A123 Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

A123 Systems Reviews

Updated June 13, 2017
96 reviews

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96 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Fast paced atmosphere, high-tech, great people (in 8 reviews)

  • Very nice and smart people to work with on a day-day basis (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance out the window if the execs are going to miss the bonus rounds (in 4 reviews)

  • A challenge associated with working in the R&D organization is finding work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A123 Systems"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people and the environment is very relaxed.

    Cons

    None that I really can think of.


  2. "Manufacturing Process Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Process Engineer in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Process Engineer in Livonia, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of Potential. Growing business with improving benefits. Very nice work environment and work-life balance.

    Cons

    Heavy dependence on sales to China creates risk if a trade war arises. However, management is aggressively working on broader customer diversification.

    Advice to Management

    Continue Increasing the Focus on Management by Data. Visit the Plant floor more and get to know the hourly folks. It's where the problems and solutions are.

  3. "Good & Bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Respective pay for upper management. Friendly environment. Company with innovative technology

    Cons

    Production is most important. Mid level management and below are not rewarded for hard work.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your mid level management. You have many good people.


  4. "Worst company to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at A123 Systems (More than a year)

    Pros

    None None technology and maybe some colleagues

    Cons

    Intimidating and wastage of money and resources.

    Advice to Management

    none


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Engaging and Intellectually Challenging R&D"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The fundamental R&D group is focused on developing game changing technologies for lithium-ion starter battery, start-stop, PHEV, and EV applications. Once the technology is demonstrated, the company has a clearly defined path for transferring the technology from the laboratory bench top, to pilot production, and onto full scale manufacturing. Seeing technology that you are a part of make it directly into a product that can play a role in the growth of the company as well as have a positive impact on the environment is satisfying.

    Cons

    A challenge associated with working in the R&D organization is finding work-life balance. This is due to the compressed timelines and frequent travel associated with the huge growth the company is currently experiencing.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the current path that is focused on developing internal talent in order to ensure longevity and continuity within the organization while simultaneously bringing in young, talented scientists and engineers to encourage the influx of new ideas.


  6. "Manufacturing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manufacturing in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - Manufacturing in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at A123 Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great product, fast paced environment. There are a lot of very smart dedicated professionals accomplishing the impossible every day. Operators to Mid/Upper Level Managers are great people, friendly, and foster teamwork and genuinely want to do a good job for the right reasons.

    Cons

    New upper manager in operations does not understand the principles of TPS, namely Respect: "We respect others, make every effort to understand each other, take responsibility and do our best to build mutual trust" The lack of respect by this individual is causing a lot of good people to look for greener pastures. I would not have thought it possible to turn a 5 star job into a 0.05 so quickly.

    Advice to Management

    Need to fix the problem before it's too late and there is no one left. If the last 4 1/2 months are any indicator, the future does not look very bright, and will diminish the last 6 years of effort to get where you are.


  7. "The Worst Ever!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Livonia, MI
    Current Employee - Production Operator in Livonia, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Only thing good is a little overtime here or there.

    Cons

    Unorganized, never sure if you are going to have your job the next day, no raises.

    Advice to Management

    Give people raises, stop doing favortism

  8. "Right Direction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Staff Scientist in Waltham, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Technology and Excellent people to work with. It's a very exciting industry to work in and the upside is fantastic. Management has done a nice job turning this place around after the bankruptcy. Its nice to see our products out in the market making a difference in energy storage.

    Cons

    The company needs more staff, the work load is high. It would be nice to have more technicians to help with cell builds.

    Advice to Management

    Its okay to say no to new customer quotes. We have won a lot of business in the past year and we need to make sure we execute on delivering booked business. It's nice to win all of the new business and lets make sure we are staffed right to execute


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Stay Away"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at A123 Systems full-time

    Pros

    Working with the technical (non-management) team. It used to be a fantastic place to work up until about 2014. The intelligence, energy, devotion of the team was inspiring. We created something new and exciting and built a company out of technology from MIT. We built plants in China and Michigan and became a world-wide player in the battery world. We went through an IPO and became a public company.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? The newer management has destroyed the morale of A123. A123 is a shell of its former self. Current management here in Waltham is atrocious and mean spirited. HR is lazy and completely useless and always sides with management (as expected). Management has let go or forced out loyal and talented long-term people (with no severance) who knew the technology inside and out and replaced them with low wage Chinese nationals. This may be orders from the new Chinese ownership who bought the company during the bankruptcy. The benefits are horrible. No matching 401k in the 14 year history of the company and the health benefits are far worse than what they were before bankruptcy. Other than a paycheck I am not sure why anyone would want to work here at A123. There is a very negative atmosphere and everyone talks about wanting to leave. The talented, hard working people who are here should look elsewhere if they are not already. There are much better places to work.

    Advice to Management

    For management in Waltham: Stop creating complaint files and instead, focus on the company, listen to your employees concerns and treat them better.


  10. "Packaging"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Packager in Plymouth, MI
    Current Employee - Packager in Plymouth, MI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at A123 Systems (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with, good environment

    Cons

    Beinga contract to hire, it takes really long for someone to get hired in unless you get promoted.


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