Universal Instruments

  www4.uic.com
  www4.uic.com

Universal Instruments Reviews

Updated November 11, 2014
Updated November 11, 2014
26 Reviews
2.2
26 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Jean-Luc Pelissier
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Does what it takes to make money in a tough global industry.

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

    I have been working at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you are willing to take ownership of difficult decisions, you get responsibility
    Never the same thing twice - customers, competition and suppliers make for something new every week.
    Very dedicated long term employees - good support for each other.

    Cons

    Fairly short-term focus.
    Need to be available at all times to jump onto whatever the latest crisis is.
    Driven to overcommit - you never feel you have completed everything you ought to.
    Strategy is often overcome by new opportunities - combination of weak strategy formation, small market share and lack of market coverage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out how to make annual plans better. Being off by 50% every year is silly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exciting and innovative until it became all about the bookings.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Conklin, NY
    Former Employee - Engineer in Conklin, NY

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very talented people who really care about the product and job at hand. They're always willing to work extra hard even though it's completely thankless in the end.

    Cons

    The company is absolutely driven by short term cash flow and nothing else. Way too many meetings talking (yelling) about financials and business development with almost no time and zero resource to take action. There is no reward for hard work. There is no long term plan.

    Once it was purchased by an equity firm the innovation stopped, morale plummeted and it never rebounded.

    Some really great projects were derailed due to lack of longer term vision and now the portfolio suffers because of it. Talented people left like rats from a sinking ship, taking in depth knowledge and skills that you cannot simply replace.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about employees. Don't make celebratory statements about incredible cash flow and yet deny any positive compensation for the last remaining talent you have.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Best experience I ever had

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Universal Instruments

    Pros

    Best place for R&D research. I learnt a lot.

    Cons

    There was a lot of time pressure to finish the projects.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Senior Application Engineer (Project Leader) for a Direct Die handler in charge of all new applisctions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Applications Engineer (Project Leader) in Binghamton, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Applications Engineer (Project Leader) in Binghamton, NY

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The new projects are always challenging and working with engineering to develop new tooling to make the project work.

    Cons

    Sell more machines to improve the company base.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take to the people and find out what realy is going on!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    The people are talented and professional but mismanaged at the top.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist in Conklin, NY
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist in Conklin, NY

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time

    Pros

    Universal has a lot of friendly professional talented individuals willing to address any challenge set before them. Most of the time you are not "micromanaged". The facility is clean and well lit. The location is one of the best commercial locations in the area with a nice view of the valley.

    Cons

    While trying to compete with foreign markets, upper management continues down the same path. Sales and marketing is always given the red carpet treatment while manufacturing, engineering, technical support, field engineering, spare parts, etc are treated as disposable and easily replaceable. There is a lot of tribal knowledge in the company that was lost during the last layoff and those layoffs were directly felt by customers the same day. Sales constantly sells inappropriate equipment configurations to the customer and then walks away while field engineering, engineering and technical support try to rectify the situation with the customers. When the problem requires extra money to resolve the problem sales concedes hundreds of thousands of dollars, bleeding money from the heart of the company, but are never held accountable for those actions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people at the top need to step down and let competent individuals run the company. The group that took over Universal after it was dropped by Dover in the mid 2000's has run the company to the edge of a cliff. By not investing anything into new product development but re-branding the equipment under another product name with the hopes people will buy it just because the software has a different name on it and the machine has a different product logo is insane and has cost the company dearly.
    These days a company has to adjust and create a product that can satisfy multiple market needs. The company needs to learn from its past and consider finding a new niche market.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Research associate

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Universal Instruments

    Pros

    gaining a verity of experience

    Cons

    Does not accept international people

  8.  

    Material Specialist

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

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great culture. Co-workers seem to care for each other.

    Cons

    It's a Very fluctuating work load.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to create a more stable work force

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Typical Tale of a Private Equity Acquisition Gone Bad...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Multiple in Conklin, NY
    Former Employee - Multiple in Conklin, NY

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Years and Years of great experience, memories, personal and professional growth

    Great Culture, Heritage, and Employees(below Management Team Level)
    Was a great company to work for until ~2003...

    Still have great people there, and feel great appreciation and concern for those that remain

    Cons

    Let me begin by saying it pains me to share the following...

    Vision and Strategy no further than the tip of a nose
    Parent company has bled of nearly all it's value... and continues to do so...
    CEO and CFO manage / regard employees and the company as if it's a video game - ruthless characters with no regard for anyone but themselves.
    Spousal Abuse comes to mind in terms of describing how employees are treated.
    Don't believe a word they say, as they are not truthful...
    Management style is Draconian, and majority of the staff directly below have become standees with no real value/other than execution of the top executive's biddings. They're just hanging on for a big payout that will never come, and lost themselves in the process.
    Market share and revenue decreases dramatically globally every year... And will fall out of the top 10 in the market in the not too distant future.
    Company value is nowhere near the value the parent firm/execs believe it's worth
    Company's annual quantity of shut-downs grow dramatically every year resulting in a large quantity of employees not having enough vacation time to cover the 5-7 weeks of annual shutdown time, and therefore must take unemployment benefits.
    Pride themselves as having a 'floating workforce'

    Strongly suspect long term objective is to bleed out whatever they can from the company and then shut the doors, and then move on to the next company that they can bleed, one company at a time.

    The claim is we make money because we're debt-free, but if sales and market share continue to plummet, there's no money to invest in the future... Atrophy is inevitable & occurring every day.

    Scare & mislead employees in to believing their bad-practices are commonplace the same every where these days... Having left the company and had different work experiences since then, I can say that their tactics and policy changes are not the way other 'good' companies operate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pare down the portfolio to the size that can properly staff the 2 Business Units as opposed to the 5-6 that have been maintained properly in the past by 3x's the staff of today. Focus on niche which has been company's strength/legacy

    Sell the company to an entity with a desire, resources and commitment to invest in a once great company(culture, employees)

    Buyers beware - question numbers(sales $, Unit's, Market share) over last several years...Question and verify any/all claims...Get outsider perspective... Don't be fooled...

    Those considering employment opportunities - temp employee with benefits is a good description of what you can expect 2-4 weeks of unemployment benefits per year...

    To my friends that still remain there...Get out... You have no idea how liberating it is to be free from that environment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Graduate Research Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Conklin, NY
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Conklin, NY

    I have been working at Universal Instruments part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Time is flexible and there is no overtime

    Cons

    It gets bored easily after a while

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more smart ones

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unethical Amoral Leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Staff in Conklin, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Staff in Conklin, NY

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - clean, professional looking building
    - nice ground in country setting
    - easy, low traffic commute

    Cons

    - Senior management has no vision, and treat employees with disrespect - almost with contempt - they are like trash. Employees seen only as costs, not assetts. I wonder if UIC puts 0 Goodwill on the balance sheet.
    - IT infrastructure is horribly out of date and at risk of colapse
    - Machine SW is not supportable, is out of date (runs on OS2 Warp for some paltforms) and unstable.
    - Not enough resources or talent to create a sustainable business
    - No job security. People fired at Will (which is allowed in NY) with no severance, notification or consideration.
    - Supply chain is precarious. Suppliers bullied, not treated like partners.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Karma does exist.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

Work at Universal Instruments? Share Your Experiences

Universal Instruments

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.