SmartDraw.com Reviews

Updated March 5, 2015
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3.5
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Paul Stannard
8 Ratings

9 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    A group of talented people working hard to succeed in the software business.

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

    I have been working at SmartDraw.com full-time

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Everyone sees the sales and how well the company is doing. People work together towards goals set by management. The health benefits are very good and the employer contribution is very generous. Everyone pulls their own weight and is very good at what they do or they don't stick around.

    Cons

    Culture is probably a bit stiff and it is a very quiet office. Not a lot of drama at all.

    Advice to Management

    The company has the ability to be a leader and execute. However, the overall strategy has been meandering at best. Management needs to pick a winning strategy and the troops will follow.


  2. What could be great...isn't.

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

    I worked at SmartDraw.com full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    When in management's favor, there is flexibility and support and motivation to grow.

    Cons

    When not in management's favor, nothing you can do is recognized and everything is seen as a reason to get rid of you.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that sustainable growth may require changing how you do things and who you are selling to.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Good place to get your first job.

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

    I worked at SmartDraw.com full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits
    This is a "lifestyle" company. People who join do it for the work/play balance. Most of the workers have been there 10+ years. I think that says a lot.
    The CEO/COO has a big heart. I think they always try to do the right thing.

    Cons

    Very set in their ways. Don't expect to change the world. Show up on time, play the game, agree with your boss, provide value, and you will work here for 20 years. If you don't have this personality I suggest you find something else. Nobody at this company could be described as "dynamic." If "9-5" and "predictable" is what you are looking for this is your ideal company. In the big picture if this is the biggest "con" I could come up with I would say this is a pretty good company.

    Advice to Management

    If only they would listen...


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  5. Great place to gain experience, but not to develop a career

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

    I have been working at SmartDraw.com full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Great customer service and responsiveness towards customers, especially in the software industry.
    -General open communication within the company, CEO is forthcoming and honest with general direction and forecasting of the company.
    -Relaxed work environment, good work-life balance.
    -Team building events/lunches/dinners.

    Cons

    -Rigid senior management, not open to new ideas outside of their own train of thought.
    -Too much time, effort, and money allocated to SEO and not enough on actual software development to fix age-old bugs and issues that consistently get brought up by customers
    -Lack of communication and cooperation between departments.
    -Knee-jerk responses to market fluctuations seem to cause more harm than good.
    -Website is an absolute clutter and can be confusing and discouraging for prospective customers. Many pages are outdated in both design and content.
    -Constant changes to software versioning/branding and pricing is extremely confusing both internally and to customers.

    Advice to Management

    Visio is an industry standard. As much as you'd like to convert people to SmartDraw, many won't do that cold-turkey, and even less will not convert all at once. There needs to be a way to work in tandem with Visio that doesn't cause significant quality decrease or bugs left and right. Otherwise, you won't be able to break into the vast majority of the market that works with Visio. Stop adding features before fixing existing problems. Slapping on shiny new things on top of a fragile frame does not constitute a better product.


  6. Great work environment, strong product

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

    I have been working at SmartDraw.com full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    To me the most important positive aspect of working here is the value system. The environment created by the CEO (who is also the owner and founder) and COO is one of absolute integrity and respect in the treatment of employees, customers and vendors alike. I have worked in few environments where people are consistently treated in such a respectful manner and where integrity and doing the "right thing" are valued ahead of immediate gain.

    Other positives of working here include the fact that it's a great product. Additionally, management is continually looking "down the road" and making changes as needed to stay current. Given that the product was first marketed in 1994 and is still going strong clearly speaks to the founder's vision and ability to keep the product relevant in a world of changing needs and technologies.

    SmartDraw offers extremely competitive salaries and a benefit package that compares favorably to those of much larger companies. The work place is casual and flexible and affords a work/life balance that is not often found in companies today. There are monthly company lunch meetings where the CEO outlines key metrics of the business, and talks about plans and strategies for the future-people are given an opportunity to ask questions and really understand the issues that are currently important to the business. The entire employee populations consists of people who are bright, hard-working and who work well together-all in all it is an environment that is hard to beat.

    Cons

    It's a small company. For some people this is a pro, for others it's a con. Because it's small there may not be fully developed career paths in all areas. The flip side of that is, you get an opportunity to do a much broader range of things and be exposed to a wider breadth of the business than you would be able to be in a larger company.


  7. Challenging growth experience

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

    I worked at SmartDraw.com full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    - Decent compensation for non-sales team
    - Open communication with upper management on general discussion
    - Friendly and casual culture
    - Excellent customer support

    Cons

    - Executive team not open to ideas not their own
    - Not a collaborative environment, but rather a top down directive of what is to be done and how it will be done on strategy and tactics
    - High turnover in sales group
    - Stagnant and contracting growth and employment
    - Many unsatisfied users who stop using the product when they find it isn't fully doing what they need.

    Advice to Management

    To get different results, you need to do things differently. The historical SEO model that got the company where it is, won't be successful going forward Truly innovative solutions and not just the same things re-wrapped and presented as something new and different. Expand sales through corporate users who can influence others by responding to requests of making the product better and not just add things that appeal to brand new users.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Good place to build resume, not much else

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

    I worked at SmartDraw.com

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

    Pros

    good place to get your feet wet in the software industry

    Cons

    no growth, executive team devalues employees, doesn't listen to their customers concerns or needs, continually pushes out new versions of the software to stimulate revenue growth (Apple Effect) even when there are major bugs, complications and little change in the software.


  9. Wonderful company to work for. Great product. Well managed (can't argue with results)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at SmartDraw.com

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    * Dynamic environment.

    * Responds quickly to changes in environment.

    * Aggressively pursuing new product opportunities, while maintaining health and strength of the core product.

    * Lots of promoting from within. Good opportunities for advancement.

    * Relaxed and friendly working environment.

    * Benefits are in line with those offered by much larger companies.

    * Especially during this economic downturn, SmartDraw's stability is very valuable to employees.

    Cons

    * Communication between departments is a frequently-heard complaint. Then again, nobody wants to sit through a ton of meetings, either.

    * Very strong and active CEO can sometimes leave management feeling somewhat hampered in decision making.


  10. A place that doesn't really care for its employees or customers

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

    I worked at SmartDraw.com

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Small size means you get to know everyone pretty well and you have a good insight into where the company is going.
    The potential for career growth in the marketing area is also nice.
    Casual environment is a plus.

    Cons

    Incompetent senior management.
    Little respect and/or gratitude for employees.
    No real appreciation for customers.

    Advice to Management

    Some members of management are constantly finger pointing to cover up the fact that they are contributing nothing useful to the company - time to clean up the trophy wives.



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