Sigma-Aldrich - A Current Review of Sigma/SAFC | Glassdoor
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Helpful (2)

"A Current Review of Sigma/SAFC"

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  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Research Scientist in Saint Louis, MO
Current Employee - Research Scientist in Saint Louis, MO
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

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

Pros

Benefits are no too bad.
The company does have a pension plan which is unusual these days.
Rarely has layoffs, until recently. There are trade offs for, see below
Work is cake. You make the trade for pay and advancement in this category. I forgot what real stress is like...everyday is the same.

Cons

This company is extremely fractured...it is hard to explain unless you work there. Each location is like a separate company. The biggest to note is that there are two divison there is the Sigma (old school research, selling to universities and the like) and SAFC that is the custom business that sells to big Pharma; think APIs and chemicals/media. These business models clash constantly. You have one group that want to put something in the big red book (catalog) and the other side focuses on big customer and ignores the little guy. I am on the SAFC side....This where most of the money will be made going forward. Customization is the wave of the future...let VWR support the universities.

Realities:

Raises are very small for most people, there are exceptions. There are no bonuses for the rank and file. Managers will get bonuses and stock options. Is it is what is.

Company is struggling to integrate acquisitions (JRH/Bioreliance...poor Research Organics you are next.) I can not speak to how other companies handle this process, but at times it is just agony.

Technology is a daily painful mountain climb. From Lotus Notes (Yes they still use this system from years past). Try making the change from MS Outlook to Lotus notes...you will not believe that someone could sell it to you with a straight face and when you turn it on, you will be looking for Marty McFly, because you will think you went back in time. To enterprise systems that do not talk between sites and between continents. The answer to everything is the spreadsheet. Because, I can not see what you can see...you send me spreadsheet so we can be on the same page. Their IT systems are just so antiquated it is difficult to describe and from most people it is a daily struggle. I am still using an IBM box with Office 2003 and XP. Document management is usually hard copies, the electronic document that are full speed ahead on seems like something that would have replaced a card catalog from your library ten years again (Anyone heard of SharePoint?)

Cost savings plans hurt the future. Companies should always made cost cuttings decisions...that is just good business sense. But, when you plan for the future and cut too deep and always look for the least expensive route; you get what you pay for. This is a reality you must accept when working at this company....it not your manager's fault and it is not his boss either, it is ingrained in the culture.

Advice to Management

We honestly could have less staff if we had better systems in place. Just support software and processes that no one else uses any more could save $$$.

Other Employee Reviews for Sigma-Aldrich

  1. "Ok company to work for. Stable with benefits available anywhere."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - QA Specialist in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - QA Specialist in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sigma-Aldrich full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Stability. If possible in today's world this company provides this as closely as possible.

    Cons

    Lower pay and minimal increases no matter what your proformance.

    Advice to Management

    Look around and if your experienced staff is walking out then evaluate why and correct it.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Could Be Better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Project Lead in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - IT Project Lead in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The employees...My peers are amazing. Very smart people who work there.
    Stable company

    Cons

    Incompetent management - Too many managers...Very management heavy organization. Not enough doers.
    Lack of consistent process across the globe. Unfortunately any time there is a need to make improvements, it becomes a US versus Europe fight.
    Too many kingdoms which goes against the "one company" motto.
    Also, the lack of process means that there is a lot of micromanagers. Directors are focused on the day-to-day and NOT developing processes, vision, and road maps for their department.
    Lack of vision in all areas of management.
    The organization brags about "no layoffs"...Don't believe it. They use performance improvement plans and reorganizations to get rid of staff. I have experienced four reorgs in five years!

    Advice to Management

    Cut out some of the managers and directors and get more doers. Communicate the vision of the organization. Advice to C-level: get out of your offices and interface with the doers. You may be surprised what you learn!

There are newer employer reviews for Sigma-Aldrich
There are newer employer reviews for Sigma-Aldrich

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