What do you like about working at Borden's?
"This was a Division (Borden Chemical) that was selling pieces and parts of its Packaging and Industrial Products Division. Looking back, it was Leading Edge Technology and the People were GREAT to work with. Very positive. The surroundings were a 'little different' (site was a 'collection of buildings' dating back tobefore the Civil War - 1835 Tenter group). It was a 14 acre site, so the walking was great for what ailed us.Lots of Process Applications, lost of high speed printing and color science. Lots of comradery for those needing help.We were working on Neural Net formulations for both Marketing of products and On-line Color Science."
Do you have any tips for others interviewing with this company?
"Be honest and open about your expectations. My final interview lasted 2 days, included over 16 people and took about 20 hours to complete.The guy that followed me did NOT have the Process and Mechanical application aptitude that I had. From what I heard they wanted someone with Drives experiences. What was not discussed during the interview was that he would be expected to TUNE the drives and the multi-axis systems that were used in High Speed Printing applications. (We had Electronic Line Shafts 'at the very beginningof this technology). Because of the use of Solvents and other, this person that followed me was NOT a fit for IDI application and Automation Designs. Through in advanced electronics, high Batching House, MG-Sets, old switch boards, DC and AC Motors being fired up with about 20 years of electronics (and some digital) power board controllers and the guy LEFT the company within the same TWO weeks that I had agreed to stay AFTER I gave my notice. We both walked OUT the door, the same day.Be thorough and ask to 'see' everything thing that you will be working on. If you do not feel comfortable, do NOT take the work. My training and coursework in Drives and Power Electronics while I was at University, allowed me to do this fairly well. Take your time to make your decisions."
What don't you like about working at Borden's?
"There were 'work weeks' where we had projects AND our normal work week that extended up to 105 (or 107) hours per week, with NO extra pay or time-off at the plant site for two or three weeks in a row. They wanted to try to do as much contract work IN house (great for the experience) but with 40 or 50 projects running in 1 year's time, the hours were EXCESSIVE. This Group does not exist any more. They were sold within a few months to the employees trying to keep their jobs and then again to a group that was going to move the entire equipment production units to St. Louis. Needless to say, that failed as the original cost of $100MM ended up being more like $150MM."
What suggestions do you have for management?
"This group started to 'make some money' near the end of all the transitions that we had put the site through. Once a decision is made for companies that (at that time) would be Fortune 50 companies, it's a matter of a signature on a piece of paper and 100s to 1000s would be laid off.Continue with the executive training of your Technical Staff, they will be the sharpest you have with numbers and 'ideas' to grow on.If you're paying a light bulb changing electrician over $120,000 (in the mid 1990s),why would you pay the Engineers and Scientists 35% of that salary OR LESS I hada Managing Engineer that had 'barely' enough money to keep his 1971 Mercury running. If you 'capture' a market (like we had with a few products) keep evolving the products by using the Capital Profits to reinvest and get 'tighter controls' on thesame production units. The paybacks are MUCH quicker and the returns are LONGER lasting.Don't use 'personality issues' or 'performance issues' to REDUCE salaries. Just come out and say it. Also, don't play favorites, if one group takes a HIT, we ALL should take a hit, including managers and VP-execs. Giving someone a bonus to 'fire people' when the work and MONEY is still there doesn't make any sense, not at this level and for these people who had expertise that was in excess of 35 years in some cases.Have fun with your teams. Aside from the normal union negotiations and other, take time to explore friendships on a golf course, a tennis court (or badminton), bowling or even a 'night out' at the Symphony. You'd be surprised what this would DO for your morale, your overall YEAR(s) at work."
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