CAS Reviews | Glassdoor

CAS Reviews

Updated May 23, 2017
110 reviews

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2.9
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CAS President Manuel Guzman
Manuel Guzman
48 Ratings

110 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance - CAS is highly supportive in regards to individual special needs and creates a caring atmosphere (in 12 reviews)

  • Very good benefits and work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • New management team with new vision completely different from what it was before 2010 (in 6 reviews)

  • IT has declined dramatically since new management arrived (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "Great opportunities at CAS"

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

    Pros

    This is an organization that is going through an enormously transformational period. Organization, business strategy, technology, leadership, even physical workspaces are changing and for many people that is not easy. But for those that can buy-in and be part of the transition, there are great opportunities to be part of something that is likely to be very special.

    There are many talented and creative people to work with.

    Cons

    For a company with 109 year history and a large number of tenured employees, the transition is difficult. Environment and chatter can be negative at times, but I personally have never experienced actions by employees or management that are deceitful or duplicitous. Taking the necessary and difficult steps to pivot this organization are always well explained and consistent with vision that is shared with employees.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. There are ever-increasing examples of positive change and the momentum is clearly underway. Don't be swayed by the naysayers.


  2. "IT Systems Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Systems Analyst in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - IT Systems Analyst in Columbus, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The IT work environment is pretty good. I can't speak for all other areas though. Flexible hours and good benefits. I can easily maintain a healthy work/home balance.

    Cons

    Not enough opportunities for advancement. The promoting system seriously needs revamped. I have joked that this is where IT careers go to die. Great if you intend on spending the rest of your career here. Just starting out, you're probably better off going somewhere else.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the empty promises and actually fix what you say you're going to fix. Also, get rid of all those legacy systems and give your employees the tools they need to succeed.


  3. "Director, Inside Sales Operations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director, Inside Sales in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Director, Inside Sales in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Energetic and creative workforce grew from 10 to around 130 over a 6 year period. Most of the folks on the killing floor (the telemarketing bullpen) were artists and writers, so the IQ was high but the EQ was low low low!!

    Cons

    Too many committee decisions. A sharp organization has a decisive unilateral decision-maker who can make the tough calls and be right most of the time.

    Advice to Management

    Those fellas retired some time ago: Best to ya Barry Hansen and Tom George!!


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


  5. "Great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at CAS (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Friendly and diverse group of people

    Cons

    Not much communication with managers


  6. Helpful (5)

    "senior systems engineer"

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

    I have been working at CAS full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work environment was fine for my first several years. The workload is reasonable and people are good to work with.

    Cons

    Recent year or two there have been many contractors added and the environment is beginning to suffer. Taking down the walls of offices and removing cubicles and putting many people (pods) together has eliminated any concept of personal space. Elbow to elbow, under the guise of productivity. Only way to work is headphones to drown out the noise.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "CAS is Transforming!"

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

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

    Pros

    1. The People - Many intelligent individuals work at CAS. We challenge each other to be innovative.
    2. Transformation - CAS is in the early stages of transforming. There is significant opportunity to be a catalyst for driving change, instill more experimentation and explore thought leadership.
    3. Higher Purpose - there is incredible purpose in improving people's lives through the transforming power of Chemistry.
    4. Growth - the company is focused on growth in many areas and adopting new strategies and technology to drive this forward.
    5. Good work life balance - CAS is highly supportive in regards to individual special needs and creates a caring atmosphere.

    CAS has a long history to be proud of and with its increased focus on teaming and continuous improvement it provides tremendous opportunity moving forward.

    Cons

    The patriarchal/hierarchical organization structure is still in existence within the organization. Although the direction is focused on teaming, it will require considerable effort to break through this mind set.

    There is great reliance on contracting expertise which seems to diminish the knowledge and experience that CAS employees have developed.

    Typical of organizations with a long history, not all employees embrace the change. This is slowing progress and requires repetitive communication.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused. Transforming a company with the history that CAS has can be difficult but is well worth the investment. Publicize what is so great about CAS. We have some very exciting initiatives, cool new technology, continuously improving processes and creative people. All this is one of the best kept secrets in Ohio.


  8. Helpful (11)

    "Yo ho ho, we likes sailing metaphors, matey! The sails have holes and she's taking on water. Abandon ship!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Development in Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Product Development in Columbus, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CAS full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Benefits, kind of (for now; they're being trimmed back annually, and are available to employees entirely at their manager's discretion so they are playing the benefit lottery).
    - Cafe (food is subsidized and relatively healthy)
    - Grounds, kind of (nice walking path but not well-maintained and covered in goose feces year-round)
    - Colleagues (smart, professional, capable people, sadly crippled by policy and mismanagement)
    - The CEO (he is actually a bit of a visionary with potential, but he made the mistake of keeping the same executive team, who keep him in the dark on many decisions and are preventing his vision from being implemented to its fullest potential.)
    - One can play ping pong, do tai chi or yoga on-site at no cost.
    - Generous gym reimbursement and sad on-site exercise facility ):

    Cons

    If you're considering applying with CAS, be wary of this influx of positive reviews. You'll note that all the reviews say the same thing, often employing the same vernacular. This is because they were requested of long-term managers by their Sr. team. Internal rumors circulating lately throughout CAS have it that real, honest reviews are taken down as the CAS legal team threatens legal action against Glassdoor.

    This company has cut close to 400 jobs, some eliminated, others replaced with contractors. First IT, then editorial (no contractors there, just eliminate jobs), and now targeting sales, marketing and finance. But none of those 400 were the ones who need to go. Clean house at the top level and things might turn around. Things in IT actually aren't looking so bad. Was it because CAS tore down all the walls, took everyone's offices and brought in a bunch of contractors? No. It's because the old VP of IT resigned and the new VP is the only fresh blood in the house. And he’s good. An actual visionary who clearly knows his stuff. Find more like him for the other divisions and perhaps this dying dinosaur of a company could be saved. (Update! The visionary VP of IT referred to above has now resigned!)

    It is true that CAS is undergoing a large culture shift. It is false that individual contributor-level staff can't get on board. The culture here is one of bureaucratic political backstabbing, fear mongering, and fostering a toxic, hostile work environment. Those actually fighting for transformative change, usually the less tenured, newer employees, are actually the ones who typically get targeted by the old guard. The old guard, particularly at the senior management level, talks a big game, but with no follow through. In reality, they are entirely governed out of a need for self preservation at any cost. Most of them are old enough and wealthy enough to retire tomorrow, but this job is all they've ever known and they revel in their abuses of power too much. I can only imagine what their home lives are like that they cling on to CAS so desperately. They have been with the company since it had no competitors, which is why their incompetence was allowed/able to run rampant and result in their promotion to high ranking roles. Now, faced with actual external (and internal) competition, they do not know how to adapt and are trying everything thing in their power to keep things the way they are, all while touting the reforms of the new CEO publicly.

    No, change at CAS is not real, and what little change there is definitely isn't the kind that will turn a company around. If you want to move up, shut your mouth unless it's to say “yes” or “how high?”, follow the status quo, do not think of questioning business decisions that sacrifice the quality of the product line, despite high quality being the very foundation and hallmark of the company. And when those new products fall flat and under-perform, be prepared to take the fall, even though you actually reported an accurate estimation of expected earning potential, only to be told it wasn't bold enough, and to come back with higher numbers.

    Numerous talented, top performing employees have been shut down and mistreated, not because they weren't capable of meeting expectations, but because their expertise is threatening to those who have been here for decades working their way up to positions they aren’t cut out to handle. These employees inevitably leave and move on to bigger and better opportunities where, no surprise, they thrive.

    Of course, CAS has such a bad reputation in Columbus, those former employees often have to relocate to catch a break. Then those same employees are dubbed “bad apples” by the very people who wouldn't allow them to succeed as they try but fail to indoctrinate new hires. It is not unusual for a new hire to leave within a few months or less. Other employees have actively had internal opportunities stripped from them so higher ups with high turnover could save face. Engagement is at an all time low but senior management refuses to acknowledge their part in it. Tons of money is spent trying to fix low level employees who aren't the problem to begin with. “Stay the course” and other sailing metaphors are peppered throughout the HR-sponsored reviews of which you should be wary. Well, here is a sailing metaphor for you. Steer clear of this sinking ship, lest ye go down with it.

    Advice to Management

    Resign, retire, get out of your own way. Allow your staff to exercise their talents. Do not stay the course; your current course is destroying this not-for-profit created to do public good.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Dynamic!"

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

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

    Pros

    A tenuous job is one where you're always on your toes! That's how CAS likes it and it is exhilarating! Some areas of the business never hire making the remaining employees feel special and some areas are under constant threat of being let go. That's the secret to keeping us engaged and innovative!

    CAS also insures the success of new projects by assigning them to only the top 3 performers avoiding the careless practice of distributing the good ideas over other competent people. It's a strategy that works.

    Other pros are the open work environment, everyone loves it.

    Cons

    Some employees are negative despite the transparency demonstrated by upper management. They should want to get on board.

    Parking is sometimes tough by 10:00 am.

    Advice to Management

    Not much, you're running a tight ship and everyone is engaged.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Terrific company with great mission, benefits, and management"

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

    Pros

    CAS is a division of The American Chemical Society (ACS) and has a powerful mission that advances science for the betterment of all people. It's great to be part of a company that uses information and its resources for noble causes like curing disease and saving the planet.

    CAS has terrific benefits (the best I've seen) and work-life balance not to mention an unbelievable cafeteria with delicious and fresh offerings! There is a credit union on site, free parking and beautiful paths to walk on the many acres. Colleagues are well educated, intelligent, considerate and engaged.

    Management really cares about staff and is taking the company in thrilling, new directions. For the first time in years, CAS is launching new products and services. It's exciting to a part of this new chapter. I've worked at several companies in Central Ohio and can honestly say that CAS is a fantastic employer. I'm proud to tell people that I work here.

    Cons

    Change can be difficult. Some staff are having trouble adapting to the progressive environment. Many positive changes have already occurred -- the culture is starting to catch up.


  11. Helpful (13)

    "Beware of HR-sponsored content"

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

    I have been working at CAS full-time

    Pros

    cafe; campus; smart, hardworking employees who still hope for the best

    Cons

    The one major thing that hasn't changed at CAS in decades is management, both senior and middle, many of whom have never worked anywhere else in their entire careers. Anyone with outside experience is minimized to keep the old guard in power.

    Zero processes, particularly in overall product development and strategy. Products are made solely on what CAS can charge the most for, not by what the marketplace needs. Quality suffers, priorities change daily, and it's difficult to convey brand value when senior leadership's overriding goal is hitting revenue targets.

    HR is totally dedicated to propping up senior and middle managers, so expressing any kind of concerns or proposing solutions is futile. If you aren't marching in line with them, you are "part of the problem". Oftentimes, disciplinary action against the employee ensues.

    Beware. HR is incentivizing employees for good reviews here, the ones they don't write themselves. Lopsided and overdone themes like "employees don't like or are resistant to change, great mission, good place to work" should be treated with suspicion. HR speak is easy to spot and you should wonder why such whitewashing efforts are necessary. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

    Advice to Management

    Give employees the leadership they need to succeed.


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