Sea-Bird Electronics Reviews | Glassdoor

Sea-Bird Electronics Reviews

Updated April 18, 2017
13 reviews

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2.6
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Nordeen G. Larson
9 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Smart people, low pay"

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

    I worked at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get to work some extremely smart people. Flexible environment. Experience looks good on a resume.

    Cons

    Low pay. The president actually stated in an all hands meeting that he does not believe in merit increases. This was shortly before he showed the entire company a slideshow of his vineyard and winery in France, which he had just bought.

    Advice to Management

    The fact that most of your full time employees have side jobs to make ends meet should be concerning.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "No leadership, only bad management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assembler in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Assembler in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people who actually do the WORK to build the products that the company sells are some very dedicated and capable people.

    Cons

    The management seems to think "professionalism" only pertains to how one is supposed to act and they apparently feel it has nothing to do with how well one performs in the role they fulfill.

    Advice to Management

    Stop chasing away the people with the knowledge of how to build quality products, learn from the mistakes that have been made, hold management accountable for the mistakes that are made repeatedly, replace the ones who are making them. Hire LEADERS instead of overpaid place holders that make everyone's jobs harder and less pleasant.


  3. "Good, Not Amazing"

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

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    SBE is a small, rather nimble organization where you can make an impact daily. The jobs are mostly rewarding and interesting. Management team is good overall; generous with rewards, praise, etc. The pay and benefits are somewhere between average and good.

    Cons

    SBE is owned by Danaher and is technically a part of the Hach Environmental companies. Like most Danaher (or former Danaher) companies I've seen (Hach, Fluke) they have about 4 people doing the work of 10 and "continuous improvement" often means doing more with less. Things like training, development or testing take a back seat. The expectations can be overwhelming/unfair. Individual managers try and keep it fair but the Danaher culture is just like this.

    Advice to Management

    Any bump in pay is going to be helpful - Bellevue is just getting more and more expensive. Any bump in workforce is also helpful, or maybe don't bite off so many big projects.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assembler/Technician in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Assembler/Technician in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting products, some good stories of the sea. Good bonus. Experience here can be leveraged into another Danaher worksite, but not on site here in Bellevue.

    Cons

    As said by others, poor leadership, especially in the operations team, starting at the top. Blinded by DBS and unable to see common sense as a result. I've had one good manager in my three years here. He lasted one year then ran. Very cliquish with the older team vs the newer members. LOTS of backstabbing. Peers will contribute to your review while taking comments out of context and questioning your work, but to your face they are all friendly.

    Advice to Management

    Replace operations team. Develop career paths. Use more common sense in decision making.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Needs Leadership, too many reorganizations, management out of touch with the world outside SBE."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assembler/Technician in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Assembler/Technician in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting products, especially if you are interested in oceanography or simply building something that makes the world better. They are very accommodating with regards to start times and it is easy to get time off. A fun group of people to work with.

    Cons

    Recently things have gotten worse. The best manager we ever had left and was replaced with an internal candidate that is grossly incompetent and inexperienced. Employees are publicly berated and disrespected. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to meet schedule, but we are always short parts. The official reasons are always given as vendor related, but most of the team thinks it is either a way to save cash or poor management of the materials group. The manager there also quit recently. Ask yourselves why so many of the best managers leave before you work here. Lastly, the pay and benefits are very sub par for the market. Horrible health insurance, no school reimbursement are just a couple problems.

    Advice to Management

    Better understand why you are always short materials. Don't accept the answer from the people with a stake in the operation, dig deeper! Same for why key managers have left after short times. Also dig deeper and don't take the cover up you are being fed. Improve pay! This is a very profitable company is what you always say, then share a bit more with the people who make it profitable.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "60% of employees want to leave"

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

    I worked at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Was a great company, made good products. Many outstanding employees throughout the company. Historical products are well designed and excellent when made properly.

    Cons

    Treats employees poorly: low salaries, verbal abuse, forced overtime, no respect for employees. Since the purchase of Sea-Bird by Danaher the management has been changed to inexperienced, poor managers who have no experience in the industry, poor decision making abilities and much more interest in the bottom line than in the customer. When found that 60% of the employees would leave if they were offered another job management response was that the employees could leave if they didn't like it.


  8. "It's not a bad place to work"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time

    Pros

    Minimal stress, flexible hours, world class product line, good people to work with

    Cons

    Ongoing materials chain problems, lots of personnel churn, questionable layoffs with the Halifax office only a few days before xmas, service delays.

    Advice to Management

    Take what the engagement surveys are telling you to heart. Don't fudge the personnel churn numbers by removing management from them.


  9. "Innovation is suffering due to many other focus points"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time

    Pros

    flexible schedule, good vacation and decent benefits

    Cons

    poorly managed, too much chasing fires


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Management seems to have a different set of goals than workers"

    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
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Sea-Bird Electronics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great sense of teamwork amongst people in technical roles.
    Really interesting and broad field of industry with lots to learn.
    Constant challenges to keep one's mind stimulated.

    Cons

    When considering the cost of living in the local area, the pay is barely a livable wage.
    Pay increases often don't keep up with inflation, creating a situation where one is effectively paid less each year for the same job, despite typically demonstrating more proficiency and adding value to one's role.
    Not an apparently significant difference in pay increases between employees who perform well and employees who "just show up."
    A number of individuals in management positions demonstrate very little integrity or leadership ability and are left in these positions without any apparent assistance in developing their skills for these roles.
    Management seems more and more focused on short-term profit numbers rather than long-term growth and stability. This is seemingly due to the need to please the corporate structure that, despite being completely detached and distant from the company, still dictates how business is conducted. "One size fits all" business model.
    The manufacturing throughput is seemingly expected to always be on the rise without adding more people to share the workload.

    Advice to Management

    Help lower and middle managers develop their leadership skills in order to strengthen the company and help the entire team fulfill their production goals and keep customer satisfaction high.
    Focus on retaining good people that hold the knowledge base of the company and therefore maintain the quality level of the products. This will keep customers happy and markets will grow.
    Exert pressure up the corporate management chain to get more latitude for pay raises for the employees who perform above average.


  11. "Great Place to Work"

    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 Sea-Bird Electronics full-time

    Pros

    Excellent benefits.
    Great team atmosphere.
    Flexible management.
    Outstanding career development opportunities.

    Cons

    In a tough location to get affordable housing.
    Company has changed so much recently it can be hard to keep up.

    Advice to Management

    Company focuses on employee satisfaction. Keep this up and perhaps do even more of it.


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