American Traffic Solutions Reviews | Glassdoor

American Traffic Solutions Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
97 reviews

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1.8
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American Traffic Solutions CEO (co-founder) James Tuton
James Tuton
57 Ratings

97 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • No upper management support for employees (in 8 reviews)

  • No one watching directly over me (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "ATS REVIEW"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Eastern Design & Engineering Manager in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Eastern Design & Engineering Manager in Tampa, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Company pays for employee travel

    Cons

    No upper management support for employees


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Software QA Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software QA Engineer in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Software QA Engineer in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -It is close to spring training events
    -There is a free coffee machine(although it is out of order frequently)
    -The building is nice and new

    Cons

    The development team has zero leadership above the supervisor level. The product management/owners do not seem to have a plan beyond what the top priority is. Sprints are chaotic due to priorities changing daily(this is the norm not the exception). Change is a constant and very little is for the better. Politics and the good ol' boy network rule hiring, promotions and raises.

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at the morale and leadership within the development team. Take steps to improve the quality of user stories and the relationship between the development and product teams. Invest in leadership development from the director level down.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Avoid at all costs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company building is new, has standing desks, and is centrally located next to the highway. The 401K is vested immediately. Managers are generally good about respecting off-hours and work-life balance. If you are seriously considering working here, don’t lowball yourself on your salary ask. Starting salary offers are very competitive, because they have a high turnover rate and such bad reviews online.

    This is also a good place to build your resume in the short term. At tends to run short-staffed on individual contributors, so if you have any talent with things like project management, process thinking or especially data analysis, you are highly likely to be given significant responsibilities on division-wide projects that would be way above your pay grade at any other company, which will end up looking great on your resume.

    Cons

    I worked for ATS for several years, in both divisions, in positions that gave me significant visibility into different functional areas/departments. While there are many smart and hard-working individuals at ATS, as a whole, the company is not a good place to work, and verges on toxic in my opinion. If you are reading through the glassdoor reviews and wondering if it really could be as bad as they say, all I can say is believe the hype. These reviews should be taken as genuine warnings, not sour grapes from people who've been laid off. There are good reasons the reviews are so pervasively negative.

    First and most fundamental, ATS has frequent layoffs and tons of churn in employees. There were multiple mass layoff events just in the two years I was there. At the same time, out of the other side of their mouth management says we’re on plan and hitting our targets. The executives come across as consistently two-faced and uncaring about the effects their decisions have on people's lives and careers. Even employees who at any other company would be beyond safe were regularly targeted for layoffs, such as long-term, moderately-paid employees with tons of institutional knowledge, or people who had left 20 year careers at other companies or relocated across the country to come to ATS, and had been there less than 6 months. When I worked on the safety camera side of the business, literally every project I worked on involved outsourcing or layoffs in some form or another. There’s a culture of fear among most employees because of this. For this reason *alone* I can’t recommend ATS as an employer. It’s just not a safe place to pursue a long-term career.

    ATS also suffers from a top heavy management structure, with way too many managers, and not nearly enough professional-class individual contributors to do the heavy lifting. There’s also a tendency to hire from the outside rather than promote from within, especially for management-class employees. So quite a few of the managers are people who have failed out of better companies, with ATS serving as a soft landing place (to be fair, there are some exceptions to this). Even mid-level managers are paid inflated salaries given the size of the company and the scope of their responsibilities, and there’s also a bonus structure that tends to incentivize the absolute worst kind of reactive, hair-on-fire management behaviors. As you might imagine, the leaders who manage to thrive in such an environment are just completely miserable, horrible people. There are way too many "leaders" at ATS who are gossipy, immature, cliquish and demeaning to the people who actually do the work. I seriously can’t overemphasize how dysfunctional management is here.

    Project management discipline is sorely lacking as well. Rather than picking a few well-vetted business-critical priorities and pursuing them aggressively, the tendency is to over-commit to everything at once, regardless of whether the resources are available to actually deliver, or whether it’s an actual priority or not. It’s my belief this behavior is driven by the bonus structure tied to goals and controls. Being “customer-centric” is used as cover for a complete lack of anything approaching project planning discipline. The saying “if you try to do ten things, you’ll do them all poorly” applies in spades to ATS. I have never seen leadership that is less capable of prioritizing. No one takes No or Wait as an answer, and everyone has a grossly overblown sense of urgency. You will get zero support on your projects, and any progress you do make will be immediately punished with a list of a dozen more items. Half-finished projects are legion, and the workload ends up being an endless series of fire drills. It’s a completely demoralizing working environment, totally aside from the poisonous management culture and constant fear of layoffs.

    Finally, these are more minor, but it should be said that the health plan is bad, and PTO is not an accrued benefit (so they don’t have to cash it out when they go through one of their quarter quells).

    Advice to Management

    If you put good performers in a bad system, the system is going to win, every time. You’re going to keep chewing through talented people until you address the systemic issues.

    If you are a job seeker, and you have literally any other option, walk away. If you are forced to consider ATS, you need to ask some very tough questions before accepting any offer, and even then its best if treat this company as simply a waypoint on the way to something better.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    "Used to be great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The employees here are fantastic. Everyone that is not management or above looks out for one another and would take a pay cut to save someone else's job. Every team collaborated great together, and almost everyone wanted to make it a great place to work. The mission of the company is to save lives, which I believe 100% that is what they did. I loved the company, and what they stand for, but I couldn't agree with the road they were travelling to get where they wanted to be.

    Cons

    Management and above take advantage of their employees. Reducing staff, increasing workload on those they kept, and not being honest are going to be the downfall of what was once a great company. When I started, it was ran by 2 brothers, who seemed to know the meaning of family and togetherness, and that is how the company was ran. Dollar signs seemed to have blinded them. A new Senior Leadership team was brought in to manage the company, and if you weren't part of their inner circle, you were nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Good or bad, they are in the trenches and know what clients and the public are saying. Your employees want to work for a great company, especially one that saves lives, but they want to be heard, and they want to know that they are cared about as a person, not just someone who gets a paycheck.


  6. Helpful (8)

    "Use until not needed anymore"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Staten Island, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Staten Island, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They talk a good game.

    Cons

    Constant turnover. Upper management looks at staff as beneath them. Inconsistent treatment among staff. Favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    Treat the people who give themselves to your company with respect and gratitude. Kindness and respect go a long way.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "IT manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - IT Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good health benefits and decent pay. There are some recently hired employees who have solid IT experience and the knowledge and desire to improve things.

    Cons

    This is a big list...

    No strategic direction..
    No action by executive leaders.
    Too many bullies - including some directors.
    Leadership not doing anything about the bullies - yes, they are aware.
    Lack of policies or no adherence to policies.
    No accountability.
    Too many silos - each group defines their own process.
    Lack of communication - the silos do not communicate "their" process, so no one else knows how to engage "their" team.
    Discrimination.
    Poor/dated It practices.
    Poor information security/protection.
    Employees do not have a voice.
    Random layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Listen and take action where needed.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Worst company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Engineer in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - QA Engineer in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent pay. There are no pros besides decent pay, but no job security.

    Cons

    Frequent layoffs!
    No career growth.
    No job security.
    Do not join!


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Field Service Technician II"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Service Technician II in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Field Service Technician II in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    For a 20 something year old at the time, 19 dollars an hour seemed like good pay.
    I also met some really nice and supportive people (Aside from upper management).

    Cons

    This is going to be long winded.

    I have had prior Field Service Experience, along with a degree in Electricity. Straight out of school, working with Traffic Cameras as a career? No one watching directly over me? Seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. Boy was I wrong.

    I started in 2011. When I began there were 6 technicians in my office. 3 of them knew what they were doing. 3 didn't. And it's not their fault. You'd expect a company this large to offer a sophisticated training system. Nope. The training documents are years upon years old and ancient. If you asked to be trained you get frowned upon. Should you be lucky enough to have someone offer a training program, it's usually only a week and only on one type of system. It took me at least 3 years to learn everything I needed for my area, and still was learning. As time went on, 6 technicians were down to 2. Some laid off, others couldn't take the constant change and abuse.

    The company knows 2 things. How to make money, and how to lose it quickly. In the 6 years of myself working there, my pay went from $19 to $21. I was lied to about getting a raise by an unprofessional manager (Who also got laid off) just to keep my spirits high. I only got that 2 dollar raise when the company switched directives and sold the Field Service division to a subcontractor company. And that company I have nothing bad to say about.

    In time I witnessed 3 mass layoffs. You'll notice in other reviews only the privileged and employees who had connections or friends stayed during those layoffs. Verified this is true. There was one guy who was very knowledgeable and persistent in giving his all to the company for several years. On his work anniversary, they gave him 5 dollars to use at the cafeteria, a huge slap to the face. They gave all the Field Technicians a mug full of candy for Christmas rather any bonuses. I think one time I got a 5 dollar card to starbucks.

    Before they sold us all off, we had a rather nice office with a set of great people whom all worked together. They sold off the office as well, and were forced to work at home. That also meant our warehouse closed, so we went from shipping and receiving parts professionally, to getting them all delivered to our homes, and using our own gas to ship them back to Fedex.

    Your job responsibilities are endless, and the progression or room for advancement is transparent. Just not there at all. I used to get calls from techs asking how to do their job because no one told them how. CEO's were constantly changing. Health coverage went from bad to worse. Your work day is always rushed, and they want things done even out of your control. I can't tell you how many holidays I've missed with my family after being threatened to be let go if I didn't work on said days to get a stupid camera up and running in freezing cold weather.

    So you say you need tools for your job? I got denied a new tool set when I started working there. Instead an old technicians rusty broken set was given to me and I had to improvise. Consumables such as connectors were the only thing that would be approved for purchase on the card. After 3 years I got new tools.

    They have techs all around the U.S handling way more work than they can bear. Areas with 300 cameras have 2 technicians. The support teams are wonderful, that's all I can say about that. The unnecessary bull that comes with approvals aren't.

    So as far as their "Culture and Values". They claim the company is built on good leadership and team playing. The upper management is the team and leadership, and they all have different conflicting ideas that never work. I mean at least you get a free OSHA Training Course and free pair of Red Wing boots. Hope you like working on Core 2 Duo Dell Laptops in the Rain.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother giving advice? They look at these reviews and laugh. The CEO's are in cushy mansions in Scottsdale Arizona, and everyone else is left starving.

    Here's my Advice to YOU, the hard worker. DO. NOT. WORK. HERE. PERIOD.


  10. Helpful (12)

    "No apparent strategy, frequent layoffs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is good, medical benefits are ok, work-life balance is decent, minimal holidays (7). Some teams have excellent cohesiveness, depending on who the manager is.

    Cons

    Some teams lack communication and cohesiveness. This company will tell you it's doing very well, and then at least once a year have a sudden and unexpected layoff. In 2016 they actually had two layoffs. Oddly enough, the middle managers that have been there many years always manage to avoid being laid off.

    Advice to Management

    If the company is not doing well, please don't tell the employees it is, and then keep having layoffs. Actions speak louder than words. If the strategy isn't working, perhaps it's time to take a hard look at why the strategies aren't working.


  11. Helpful (10)

    "So much potential, so disappointing."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mesa, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Traffic Solutions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They have some very bright, capable and great people working to keep the business going on a day to day basis. Pay and benefits are pretty decent. Work-life balance is good. If you're a developer needing experience, you can spend some time here for some pretty good experience in a dynamic environment.

    Cons

    Absolutely no strategic planning, implementation, or communication skills. There is a group of middle managers that have been there for a long time that are more concerned about keeping the status quo and looking important than driving the business forward. 'That is the way we've always done it here' is the mantra you'll hear all the time. If you're not one of the 'old timers' , you'l have no input and no voice. There is no professional development. There is no innovation or implementation of new technologies. A lack of standard processes leads to a constant last minute scramble in work priorities and scheduling.

    They have plenty of managers and directors, but lack leaders. This lack of foresight and leadership can and does lead to occasional layoffs. (Just recently as matter of fact.)

    Advice to Management

    If you keep the same people in charge to make the same decisions over and over, you will get the same results. Get rid of some of the old time managers and bring in some leaders than can implement the vision that the executive team seems to have. Make better use of the greatest asset you have, the employees that really get things done!



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