills in Oil and Gas Industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Engineer in Bellingham, WA
    Former Employee - Process Engineer in Bellingham, WA

    I worked at Anvil Corp full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Honestly, I feel like I got lucky getting hired into this company right out of college. There's kind of a bi-modal distribution of experience at Anvil in the Process group: everybody (for the most part) is either under 5 years of experience or over 20. That's a wealth of knowledge to tap into if you're a new process/chemical engineer wanting to work in the energy industry.

    One thing I feel like I did not take advantage of at Anvil as much as I should have was their *generous vacation policies. Anvil starts you out with 2 weeks a year of vacation. Standard, you may say. But there's more--because it's a consulting firm, if you are able to work over 40 hours (which is project dependent) you can bank those extra hours as either time off or straight pay [for salaried employees]. You can also buy more vacation days if you take the corresponding decrease in salary. Some people aren't willing to take that pretty minor hit for more time off, but I certainly was. I wish I had done it two years sooner.

    The company executives are very approachable and it's definitely got a "mom and pop" feel to the company. You can learn a lot--within the fairly narrow range of work that they do (downstream and mistream).

    It's an employee owned company. Your shareholders are you and your fellow employees. This is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing.

    The "on the surface" base-pay is competitive and they genuinely do work to make sure that they are paying fair market value for their people. For example, one day my boss called me and told me my pay was getting raised 11% because they realized they were paying me below market value--then a few months later at my annual review, my pay was raised again. There seems to be a vested interest in making sure that they take care of their employees. That is really rare to find.

    You're also paid for every hour that you work. You're not putting in 50 hour weeks without seeing the benefit for it--that's either an extra 10 hours of pay or 10 hours vacation.

    Cons

    It is a fairly narrow range of work. Because it's a smaller company, it's somewhat geographically limited, which in turn makes it limited in the scope of the kind of work that you get to do. You will almost exclusively be doing refinery revamp work: hydraulic analysis, PSV's, maybe the occasional debottlenecking study. It's not as sexy as working as an engineer on the production side, but I really think in your first few years you are actually exposed to more true engineering problems than your peers that go to work for the refiners. Past those first few years, however, I think you may become stunted in breadth of skills. You may become really, really good at doing a fairly narrow field.

    I think their vesting period is fairly long--6 years. They claimed it was fairly standard, but most of what I have heard is 3-5 years to be fully vested.

    There are many kinds of repetitive work in the world. Sometimes it's just a matter of finding out what kind of repetitive work you can do. The work I was doing at Anvil was the same kind of work over and over and over again, and I was worried I'd be doing the same thing for the next several years.

    The office buildings are awful. It's something small that I think would make a big difference to employees--make sure that the heating/cooling capacities of the building are up to par. Our offices were routinely 83 F in the summer. Try doing repetitive work at that temperature.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Honestly, I think you guys do a great job. I felt like Iwas valued and that making sure I was taken care of was a top priority of management. My only gripes were about the kind of work that was done (which is really more just a personal preference). But it's also good to ask your employees if they are satisfied with the kind of work that they are doing.

    See what venues you can expand your business into. You have quality people and an excellent quality management system. I think you're actually under-selling yourselves.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company to work for!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellingham, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellingham, WA

    I have been working at Anvil Corp

    Pros

    Anvil is an employee-owned company, which promotes positive teamwork and a one-for-all, all-for-one atmosphere -- in general, everyone wants everyone else to do well, as all benefit.

    Cons

    Anvil has historically been focused on oil & gas (upstream and refining) revamp work, so staffing levels have been subject to the ups and downs of oil prices; however, they are actively trying to diversify into other indutries to dampen this trend.

    Recommends

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