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Unifrax Reviews

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3.0
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David E. Brooks
4 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Sales Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Unifrax full-time

    Pros

    Great people and good benefits,

    Cons

    Not as customer oriented as others.


  2. "Private Equity Ownership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Jack of All Trades in Tonawanda, NY
    Former Employee - Jack of All Trades in Tonawanda, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Unifrax full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong senior management team, global reach, focused business and successful

    Cons

    Maturing products and stagnant markets not sustaining historical growth rates

    Advice to Management

    Hang in there.

  3. "Manufacturing Struggles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Operations in Tonawanda, NY
    Former Employee - Manufacturing Operations in Tonawanda, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    They have a niche in a great market with high margin, and low competition.

    Cons

    Lack of strong and clear leadership has lead to an unsafe and hostile working environment. Relationship with the union is poor, but it is a result of the management's attitude towards the people doing the valuable work. They do not value taking care of equipment, often running it to failure. Also continuous improvement program is just another thing people have to do on top of their regular jobs, and not a culture. "Do it or I'll fire you" is not leadership.

    Advice to Management

    This company needs all new management. That is the problem - they have all been there 15+ years and do not know how to "lead", and the managers that have been brought in are a just meat grinders that add pressure instead of solving problems.


  4. "Don't do it.... seriously."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in New Carlisle, IN
    Former Employee - Senior Process Engineer in New Carlisle, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Unifrax full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are a lot of very good people throughout this company. Unfortunately they are almost all on the production floor or in mid-level support roles.

    Cons

    The only purpose of this review is to find anyone considering a mid-level position at Unifrax. Please DO NOT DO IT. There are many reasons, but it is important to always be professional. If you are desperate or need to feed your family, then go ahead but start your plan to get out on day one.
    Fortunately and also unfortunately, this company has enjoyed high margins for a very long time. Good for the people who have been able to provide. Bad for the company because it has left them with a false sense of effective management. Their top person seemed to have a brain, but it was pure peter principle from there down. Leadership was extremely weak combined with a culture of red-tape and bureaucracy has created a company that has no clue on direction and cannot get out of its own way. Years of creating and justifying positions due to the high profit environment have now caught up with them.
    There is also a lack of professionalism and respect. Daily and weekly meetings were frequently filled with foul language and bad-mouthing of others. This is specifically true with the engineering personnel. As this indicates, there is also a complete lack of support within this team. Many times it felt like piers were more interested in the failures of others than in supporting their success. Even after departing, there are still reports of extensive criticism and destructive comments. I do consider that this all may be justified, but I wholeheartedly refute it due to the fact that my vacated position is a revolving door having churned through 4-5 engineers all with a tenure of 18-24 months before wising up or getting fired for not 'fitting in'. For the sake of your health and family, please look elsewhere.
    Good management would recognize and address this trend, but it is the lack of strength that leaves them bereft of the ability to confront malcontents for trivial reasons such as tenure or stature.
    Younger managers have absolutely zero concept of 'servant leadership' which focuses on helping the people around you be successful. They were focused on their own individual success and viewed the people who depend on them more as liabilities than assets.
    There were 1-2 managers that had it right but were stuck in a system, didn't risk speaking out, and who I feel for in their situation.
    Newer salary employees (less than 2 years) all seem to have the same experience. In both accounting and procurement, I observed individuals who had left other careers under the guise of better opportunity only to find themselves stuck in an unprofessional environment that seemed to reject them for their new ideas or approaches, but really because they didn't fit the mold of a company that is out of touch with the rest of the business world due to some sentimental loyalty to a way of doing things that worked 15-20 years ago when any fool could have been profitable in a market with minimal competition

    Advice to Management

    Quit.

    And since I know you are too proud to do that, then read two books:
    #1 'Servant Leadership' by Tony Dungy
    #2 '21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership' by John Maxwell

    When finished, find the strength to weed out what is hurtful within and create a more positive and productive environment.
    Most of your top leaders lack the character to do this.
    I mention it out of care for the good people who are subject to them and a belief that all things are possible.


  5. "Was a great company major Culture issue and lack of leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Used to be a great company to work for. Small company, family feal

    Cons

    All of what the company used to be great for is no longer the case. Bad culture, not customer focused, Lack of leadership or competent management. Not customer focused. high turnover, good talent has left or is on the way out.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the field support, customers...they will all tell you the same thing.


  6. "Mindless production, quality not included."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New Carlisle, IN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New Carlisle, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Unifrax full-time

    Pros

    The work is very easy, its an environment where if you know what you are doing and do it Competently you will be left alone to do your work.

    Cons

    Management is too concerned with production and not concerned enough about quality. The company as a whole does not appear to be looking towards the future with enough will power to actually accomplish anything.

    Advice to Management

    There is only 1 or 2 management staff that should be kept on, fire the rest and start fresh. The company upper management has lost focus and they believe by just following Toyota's improvement strategies things will improve. Well you cant implement that strategy half assed and the company is suffering for it.


  7. "Downsized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Niagara Falls, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Niagara Falls, NY

    I worked at Unifrax (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great company with strong leadership and invested employees at all levels.

    Cons

    At the time of review, going through a transitional period.

  8. "one of the best place to work in WNY"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Unifrax full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    On a growth curve but far from done. Future is secure and great or should be unless...

    Cons

    indecision plagues this great little company and threatens its viability

    Advice to Management

    nothing wagered nothing won


  9. "The best and worst place I've ever worked."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tonawanda, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Tonawanda, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    For the area, the pay is great with lots of fringe benefits. The company needs a lot of improvement so there are a lot of opportunities to implement change.

    Cons

    Unifrax has the worst qualities of a family run business AND of a multinational corporation. A really flawed culture.

    Advice to Management

    It would do the company good to clean out management and replace with leaders who are committed to accountability at every level of employment. General bureaucracy, racism, sexism, and homophobia in the company culture are keeping some profitable ideas and exemplary people stuck at the bottom.


  10. "Unifrax is a very profitable company."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Niagara Falls, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Niagara Falls, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Unifrax is a very profitable company. It has smart Engineers who work hard to improve their products and find new uses for old products.

    Cons

    The biggest Con about Unifrax is its workplace environment and politics. However, that is not uncommon to most companies. You need to have a thick skin and be careful about others backstabbing you.

    Advice to Management

    Management is doing a good job, however, I would suggest that the constant emphasis on new products is stifling innovation.


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