Kemin Industries Reviews | Glassdoor

Kemin Industries Reviews

Updated March 10, 2017
49 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.6
Star Star Star Star Star
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Dr. Chris Nelson
26 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • work/life balance was great for my position (in 9 reviews)

  • Stability, family owned, Science based, entrepreneurial (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance depends greatly on the position and BU (in 4 reviews)

  • Management in business units are ignorant (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Nice Family Owned Company"

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

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

    Pros

    Stability, family owned, Science based, entrepreneurial

    Cons

    Flying in and out of Des Moines, growing pains,


  2. "Overall a great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance in Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance in Des Moines, IA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kemin Industries full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The family run company feels like a family. The owners RW and Mary are in the office almost every day and you can talk with them if you want. They come to many of the division meetings and celebrations. They are big on making sure to include everyone on the successes of new products or departments. The managers are generally pretty good at accommodating time off and working with schedules for family functions, kids, etc. The benefits seem average, but there are a lot of things that come to light later - birthday off, extra day every year at employment anniversary plus swag, complimentary health and hearing screens, distance doctor checks, free legal help, and travel advice. Bonuses come at the Holiday Season and are generous and in line with most other manufacturing facilities.

    Cons

    Just like anywhere, there can be drama - some departments bring it on themselves, others just bend a little to far for the customer. Some managers are reluctant to make the tough decisions because they fear hurting someone's feelings. As a manufacturer, it is very bottom-line driven - money talks and if sales are not going well, things get shaky. BUT they have never had to do lay-offs. Pay is a little lower than market, but if you show that you are willing to put in the extra time, you will get the bumps up faster that typical.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure to ask for the input of the people that decisions actually effect - they send out an annual survey that the uppers seem to look at, but there are often suggestions that go in there that are thought of to be anomalies and get pushed aside for something more profitable. ALSO, the bonus structure only relies on sales, as much as they say that everyone can pitch in.


  3. "Overview"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kemin Industries (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company Culture and people

    Cons

    Multi-location - consolidation on track


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  5. "Marketing Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Marketing Intern in Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Marketing Intern in Des Moines, IA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Holistic view of marketing/ communication tasks.

    Cons

    New marketing program so tasks weren't extremely organized.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Avoid specific business units"

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

    Pros

    Work can be interesting.
    Several friendly people here.

    Cons

    Management in business units are ignorant. Managers have less aptitude towards science than their team. Company hires post doc after post doc and never give them positions. I've grown tired of making friends with them.

    They work very hard and are very skilled yet get let go for incredulous reasons. The R&D teams are spread thin and have too many projects which delays large advancement of projects.

    Silo style management causes poor communication between business units. Constant battles over resources. Multiple people working independently on the same solution or exclusive solutions to the same problem.

    Emotional management, through and through. CEO gives purposefully unrealistic deadlines to goad people into ridiculous work efforts for no real goal.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being arrogant. Stop blaming your team for your failed communications, poor planning, and scientific inabilities. The CEO talks a big game about wanting innovation and creativity but doesn't do with his terrible managers who stifle creativity and innovation because they don't understand the science, are biased, and bullheaded.

    Grow a back bone and tell the CEO when timelines are unreasonable so your R&D team of 2-3 don't have 7-8 projects going with the same deadlines. This stress/panic inducing atmosphere leads to wasted efforts and loss of big picture plans. Learn to treat your employees like humans and not purchased equipment.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Marketing Internship--Great experience"

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

    Pros

    - Flexibility within business units
    - Friendly staff that pushes you to succeed
    - Intelligent coworkers
    - Varying projects
    - High involvement (I visited production facilities, attended global meetings)

    Cons

    - Sales-driven, premium quality is succumbing to advanced, cheap alternatives
    - Silo-ing
    - Long hours with no contact with others

    Advice to Management

    Try to reach to other departments! Holistic experience is important.


  8. Helpful (12)

    "Run away, not towards this company!!"

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

    Pros

    If you are an incompetent worker, take advantage of your company's PTO time, and have a lab manager that does not deal with conflict, the dysfunctions of its team, nor hold his employees accountable for doing their job, then THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU TO WORK! Because you will be rewarded for this behavior and be able to work here for many, many years.

    Cons

    If you are the kind of person that prides yourself on putting in a good days work, doing quality work and holding yourself and others to high standards, this is not the place for you. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make the mistake of applying for a job at this company and working at this dysfunctional joke of an organization. Your competence here does not matter, except you are expected to give your blood, sweat and tears to this company. They are clueless about what is really going on and have lost a number of valuable employees over the years because of it.

    Advice to Management

    When the president of the organization jokes to his own executives that they've joined "the Divorce Club" upon working at Kemin, he's not joking. This place is going down the toilet in their capacity to run a business, to care about their employees and to stay innovative in their scientific approach. They talk a good game about integrity & servant leadership, but do not live it. They have lost the best of their best leaders here, and have no one but themselves to blame. They also reward incompetency, unsafe laboratory and manufacturing practices. There is no true leadership in this organization. Worst place for anyone to consider working, let alone staying here.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Extremely Dysfunctional Company"

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

    Pros

    The only pro I can think of is if you are an executive getting the ridiculous $100,000 to $500,000 ++ dollar individual bonuses. Two years ago while the company said that profits were low and the general bonuses were reduced to 3% but the executives still got their big bonuses. There is a reason the execs buy new exotic cars every year and live in mansions.

    Cons

    Revolving door: 19% turnover rate (Mainly office and professional staff, not production). The Corporate HR group has been "changed out" 3 times in 5 years and still can't control the turnover. Good performers are fired for little to no reason or simply based on rumors without any proof or investigation. The owners can't make up their mind on what they want. They open new ventures and then close them before they have a chance to perform. They approve new projects and then cancel them before they start. The upper management doesn't trust the middle management to do anything. Everyone is micro-managed from the very top down. You are only appreciated If you are in the "good old boy's club" or family. Work is a constant daily struggle.

    Advice to Management

    Dr. Nelson, please hire someone to run the company that knows what they are doing. This person can run the company while you are doing your 260 days per year of travel around the world. Look at the people very close to you and evaluate if they are really looking after the best interest of the company or looking out for themselves and their family members. You would be surprised if you knew the "whole truth".


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Incompetence"

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

    Pros

    High turn over rate creates many open positions for movement within the company. Although the company looks more to the outside than their own people for advancement.

    Cons

    Upper management is totally incompetent and out of touch with reality. I have worked at Kemin for 5 years and every year it kept getting worse. The work atmosphere and politics bordered on being intolerable. It appears to me that they reward incompetence.

    Advice to Management

    Get some execs that know what they are doing. Make a plan, verify that everyone is working to that plan, and then stick to it!!! Stop all the favoritism of incompetent people and look at what is best for the company. Dr. Chris Nelson, please realize that there are people in this world that actually know something other than yourself. Your extreme arrogance doesn't help the company progress.


  11. "Charitably called a "biotech company""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Des Moines, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kemin Industries full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers are easy to get along with. Overall mission statement is admirable. Has multiple sites over the world and an exchange program that you can participate in.

    Cons

    A simple chemical company founded in 1961 and it seems that it's been stuck in that era. No real science whatsoever. No true discovery program to make revolutionary change. All work done is based on other patents and is twisted to make it their own. Mostly reformulate products. If your satisfied with remedial science, no advanced technologies, or feel compelled to use outdated/old methods this is the place for you. Had a failed pharma venture probably because people saw there was no promise in the backward methods they use to "develop" and sell products.



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