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There are newer employer reviews for SVT Associates

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Helpful (2)

Niche product company hampered by management.woes.

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Eden Prairie, MN
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Eden Prairie, MN

I worked at SVT Associates

Doesn't Recommend
Doesn't Recommend

Pros

A small semiconductor equipment manufacturer requires its employees to perform a wide variety of engineering tasks encompassing design, drafting, procurement, manufactured and vendor part verification and validation, assembly, and testing. Aggressive delivery schedules demand close interaction between engineers and technicians (assemblers and machinists) with former frequently performing aftermarket part alteration and/or modification at the on-site machine shop. Senior engineers are well versed in semiconductor equipment design, operation and maintenance possessing wide knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes and practices. Their insightful and helpful advice is often instrumental in task and project completion.

Cons

Perpetual financial difficulties impede timely part and component procurement and frequently lead to "bandaid" solutions to meet delivery deadlines. The latter also precludes robust if any performance benchmarking and validation especially in the case of components (effusion, cracking, and doping sources). As a result the customer is frequently forced to essentially accept prototype versions of products, that do not meet expectations and need to be returned for repairs or unplanned service. Company management is comprised of the owner and number of supporting sales staff with years of experience albeit outdated. Direct autocratic management style is rigidly maintained and followed. Dissenting ideas or opinions are frequently discounted or ignored based on seniority and hierarchy rather than technical and logical justification and reasoning.

Advice to Management

Any advice is unfortunately futile and irrelevant.

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  1. Toxic company with a hostile environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Eden Prairie, MN
    Former Employee - Scientist in Eden Prairie, MN

    I worked at SVT Associates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    SVT Associates is comprised of two separate parts, the UHV systems manufacturing portion and the laboratory portion. Having this two-part nature allows the company to offer specialties that span a relatively wide technology spectrum. The phrase often used amongst the management is, “we wear many hats”. This would appear to provide prospective employees with many apparent opportunities.

    Cons

    SVT Associates is remarkably good at hiding its reputation to customers, colleagues, and prospective employees. Poor Management: Management is inundated by an egotistical, self-satisfying, and micro-managing motive. The management hierarchy within SVT is a two-tiered structure with the owner governing all operations and two managers for the systems manufacturing and lab sections. All other employees fall below these tiers. Employee hours are scrutinized; the calendar is recorded daily by camera. The lack of clarity in directives by management that is compounded by intra-management politics, results in inefficient and misdirected work that is subsequently blamed on employees and causes a high-tension and noticeably hostile environment. False Representation of Work Agreement: The owner requires new employees to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement with a 50-state No-Compete Clause (with a 1.5 year duration) after they have already begun to work at the company. Employees have no knowledge of this “required” agreement until after they have committed to work for SVT. No Career Development: There is very little to no room for career advancement. Personal career growth is often stifled by incessant finger-pointing leading to a self-preservation mentality. Raises are given on a review basis determined arbitrarily by the owner (i.e., demotions are also employed). Bonuses depend on the financial status of the company. High Turnover Rate: The employee turnover rate is high: 17% – 25% per year. If an employee is underperforming, the response of management is to demote with a significant pay-cut in order to maintain an appearance of a good retention record. Financial Problems: With an ~17 year history of federal government funded grant income but nearly no commercial product generation, and very little intellectual property, the incoming grants have become scarce despite the large yearly volume of proposal submissions. Lack of sufficient funding is a constant stress in the already hostile environment. Poorly Maintained Equipment: The ability to perform well in the lab is drastically impaired due to old and non-functioning equipment coupled with a resistance in management to repair, upgrade, or invest in necessary tools for the work required. It is often claimed that finances prevent the improvement or purchase of equipment, yet the demand for high-level work remains. This disparity leads to inefficiencies and blame that blends with the other issues mentioned above. This is particularly the case with the owner’s push for increasing intellectual property generation. Intellectual property is required to be signed over to the owner through the NDA without compensation or co-ownership. Lawsuits: SVT is often involved in litigation that is either brought on by disgruntled consumers having been delivered a non-functional system or by SVT itself chasing revenue through any means possible.

    Advice to Management

    Management is deaf to any suggestions.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Poor Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Eden Prairie, MN
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Eden Prairie, MN

    I have been working at SVT Associates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    SVT is very good at giving its people a wide variety of tasks. It has many very intelligent and skilled engineers, scientist, and technicians. It also has a market in high demand for quality products.

    Cons

    SVT is unfortunately run by poor management, from the top on down. Objectives and priorities are seemingly never concise or clear. The integrity and quality of future work suffers from a need to fix current, poorly planed and executed projects. This repetitive cycle keeps managers stress levels elevated and in turn lowers the moral of all employees, and reduces the efficiency of the company as a whole.


There are newer employer reviews for SVT Associates
There are newer employer reviews for SVT Associates

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