LaFrance

  www.lafrancecorp.com
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LaFrance Reviews

Updated May 15, 2014
Updated May 15, 2014
15 Reviews

2.3
15 Reviews
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George Barrar
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Marketing and business development

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

    Pros

    I spend 11 years at LaFrance and it was the best education in business that I could have asked for. The company promotes itself as "fair" - which seems simple enough, but I learned in my time there it is actually a huge challenge which they work towards every day. The almost entirely promote from within, which means even though it isn't a huge company - almost everyone gets the opportunity to grow and expand their experience.

    Cons

    LaFrance gets a bad rap on this site. Short term - promotions may seem slow and management decisions may seem overly bureaucratic. But I guarantee if you put your time in, you will leave with much more than you came with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increasing the flexibility of the work environment would do wonders for morale.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity, appreciate hard workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Leader  in  Concordville, PA
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Concordville, PA

    Pros

    Casual dress, nice work environment, established policies, family owned, managed with the long term in mind, opportunities to grow and develop if you want them and work hard.

    Cons

    Lots of travel which may or may not be a good thing, hard to break through to an upper management position due to flat organization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let slackers or poor performers stay. It's ok to fire someone for poor performance & who's bringing down moral

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Small family owned company with manufacturing plants in China

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

    Pros

    Will promote from within and willing to create new positions to keep talent.

    Cons

    Small company small pay, can change bonus structures on the whim.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a better bonus and traveling pay structure, and stick to it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Short sighted, narrow minded, has-been company.

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

    Pros

    LaFrance portrays a work/life balance with a family type atmosphere, with very relaxed dress codes while maintaining a very clean office.
    Worker base is very friendly and easy to get along with. Majority of the workers and new hires are all fresh college graduates.
    Half days off before a holiday are nice.
    Quarterly luncheons help to give you an idea of what is happening with the company.

    Cons

    LaFrance values what the company was, not what it is or could be. They often speak of and praise the owner (now mostly retired).
    They do not operate as a business that is setting themselves up to grow. They appear to be happy with the business they currently have.
    Very much a reactive organization, not proactive, often looking at the market and products today, instead of looking to the future.
    Majority of work force is unhappy for a number of reasons: pay, health care costs (fined if you don't participate in "welness" program), vacation time, job duties, etc.
    Promotions and "trust" in employees comes from amount of time on job, not always actual knowledge.
    2 weeks vacation for college graduates or seasoned employees is not standard, the standard 3 weeks (that most companies give) is not obtained until well after 5 years of service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't always be resistant to change, change can be good and beneficial if implemented and executed properly.
    Carry on and move forward from owner's ideals, what worked in 1946 doesn't necessarily mean it works today, don't always talk about how great the company WAS.
    Upper management is not and cannot always be the expert in every aspect of the business, allow and trust those you hire to do what you've hired them to do. Just because it's always been done a certain way doesn't mean it can't be improved upon.
    Lastly, the workforce jokes about the "Path of Least Resistance" required course. This may have worked when the majority of the workforce was not college educated, but now all are either college educated or are seasoned employees, time to drop that requirement. It's no more than common sense using terminology that is slightly altered from the rest of corporate America.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent opportunity in the beginning, so I thought...

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

    Pros

    LaFrance has an excellent age diverse work force. Many of my co-workers over the years have become my close friends.

    The office is always clean and inviting, yes there are empty cubes but that is changing with the economy and work load.

    LaFrance has a very unique product scope with world renowned customer base. This offers a sense of accomplishment when seeing completed projects in the market place.

    Excellent job to become acclimated to re-world experiences after college but be mindful or your learning.

    Cons

    Like many have said, there is a total lack of direction and leadership which stems from the top down. One review said it best, " passive aggressive", there is lack of attention paid when good employees resigns. Who, Why, what are the reasons for it? I do not think these questions are properly asked nor are the people responsible ever approached and questioned. If managers are not questioned or held responsible when good people leave only more will follow.

    The mentality of "No one is irreplaceable" rings true within this company if you are not within the upper management reign.

    Medical benefit costs to employees have reached extreme heights, difficult to families, as cost of living continues to increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a long look at the leadership STRUTURE and organize the company so your enthusiastic employees have a chance to advance.

    Develop a leadership or advancement programs to mentor emplyees in specific departments giving them the opportunity to advance in their careers.

    Address inter office relationship issue quickly, this will let employees know their value and worth long term.

    oh and a few extra vacation days would be good too....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    path of least resistance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Concordville, PA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Concordville, PA

    Pros

    work-life balance. you can coast along if that's how you choose.

    Cons

    management clueless on real world. compensation below average

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none, they won't listen anyways.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    A Mediocre Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  Concordville, PA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Concordville, PA

    Pros

    - Courtesy half-days right before a major holiday (Christmas, New Years, Easter, etc..)
    - Occasional free luncheons that bring some semblance of a community atmosphere
    - Some friendly employees here and there

    Cons

    - A very cold, stale work environment. Many empty cubes because of a huge lay-off in 2008.
    - Disgruntled employees who don't seem to take pride in their work or innovation. Not much collaboration.
    - An elementary view of how business works and the development and growth that should be taking place. Not very many people seem to know what they are doing
    - Passive-aggressive management style
    - China is difficult to work with because of quality issues, time difference, extensive paperwork
    - Using your imagination to appreciate the products sold. Sometimes its difficult to believe in the products.
    - Compensation is far below industry standard

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in a stronger ERP system. Have an outside consultant review the way this business is managed and systems operated. Hire more IT. Create a formal training program and solid HR policies.Celebrate employee achievements. Develop a mission statement and better identities for the company and each division.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Pressure Cooker

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

    Pros

    Causal Dress code
    decent group of coworkers

    Cons

    High Pressure
    Low Pay, minimum benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are not slaves, you need to show some respect!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Dead end...real companies do not operate like this.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager  in  Concordville, PA
    Former Employee - Manager in Concordville, PA

    Pros

    Time off is standard but give half days before holidays
    Very Casual Dress

    Cons

    Lousy Pay
    Lousy Benefits
    No Advancement Opportunities
    Hypocracy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dont push people over the edge..they will work better
    Don't take it personal
    Your not always Right and listen to your customers
    Your not going to grow with a business structure like this
    Its better to be respected than feared

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Friendly and clueless

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA

    Pros

    Friendly and decent management practices. Reasonable salary and benefits. Convenient location. Small enough to make understanding the operation and people possible.

    Cons

    Striking ignorance of best practices for information technology and sharing. Stolid immobility in the face of technological challenges and opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The first step in recovery is to understand the situation candidly. This is difficult for companies and substance abusers. The current management is remarkably self-satisfied, so this is a huge hurdle.

    Disapproves of CEO

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