Columbia Analytical Services Reviews | Glassdoor

Columbia Analytical Services Reviews

Updated March 7, 2017
8 reviews

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3.6
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Greg Kilmister
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "IT Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Castle Rock, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Castle Rock, WA

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Employee-owned company where everyone had a say and a vested interest in the company doing well. The better the company did, the better the employee did.

    Cons

    Eventually sold to a larger, global company. After the sale, everyone was treated more like a number than an actual person.


  2. "Columbia was a great company to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst to Manager in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Analyst to Manager in Jacksonville, FL
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Columbia Analytical Services Jacksonville was an outstanding laboratory. The culture was phenomenal and all collegues were great to work with. Management was always solid and the staff made every effort to make the best out of everyday. Client expectations were the only mantra of concern, and the staff did an excellent job meeting those expectations. I started there weighing dirt many years ago, and am now part of senior management with another laboratory operation. Kudos to the talent behind Columbia Analytical Services! ALS bought a great company.

    Cons

    Standing for long periods of time doing bench work, loading instruments, cleaning glassware, vialing samples, making reagents, and general cleaning were pretty hard on the back and neck. I used to go for short walks outside to stretch and loosen up.

    Advice to Management

    There is very little to say. Management did an excellent job building a company that has a great reputation.

  3. "Great company when it was CAS but not at all since it became ALS"

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

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Used to give responsibility to employees, but doesn't anymore. No pros for ALS

    Cons

    Good place to start but doesn't give opportunity to grow in career and take on more responsibility.

    Advice to Management

    Work life balance is ignored


  4. "The joy of my life time career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chemical Analyst in Savannah, GA
    Former Employee - Chemical Analyst in Savannah, GA

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I was allowed to grow.

    Cons

    This was a contractor position.


  5. "Sacrifice your life for the company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist III in Canoga Park, CA
    Former Employee - Scientist III in Canoga Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Initially, there was a good opportunity to learn and work on advanced instrumentation. There was also a feeling (at least at first) that you could make a difference and really contribute to the Company's growth (I worked there for pretty much all of the 90's).

    Cons

    Once you learned a certain job, you where going to do that job forever. You would also be tasked with a number of other jobs, but your previous responsibilities would not go away. In other words, the Company's idea of "promoting" you was to dump more and more work on you (salary did not change).
    The so-called "open-door policy" was a joke. I can't tell you how many times I got stabbed in the back by senior management after complaining (politely, I might add) about my substance-abusing boss. Needless to say, nothing was done about my supervisor's issues for about 5 years ( to CAS' credit, he was eventually fired).
    You had a horrible feeling of despair because since you where salaried, you where required to work until everything got done, but you had no authority to accept or decline work. I remember working a number of unpaid all-nighters to try and get caught up. So much for a social life.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management needs to stop taking the line supervisor's word as gospel, especially when everyone in a department disagrees with them.
    Also, when an employee reports fraud against a superior, management needs to be a lot more proactive about investigating the issue and protecting the employee from retaliation (CAS has been burned by this twice)


  6. Helpful (1)

    "ALS Environmental bought CAS in October 2011."

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

    I have been working at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A real 401K plan instead of the ESOP under CAS which only benefited people who stayed there for many years.

    Cons

    The ALS business plan is to work 24-7 at low-margin analyses. This is not good for the Kelso lab which was formerly the R&D center for CAS. Kelso has a much higher ratio of higher-paid senior scientists than other labs in the former CAS network. Now all that ALS sees in Kelso is a fat payroll that needs trimming. Management that was at least approachable before is now based in Houston, very distant both literally and figuratively. ALS feels much more like a treadmill than CAS ever did.

    Advice to Management

    Enjoy the money you got from the ESOP because ALS will wreck the Kelso lab.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "10 years later and six job bids later my range of responsibilities is now less than when I started."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist IV in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Scientist IV in Houston, TX

    Pros

    It's a living. For much of my time there we were on salary; get the work done, then go home. Doesn't apply now, of course, but it was a

    Cons

    Unless you're one of the favored few, expect to be in the same job until you quit or die.
    Local management insisted on analytical corner cutting. Why did it take years of complaints before doing something about him?

    Advice to Management

    You provided a good management training tool in SkillSoft; too bad you don't insist that the mid level management actually use and learn from it. The COO's vision of concentrating on high margin testing is a good one, but local management has that bottom feeder mentality and can't see much past the existing SOPs. Good vision, poor execution. I don't have much hope for this place in the long run.

  8. "Great company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chemist
    Former Employee - Chemist
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Analytical Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Employee owned company, very supportive Corporate staff

    Cons

    Sold to ALS, not enough corporate support, morale decreased