Proto Labs Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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Victoria Holt
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7 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Place to Start a Software Career

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

    I have been working at Proto Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Encouraging Management No Micro Management Generous Development Freedom Recognition of work Great work-life balance Casual work environment

    Cons

    Growing company so can have some pains related to that

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work and keep your devs busy.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Did you forget about your people?

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

    I worked at Proto Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Brad Cleveland was an amazing leader and compassionate people person. Wish the new CEO the best, seems like a strong leader. Great technology and product! Some really amazing people! Strong Business Plan Great foundation for the company to grow.

    Cons

    There is a "In club" not sure how you get in but if your are not in it you sure know that you are an outsider Lack of integrity with HR, you can tell someone something in HR with the thought it would stay confidential and next thing you find out it is common knowledge. Lack of training Work life balance Progressive technology but not a progressive company. Awful presence at job fairs, unapproachable, and now is a HR BP? Hmm Missing an opportunity to create a great culture.

    Advice to Management

    Middle management needs training on people skills and how to go about change management. There is so much potential to be an amazing company, there are some many pieces there but you treat people as if they are disposable. There is management by intimidation happening at the middle management level, esp. in sales. Look at this because you are establishing a culture of distrust.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Sales team walk on pins and needles

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Maple Plain, MN
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Maple Plain, MN

    I worked at Proto Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I worked as Proto Labs for over a year during a time period of corporate restructuring (new CEO / upper mgmt.). The following comments reflect a perspective from an Account Manager in the sales department. The work environment is very relaxed. Tshirts, jeans, and tennis shoes are the norm. If one does "dress up" (slacks and a button up shirt), be prepared for a day of being questioned why so dressed up??? From both colleagues and mgmt. The base pay is decent for an Account Mgr. starting at $42,000, but the commission structure is such that most will not make more than $5,000 per year. Management will absolutely dispute my number of $5,000 but it's the truth for the vast majority. Combined the compensation is good, but much less than what other companies offer a sales team. This is an excellent job to gain a couple years sales experience / resume builder, but then move on.

    Cons

    It was rare to hear laughter on a daily basis from the sales team (Account Managers, Account Reps., BDR's, Lead Generators.) However, laughter was heard on a daily basis from the Sales Management. I place this sentence first because if you think about it, it's quite profound. The environment is a sea of cubicles. Some have standing desks, while other's sit. Nice to have the option, but either way there is no privacy and most internet sites are blocked. The location couldn't be worse. From Mpls. expect a 20+ mile commute each way down 394W to Hwy 12. Hwy 12 is one lane each way at 65mph. There were 3 head on collisions (all fatal) during the 1.5 years I worked at Proto Labs. There is a distinct culture. If you recognize you don't fit this culture, turn and run fast! The new CEO would say "come to work who you are". The CEO is sincere, but it's in no way the reality. Accounts are given to sales employees, but there is no rhyme or reason. Ultimately it is sheer luck if one receives good, or bad accounts. Also, don't expect new accounts even after thoroughly vetting existing accounts. Recycled accounts will be available, but these are accounts other employees have deemed worthless to their portfolio. Cross those fingers for good initial accounts!! Sales goals / expectations are completely unrealistic. The service Proto Labs offers is unique with it's ability to deliver custom prototype parts fast, but the parts are very expensive. Many customer's have good local vendors, and / or long lead times which is a better option than Proto Labs. The daily routine is Project Mgmt. Success does not depend upon the sales capability of the employee, but again goes back to the accounts received upon being hired. Ultimately, turnover is high as a result from both employees being let go, and employees leaving on their own. The average time of employment is about two years for an Account Manager. There is no gym, or company sponsored clubs. The realistic expectation is your day will consist of being at your cube 8 to 10 hours a day. If you need a break take a walk up and down the stairs.

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing on your own agenda / advancement, and redirect that energy into the team. Take a few minutes each day listening to the lack of laughter on the sales floor. Then take a few minutes listening to the over abundance of laughter the management enjoys daily. Realize the vast majority of the sales team walk on eggshells everyday, and worry when their time is up.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Sales department needs a new look

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

    I worked at Proto Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great experience in the design and manufacturing world Great opportunity to learn how to create long term customer relationships Overtime is paid Good resume builder

    Cons

    Sales quota is unrealistic. All depends on the accounts the managers give to you. One rep could have an account base that has ordered $5 million dollars the previous year and another rep could have an account base that has ordered $1 million dollars in the previous year, however, your quota will be the same. Commission payout is a joke. You are responsible for a possible of thousands of dollars monthly and possible million dollars annually and they pay the lowest percent of sales ever seen for new customer sales. They don't pay retention and a majority of your sales and work is usually focused on retention customers. Makes no sense. You can sell $1 million in a year and only make maybe $10 thousand dollars in commission. Underpaid for the work expected of you. Job is only good for 1 year 6 months max until you are done with your full ramp up. Once you hit full ramp numbers, unless you got lucky with your accounts, you will barely hit 60% of your quota, guaranteed. Which means you will be put on a performance plan that also includes unrealistic expectations. two words -- Revolving door

    Advice to Management

    Start paying better commission to make sales people happy. This should be a $100,000 job if the rep hits their quotas. Evaluate each sales person's account base and create sales plan quota accordingly. Then, designate commission percentages based on the quantity of dollars being brought in. i.e. rep's accounts purchase $1 million dollars annually then pay 4-6% if the reps accounts purchase $5 million dollars annually then pay 1-3% commission. make it fair for all sales reps Create better critical feedback to help sales reps grow professionaly


  6. Helpful (2)

    HR breaks protocol/does not know how to utilize talent/does not value an education or drug-free workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Contractor - Build Technician in Maple Plain, MN
    Former Contractor - Build Technician in Maple Plain, MN

    I worked at Proto Labs as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The skills I learned in the machine shop that could be transferable for a do-it-yourselfer. They have been on some "Best Employer to Work For" lists, but I have a feeling once the public catches wind of how they increase profits at the expense of their employees, it will no longer be the case. Also, the repetitive, manual labor will give you a work ethic and remind you how the grass isn't always greener.

    Cons

    I temped here in the build dept. hoping to backdoor it into a sales position, as my background is in mktg & sales (including people management). I could not even obtain an informational interview w/ HR! I was finally able to reach an HR rep over the phone in regard to a position I was qualified for. She did not seem even remotely interested in learning more about me, only why I had left each previous employer. She broke HR protocol by disclosing to coworkers what my educational background was. Once they found out I had a degree, they moved me to a different dept. for less pay without any reason whatsoever. Prior to this, a coworker was feeling me out on my educational background and said, "a while back they found out a guy working back here had a degree & the next thing you know, he was gone. We thought he had left, but they moved him to a different dept. You know we have other positions here like shipping, etc." Well no kidding sherlock, you think I didn't apply for any other positions while temping? I worked my butt off for this company 12 hour days with 50 minutes of breaks (including lunch)/day & that is how they treat you? Also, a coworker of mine said they do not drug test regularly (except during offer stage), otherwise they wouldn't be able to keep the slave labor going. I am very thankful and fortunate to have gotten out of here when I did. I feel sorry for the people who work extremely hard for peanuts!

    Advice to Management

    Have a serious discussion with HR on: -professionalism -response time/communication/transparency -being respectful -utilizing talent -following protocols -wages/working conditions ($10.50/hour with 50 minutes of break including lunch over a 12 hour shift?!?!, not leaving factory a second before shift is over, no sitting for certain departments, etc.) -encouraging continuing ed -drug-free workplace


  7. Helpful (5)

    Great place to work for those who enjoy challenges

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

    I have been working at Proto Labs full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Base salary is fair, all employees receive a year end bonus payout based on company growth - Advancement opportunities are excellent for most departments, such as manufacturing, operations, and development - Medical benefits for employees are better than most companies - Corporate culture is laid back and flexible; not micro-managed, management is very accommodating for scheduling time off, dress code is jeans and a t-shirt for most employees, even upper management/execs rarely wear ties - Management looks for the strengths of their employees and works to put their employees in a position to excel, rather than focusing on deficiencies - Cafe (in HQ building) and vending machines are subsidized by the company and food quality is excellent - Always cool stuff: not a month goes by where all employees aren't treated to a lunch, picnic, or free stuff (t-shirts, etc.)

    Cons

    - Departments are physically & culturally separated; left hand often does not know what the right is doing, stark differences in management style from department to department - No sick days, all time off comes out of PTO (but PTO accrues at a higher rate than anywhere else I've worked) - Adding family or children to medical benefits is expensive, but no reduction in benefit coverage

    Advice to Management

    Time in position requirements to advance are bogus! When an employee meets all other requirements to advance, let them.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Not the best company, not the worst company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Maple Plain, MN
    Former Employee - Sales in Maple Plain, MN

    I worked at Proto Labs full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    -Decent base salary -Good medical benefits -Employee stock option plan -The lots of great people to work with (below mgmt. level). -In Sales you get paid for overtime. -Not micromanaged as much as some inside sales positions. -Very, very causal work environment. -Laid back dress code, you can wear jeans and a sweatshirt every day.

    Cons

    -Commission structure is horrible, very low incentives. -You don’t get paid on retention. -You only get paid on new business you bring in and you only get commission off that account for a year. -No one on the sales team makes six figures. - Mgmt. is very deceiving about the total salary you will be making in a sales position. -Everyone only gets a 20min paid lunch break. -No room to move up in company. -Has had horrible turn around in the last year in the sales dept. -No sick days, comes out of your paid vacation time. -Not a very professional work environment. -Mgmt has no idea what they are doing. -Executives are very disconnected from employees.

    Advice to Management

    Mgmt rarely listens to the concerns of its employee’s.



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