Universal Instruments Reviews | Glassdoor

Universal Instruments Reviews

Updated June 7, 2017
33 reviews

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2.3
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Jean-Luc Pelissier
7 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good learning center"

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

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

    Pros

    Established company management. Senior management are aggressive. Most of long time employees working like family. Nice working environment and having some state or art advance technologies equipment.

    Cons

    Low reinvestment on new technologies. high employees turn over on certain departments. Facing strong competition from other Asia competitors.

    Advice to Management

    Take more care for employee benefits especially for those loyalty employees.


  2. "Complicated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Binghamton, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Binghamton, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Universal Instruments full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    UIC is a challenging place to work with no lack of tasks to do that will challenge a person at all levels of skill.

    Cons

    There is a lack of structure and clearly defined roles which makes understanding the scope of work difficult sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    Come up with a build plan and stick with it. Changing requirements makes it very challenging to work effectively.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Conklin, NY
    Former Employee - Engineer in Conklin, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great team members and supportive environment. Good work-life balance, low cost of living. SUNY Binghamton nearby and has a good talent pool.

    Cons

    Upper management doesn't care for employees. Uphill battle to the unstable capital equipment market. Lack of long term investment in people.


  4. "Area General Manager - Americas East"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Area GM in Endicott, NY
    Current Employee - Area GM in Endicott, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Exciting, high technology company with a strong "can-do" culture and position on the bleeding edge of electronics assembly globally. A strong management team, world class engineering and unmatched field infrastructure all provide for exceptional customer service. Universal knows how to make their customers successful. Only U.S. based company in the industry - American Engineering and Innovation!

    Cons

    As a 20+ year veteran, I have no issues. Love my job and this company.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Exciting and innovative until it became all about the bookings."

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

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very talented people who really care about the product and job at hand. They're always willing to work extra hard even though it's completely thankless in the end.

    Cons

    The company is absolutely driven by short term cash flow and nothing else. Way too many meetings talking (yelling) about financials and business development with almost no time and zero resource to take action. There is no reward for hard work. There is no long term plan.

    Once it was purchased by an equity firm the innovation stopped, morale plummeted and it never rebounded.

    Some really great projects were derailed due to lack of longer term vision and now the portfolio suffers because of it. Talented people left like rats from a sinking ship, taking in depth knowledge and skills that you cannot simply replace.

    Advice to Management

    Care about employees. Don't make celebratory statements about incredible cash flow and yet deny any positive compensation for the last remaining talent you have.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Does what it takes to make money in a tough global industry."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Binghamton, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Binghamton, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    If you are willing to take ownership of difficult decisions, you get responsibility
    Never the same thing twice - customers, competition and suppliers make for something new every week.
    Very dedicated long term employees - good support for each other.

    Cons

    Fairly short-term focus.
    Need to be available at all times to jump onto whatever the latest crisis is.
    Driven to overcommit - you never feel you have completed everything you ought to.
    Strategy is often overcome by new opportunities - combination of weak strategy formation, small market share and lack of market coverage.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to make annual plans better. Being off by 50% every year is silly.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Application Engineer (Project Leader) for a Direct Die handler in charge of all new applisctions."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Applications Engineer (Project Leader) in Binghamton, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Applications Engineer (Project Leader) in Binghamton, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The new projects are always challenging and working with engineering to develop new tooling to make the project work.

    Cons

    Sell more machines to improve the company base.

    Advice to Management

    Take to the people and find out what realy is going on!


  8. Helpful (6)

    "The people are talented and professional but mismanaged at the top."

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

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time

    Pros

    Universal has a lot of friendly professional talented individuals willing to address any challenge set before them. Most of the time you are not "micromanaged". The facility is clean and well lit. The location is one of the best commercial locations in the area with a nice view of the valley.

    Cons

    While trying to compete with foreign markets, upper management continues down the same path. Sales and marketing is always given the red carpet treatment while manufacturing, engineering, technical support, field engineering, spare parts, etc are treated as disposable and easily replaceable. There is a lot of tribal knowledge in the company that was lost during the last layoff and those layoffs were directly felt by customers the same day. Sales constantly sells inappropriate equipment configurations to the customer and then walks away while field engineering, engineering and technical support try to rectify the situation with the customers. When the problem requires extra money to resolve the problem sales concedes hundreds of thousands of dollars, bleeding money from the heart of the company, but are never held accountable for those actions.

    Advice to Management

    The people at the top need to step down and let competent individuals run the company. The group that took over Universal after it was dropped by Dover in the mid 2000's has run the company to the edge of a cliff. By not investing anything into new product development but re-branding the equipment under another product name with the hopes people will buy it just because the software has a different name on it and the machine has a different product logo is insane and has cost the company dearly.
    These days a company has to adjust and create a product that can satisfy multiple market needs. The company needs to learn from its past and consider finding a new niche market.


  9. "Material Specialist"

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

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great culture. Co-workers seem to care for each other.

    Cons

    It's a Very fluctuating work load.

    Advice to Management

    Need to create a more stable work force


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Typical Tale of a Private Equity Acquisition Gone Bad..."

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

    I worked at Universal Instruments full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Years and Years of great experience, memories, personal and professional growth

    Great Culture, Heritage, and Employees(below Management Team Level)
    Was a great company to work for until ~2003...

    Still have great people there, and feel great appreciation and concern for those that remain

    Cons

    Let me begin by saying it pains me to share the following...

    Vision and Strategy no further than the tip of a nose
    Parent company has bled of nearly all it's value... and continues to do so...
    CEO and CFO manage / regard employees and the company as if it's a video game - ruthless characters with no regard for anyone but themselves.
    Spousal Abuse comes to mind in terms of describing how employees are treated.
    Don't believe a word they say, as they are not truthful...
    Management style is Draconian, and majority of the staff directly below have become standees with no real value/other than execution of the top executive's biddings. They're just hanging on for a big payout that will never come, and lost themselves in the process.
    Market share and revenue decreases dramatically globally every year... And will fall out of the top 10 in the market in the not too distant future.
    Company value is nowhere near the value the parent firm/execs believe it's worth
    Company's annual quantity of shut-downs grow dramatically every year resulting in a large quantity of employees not having enough vacation time to cover the 5-7 weeks of annual shutdown time, and therefore must take unemployment benefits.
    Pride themselves as having a 'floating workforce'

    Strongly suspect long term objective is to bleed out whatever they can from the company and then shut the doors, and then move on to the next company that they can bleed, one company at a time.

    The claim is we make money because we're debt-free, but if sales and market share continue to plummet, there's no money to invest in the future... Atrophy is inevitable & occurring every day.

    Scare & mislead employees in to believing their bad-practices are commonplace the same every where these days... Having left the company and had different work experiences since then, I can say that their tactics and policy changes are not the way other 'good' companies operate.

    Advice to Management

    Pare down the portfolio to the size that can properly staff the 2 Business Units as opposed to the 5-6 that have been maintained properly in the past by 3x's the staff of today. Focus on niche which has been company's strength/legacy

    Sell the company to an entity with a desire, resources and commitment to invest in a once great company(culture, employees)

    Buyers beware - question numbers(sales $, Unit's, Market share) over last several years...Question and verify any/all claims...Get outsider perspective... Don't be fooled...

    Those considering employment opportunities - temp employee with benefits is a good description of what you can expect 2-4 weeks of unemployment benefits per year...

    To my friends that still remain there...Get out... You have no idea how liberating it is to be free from that environment.


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