Cognex Reviews | Glassdoor

Cognex Reviews

Updated April 23, 2019
112 reviews

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3.4
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Cognex President, CEO and Director Robert Willett
Robert Willett
67 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Good company culture and good compensation program" (in 9 reviews)

  • "The company has a great culture and has great people" (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance can be a struggle" (in 5 reviews)

  • "There have been so many complaints to the HR department and nothing changes - so I do not see this getting any better in the near future" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Company, employee oriented, fast moving, great benefits"

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

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

    Pros

    the greatest benefits: outstanding health insurances, free breakfast and money toward lunch, tons of activities for employees, non smoking policy, great career opportunities, emphasis on employees good work and life balance - so so important!

    Cons

    honestly none!
    Pros: fast growing company

    Advice to Management

    keep ding what you are doing


  2. "Good company with interesting problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Interesting work
    -Some smart people
    -Leader in the field

    Cons

    -Politics
    -Not so much opportunity to grow.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good culture, bad management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software
    Current Employee - Software
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company culture.
    Great 401k and health benefits

    Cons

    Compensation could use more work


  4. Helpful (4)

    "OK"

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

    I worked at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    Good product and good business outlook

    Cons

    Weird boss that just fired people he didn't like, regardless of skill or job performance.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "They used to really care about their employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cognex full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some great people, great benefits and very nice perseverance awards.

    Cons

    They will work you to death if you let them.

    Advice to Management

    The motto has always been good isn't good enough excellence is expected and I agreed 100% but to what end. The culture is gone.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great products but tough culture to survive in."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Sales Engineer - Vision in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Account Sales Engineer - Vision in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Total review (pros & cons)
    I was an Account Sales Engineer selling vision solutions (cameras, software, services) to OEM’s and end users. I worked closely with an SSE (Sensor Sales Engineer) who focused on Dataman readers, entry level sensors & camera and handheld readers. I held this position for 5 years.
    Your first year starts with a fairly easy quota. You will also attend “boot camp” usually in the Natick, MA headquarters. Boot Camp is meant to prepare you with the technical aptitude to sell Cognex products but in the end it’s a waste of time. You really learn on the job. You will have Application Engineers who assist you in solving vision applications with: correct resolution camera; correct optics; correct lighting; software tools to complete the customers inspection criteria.
    You report to a District Sales Manager who has 6-8 employees (usually 3 ASE / 3 SSE) in a given geography. Like any company, some are good, some are lousy. They report to a Regional Manager who has 3-4 DSM’s reporting to him. Regional Manager reports to the VP of Sales.
    In your first year, they really want you to learn, learn, learn! Learn the cameras; lighting techniques; optical techniques; learn the software and how to put all these components together and do a demo in front of the customer. You’ll attend software training classes; travel to the TEC (Technical Evaluation Center) in Nashville; ride with other ASE’s and begin to get to know your distribution partners and most importantly, learn how to use the CRM – Cognex uses Microsoft Dynamics, referred internally as “Salesbook”. More on this later.
    You won’t feel too much pressure to “hit your numbers” in your first year. You’ll make pretty good money, say $115 - $125K and you’ll feel pretty good about yourself. Everybody will like you.
    Then year two starts. Welcome to the pressure cooker! Being a public company within a small niche, from the CEO on down its all about hitting numbers within your accurate sales forecast. The CEO previously worked for Danaher, which is their culture as well. When you’re in Natick for your boot camp, take notice of the many flat screens on the walls of the sales marketing department. These list every salesman against their monthly, quarterly and yearly quota and other performance metrics and KPI’s (key performance indicators). When your name and statistics are green, you’re in great shape. When they are in red, people start looking over your shoulder. The longer your name is in red, the greater the pressure applied to you. Regardless of your past success or what your sales funnel says.
    Its all about Salesbook. Cognex is obsessed with Salesbook. You will enter all of your call report notes each day / week and constantly massage and change your 90 day forecast to be 100% accurate (which is impossible). You will spend 1-2 hours per day just managing salesbook. Leads come in through salesbook and the opportunity grows (or is killed) from there. Youll be watching football games on Sunday while your working salesbook. There are these KPI’s I spoke of earlier driven within salesbook that populate back to those flat screens in Natick. Some KPI’s you know about, others only management knows about. One I found about was how much I spent monthly on customer lunches! Somebody sits in Natick thinking about this. Hotel nights too!
    Constant turnover. I had 4 different District Managers (DM) within 5 years. It’s nearly impossible for the DM to become familiar with you, your customers & prospects in just one year. If a DM isn’t hitting his numbers, he’s out. Sometimes on the street but mostly moved into another position where their not responsible for a district anymore. Same with Regional Managers. I had two of them during my 5 years. And this has nothing to do with a growing company. This is the reality within Cognex. They cut heads when there is a sniff of an economic downturn.
    OK what do they do well? They have great vision software that integrates with the smart cameras. You’ll never have a problem getting an appointment or pushing your distributors into an account. Their products are very reliable and have an excellent reputation within industrial automation. They pay well. At quota you will make $145 - $160. If you have a blowout year, you will be capped and max out around $185. They pay expenses well. They use Concur for expense submission and monitoring which is a great product. They pay mileage for your own car, which I prefer and its very fair. I never had an expense dispute or problem.
    If you’re single without the responsibility for a family, you would do OK in Cognex. If you have a family you will burnout within 5 years. That’s what happened to me. Check out LinkedIn to verify how long people last in these roles. Its pretty eye opening.
    Hope this helps.

    Cons

    See above in Pros for total review.

    Advice to Management

    None. You're too en grained in your current culture.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Finance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    Great work hard, play hard, move fast culture!

    Cons

    The work life balance can be a struggle, but its being addressed by management.

  8. "Clear Vision All Around"

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

    I have been working at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    Goal oriented growth, excellent benefits, facility amenities, fun activities and more.

    Cons

    Introductory training could be more robust.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "software engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Natick, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The company has good culture.

    Cons

    It is difficult to grow. Salary is low. Work-lift balance is not good. High pressure.


  10. "great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cognex full-time

    Pros

    great people, fun benefits, challenging work

    Cons

    high pressure, some management issues