The Sanborn Map Company
2.2 of 5 12 reviews
www.sanborn.com Colorado Springs, CO 150 to 499 Employees

The Sanborn Map Company Reviews

Updated May 30, 2014

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2.2 12 reviews

                             

33% Approve of the CEO

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John R. Copple

(3 ratings)

12 Employee Reviews
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    It's a job. There are good sides and bad sides, just try not to let the bad consume you

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsMany of the employees I work with directly are awesome. We're all just trying to do the best we can with what we're given. There's definitely no lack of effort from the staff.
    The benefits are good as well, if you are eligible for them.

    ConsDisorganization is rampant at all levels, though upper management seems worst. Directives are often given to the departments without taking into account how this will affect hours, schedules, or existing workloads. It's as if we work in a vacuum and things just magically occur with no penalties.

    Additionally, jobs are never estimated correctly and never have enough hours and then everyone is yelled at about not hitting the unrealistic budgeted hours estimate.

    Training is pretty much on-the-job. Minimal training is provided initially and hardly ever thereafter because it's an overhead expense and therefore there is no money for it.

    Advice to Senior Management8hrs of training on a subject does not an expert make. Time and time again, individuals with years of experience are let go in favor of younger employees (read: cheaper) who have been given minimal training on the subject and are expected to take over 100%. It sounds like a good opportunity for the younger employees, but really it's just poor planning and a desperation attempt to cut costs.

    Employee compensation is also a problem. Once you move up in the chain, it apparently gets better, but entry-level employees and even those who've been around a little while are paid peanuts compared to what they could receive elsewhere or even in entry-level jobs in unrelated industries.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Overall good experience.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsNifty business, with good technology. Decent pay. Management and owners were willing to invest money in new capital, such as planes, Lidar, cameras, and data management technology.

    ConsThe CEO has a personality and mangement style that frequently results in open conflict with employees, including senior management. This creates an environment that is difficult, stressful, and challenging to some.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust your employees. Give them good leadership and direction, then let them move forward without constant oversight.

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    Severe lack of quality leadership

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prossome long term employees highly knowledgable, quite friendly. Some highly intelligent employees with very good work ethics who have a genuine desire to do their best work and willing to work ungodly hours.

    Located in picturesque Colorado Springs

    ConsVery poor forward thinking causing multiple contracts to run way over budget with very late deliveries.

    Low pay and poor benefits for most employees. Many hired as paid interns with no benefits, who remain as such for many months.

    Slack management with an unwillingness to accept responsibility. Sometimes deliberately delivering faulty product so that the customer can be billed.

    Quality of product consistently low.

    Advice from production staff often ignored, to the detriment of contract timelines and quality of product.

    Temperamental, and often forgetful CEO. questions his management team on decisions he made the day before. Ignores his own instruction and often plows on in his own direction without advising the management team.

    Some members of management only working 30 hours a week while some production staff work in excess of 60 hours a week to meet unrealistic and arbitrarily chosen deadlines.

    Very low moral amongst production staff. Vast improvements needed to fix this, as it is an ongoing long term issue

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake responsibility for your actions and stop blaming the mid to lower level employees for your lack of quality planning. Value your employees, nurture and encourage them. Treat your production staff with much more respect. These people are the engine of your company. Show the same level of dedication to the cause as you expect from your subordinates. Be honest with your customers and show some dignity and honor. These are highly valued traits often forgotten in business today.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    I read the poor reviews and worked for them anyway. Big mistake!!

    Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIts a job. Thats about it.

    ConsRead the fine print in your contract!! Lots of fine details that don't benefit in your favor.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay the employees what they are worth and for the job they are performing.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Mix of good and bad

    Management (Former Employee)
    Colorado Springs, CO

    ProsSome of the finest people I have worked with were at Sanborn. Many of the regular employees are knowledgeable and work long, grueling hours to get the job done. Depending on what you do, the job can be extremely challenging due to lack of resources, training, and long hours. However, if you can overcome these challenges, you can gain a lot of experience that you wouldn't normally be exposed to at other jobs.

    ConsManagement lacks consistent vision, in fact, there doesn't seem to be much vision besides making money. Where is the company going and what is the future of GIS? These things are often sidelined for completing deliveries and fixing major flaws in processes. Some of this is due to limited resources, but I feel a large aspect of this is due to the lack of enthusiasm in management. New, idealistic employees are often excited to join the company, but quickly realize that they're on an assembly line. Management is also prone to fits of anger and fingerpointing when something goes wrong, and it demoralizes the company as a whole. The CEO in particular is well known to have fits of anger with employees, which creates an environment of fear and intimidation. As a result, even mangers are afraid to be honest less it make him angry. Also, there is little focus on the importance of people. Employees are generally regarded as unimportant or replaceable in the scheme of things, and you can see this attitude reflected in the high turnover rate. Naturally, though no one ever says 'You are unimportant', the employees sense this and it affects how they value their jobs and their self-worth. I believe Sanborn has potential to be an awesome company to work for if these things could be fixed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire managers that are excited about the future, treat your employees with respect and professionalism. People are your most important asset.

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    GIS Technician

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThis was a fantastic GIS experience for my career. I enjoyed working there as a team member for a project. My co workers were very helpful.

    ConsI regret the project ended quickly. I wish I could have extended or renewed my contract with Sanborn Nevertheless I'm very glad I got this experience.

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    • Culture & Values
           
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    • Senior Management
           
    • Comp & Benefits
           
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Toxic culture of "Blame the Technician"

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Colorado Springs, CO

    ProsWorking at Sanborn presents a tremendous opportunity to learn about all facets of map production, from raw data acquisition to final delivery. Coworkers are motivated to help you do the best that you can and teach you everything they know. Flexible work schedules.

    ConsVery poor communication from management on critical project details. Too many contracts and not enough people to effectively manage them. Frequent oversights in planning process would lead to setbacks in production work, but rather than reanalyze and correct the planning process, management would accuse the technicians of not working hard enough. Morale among low- to mid-level employees is low and everyone carries a lot of stress to meet unrealistic deadlines. Turnover is extremely high and qualified replacements are usually not hired because wages and benefits are not competitive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFix the breakdowns in communication, and either hire more project managers or bid on fewer contracts. Stop blaming your technicians for setbacks and delays because they are only doing the best they can with the limited resources you provide them. Raise wages and ease the cost of benefits for your low- to mid-level employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Worthless Internship Experience

    Imagery Technician Intern (Former Employee)
    Colorado Springs, CO

    ProsGreat name that will definitely get you an interview in the geospatial field. Paid internship.

    ConsI took the internship to do GIS or LiDAR work to gain experience in accordance with my degree program. After a few weeks of being assigned only Photoshop work, I inquired about the promise I had been made to do GIS or LiDAR work. They stated they would not assign me because they already had too many people on those sections. My job might as well have been to get my boss coffee for all the good it has done me. The hours were horrible (swing shift 6pm to 2am) and you were not allowed to talk to your neighbor if you had a question about the work. If you had a question, you were supposed to ask the sole boss of the swing shift who was always occupied with other interns. Lastly, for the first two weeks, we were not allowed to listen to music and if your performance was not up to par, they would not allow you to listen to music then either (happened to coworkers).

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour interns are there to learn. Give them work appropriate for their degree program. Trust that they are there to work hard and don't treat them like children you have to threaten to take privileges away from. It makes your interns look good and Sanborn look good, too, when your interns have valuable experiences they can either bring back to the company or use at other employers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Dissatisfying especially as less work was won

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Colorado Springs, CO

    ProsReview is for GeoSpatial solutions mainly in Colorado Springs.
    Generally great people to work with, both competent and nice.
    Some of the projects are technically demanding.

    ConsUpper management's vision is chaotic, driven by getting work anywhere and at almost any price (at least this is how it is perceived at a mid-management level). When no work is available, workers are sent home for long periods of time, though management allows workers to file unemployment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFor a lack of vision, the people perish. Ortho-photo work is becoming more competitive and lower profit. A new vision needs to be crafted from the current business climate and then the company needs to risk the money to achieve a significant market share.

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    contract position for the NRCS

    GIS Tech III (Former Employee)
    Greensboro, NC

    Prosclimate controlled office
    decent salary
    nice people

    Consminimum respect
    minimum job advancement
    management keeps you in the dark
    no benefits
    weird hours

    Advice to Senior Managementnothing

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at The Sanborn Map Company reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for The Sanborn Map Company CEO John R. Copple. All 12 reviews posted anonymously by The Sanborn Map Company employees.