Black Box Network Services Employee Reviews

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Incompetent management at corporate
Tech Support (Former Employee), Lawrence, PA HQFebruary 21, 2013
Pros: the workers in the trenches are the best in the world
Cons: management
Run, don't walk away, from ever working at the Lawrence, PA HQ. Ever since the founders cashed out in the early 1990s, the company has been run by the vicious and greedy at best and the current incompetent crop at its worst.

I am writing this critique in response to the Web Marketing Manager position being posted. Let me tell you that one of the biggest reasons why Black Box's sales are down is because they brought some whiz kid on board in 2007 who made it IMPOSSIBLE for customers coming to the Black Box web site to find like products and compare them to each other. Heck, finding one product is a challenge unto itself.

For example, say you're trying to find a certain copper cable and you want to compare prices for different lengths and jacket colors. Previously, you were able to see a single product presentation and be able to compare all the cables, just like you would be able to do with the Black Box Catalog. But the genius they hired six years ago decided to bust every SKU into singular presentations, which increased the workload exponentially on the marketing writers who had to reconfigure EVERYTHING on the web site. These workers ended up busting their rumps reinventing the wheel and fixing something that wasn't broken — and sales kept plummeting. What the marketing team should have been doing was writing much more about new products to increase sales, whether it was in the catalog or on the web or in e-mails, but so much effort was put into the web snafu that this wasn't possible.

Today, Black Box is around $6 million off the sales pace management set at the start – more... of the fiscal year, and it's due in large part to the current leadership steering away from the company's marketing strengths. There are now fewer, if any, catalogs and new product updates produced and there is also a de-emphasis on their once-vaunted tech support. Oh, and that guy who made the company's web site impossible to navigate? For his efforts, he's been promoted to VP of Corporate Marketing. If you take the Web Marketing Manager slot, you'll probably end up working for him and never get to correct his errors. And management is petty enough to fire you for suggesting that something should be done about it. At this point, I can't decide if their insecurities outweigh their incompetence.

Another indictment against the company, especially at the HQ: The workers' pay stinks. Oh, it's great if you're one of those directors they keep bringing on board at six figures (who don't know JACK about the business), but if you've been there 15, 20, 25 years, you've been subjected to pay freezes, furloughs, 2% wage increases every third year if you're lucky, no chance of promotion, and the ever-present terror of another layoff that will hit your department. Clearly, the ones who should lose their heads are in upper management, but how they get a pass for their 13-year streak of incompetence is clear proof that there is no justice at Black Box.

Look elsewhere for employment. – less
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Black Box Network Services Provides Personal Restart
Accounting Clerk (Former Employee), Murfreesboro, TNApril 2, 2013
Pros: having back-up support when needed, supervisors would stand up for you and defend you if necessary
Black Box Network Services is a cabling company that also sells telephone equipment that started out as a Government Services Contractor, then expanded commercially mainly focusing on Wal-Marts and Home-Depots around the country. I started this job after being self employed several years so this was an opportunity for me to restart with a company that offers lots of benefits that you may not receive being self-employed. My main daily activities included billing customers, balancing accounts, answering customer service questions, organizing and filing, as well as working on collections. Monthly, I worked with a partner and gathered all information and prepared sales tax reports due in 49 out of 50 states. At this job I learned how important details such as having the proper purchase order numbers on documents are so important. I learned at this job that I have a special knack in doing collections with customers. I collected from small "Mom & Pop" Business to Government Agencies that had multi-million dollar invoices outstanding. I honed my research skills at this job and learned while doing collections, that you get more with sugar than with spice. Co-workers at Black-Box Network Services were always willing to lend a hand if needed. I enjoyed the collection part of this job the most because when you collect a large amount that has been outstanding for a very long time, there is a very satisfactory feeling of accomplishment that you feel when you receive the check. Everyone at Black Box Network Services Supported each other and were always willing to lend a hand, while in turn, – more... if I were caught up at certain times of the month, the favor was returned. This was one of the most pleasant places that I have ever worked due to the environment and employees volunteering to help other employees out. – less
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National Accounts Project Manager
National Accounts Project Manager (Former Employee), Murfreesboro, TNJune 9, 2013
Pros: decent pay & benefits, very hands-off management style
Cons: extreme workload, unrealistic expectations from management, job security
As a National Accounts PM, I was in charge of national rollout contracts for Black Box customers.
During the contract, I was responsible for every facet of company performance, including sourcing and providing labor, providing day-of-installation technical support, attending all job related conference calls, processing subcontractor invoices and work orders, ordering materials and getting them sent out to locations, monitoring labor and job costs, the list goes on. My typical day would start as early as 8:00am, and could last well into the following morning, sometimes as late as 2:00am.
I learned how to manage time very quickly, as I had no help to speak of and was responsible for everything down to the smallest detail.
Management was mostly hands-off, so long as there were no issues with contract performance. During the few issues I did have, management was mostly helpful in executing fixes. There was at times, however, a very threatening aura from management regarding issues that I would sometimes consider beyond my control.
My co-workers were just as overworked as I was. Everyone there was juggling far too much, so acquiring help was usually at the expense of someone else's time.
The hardest part of my job was the workload itself. Some weeks I put in 60+ hours, and that was just barely keeping up. Also difficult was the phasing out of company technicians, and conversion to 100% subcontractors. It made it very difficult to assure quality to the customer, and maintain control over the labor portion of the project.
The most enjoyable aspect was the freedom I had over my time – more... and work schedule. Being that I put in at least 50, usually 60 hours a week, I pretty much came and went as I pleased, provided my project responsibilities were safely handled for the time being. – less
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Black Box is a contracting company doing the best with what they had.
Telecom Technician (Former Employee), Houston, TXFebruary 16, 2013
Pros: getting out in the field working with people and doing new things
Cons: dealing with single-minded people who will not step out their comfort zone to solve an issue.
a typical day-come in to office and review tickets for the day, call users and define actual issue and repair. This was usually a telephone problem or a data network issue. Most of the phone issues could be resolved from my work station. data issues required going out to the user location and tracing back the problem to the switch. Software issues would be resolved by level 3 nerwork team. I would be the liason between user and network team to resolve the issue. Around lunchtime I would travel to offsite data center and resolve issues there. we had 2 large data centers within 3 miles of main campus and 1 in Hockley, Tx. I was responsible for all of the off campus sites.
What I learned-I became more familiar with inticate details of our data network and became closer to the voice engineering side
Management-My immidiate supervisor tended to micromanage. Upper management was out of state so contact was usually by phone or email.
Co-workers-I had a good relationship with all of my co-workers. This was probably the most enjoyable part of my job.
The hardest part of the job-having to deal with 3rd party that will not acknowlege responsibility.
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You mean nothing to them, you are just a number!
Dispatch (Former Employee), Idaho FallsJuly 13, 2015
Pros: Nothing
Cons: Everything
Loved my job for the first year. Begged for more training and always got denied. Slammed with work, couldn't get help that didn't complain they had to. Minus a few co-workers that got me through the day, there was continuous back biteing and set ups for failures. I was working up to 12 hour days sometimes no lunch because I was so behind rarely took a break ever in my time there but got in trouble for being 5 minutes late and everything else because I was physically and mentally exhausted. I got in trouble when I didn't tell them I had to break for the bathroom because they were put out to answer a phone call. On site co-workers got away with murder, the veterans did get several trainings, which will be good for the company because they'll be retiring in the next few years. I am a single mom and I did very well and excelled at my job, my customers loved me all to get let go! No room for advancement or opportunity or training, 2.5 years of my life and one .38 raise in addition to my underpay especially for what my family had to deal with by the time I got home!!! MOST AWFUL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!! I'm much happier away from Alcatraz and so is my family!!!
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It is a good company but poor on employee retention
NOC - Support - Black Box Network Services (Former Employee), Nashville, TNJune 20, 2015
Pros: Good Pay & Severance
Cons: Little Job Security
Black Box is a good company that covers most all of the communication disciplines. Voice / Data / Video. If you are able to stay with the company for some time it is mostly a pleasant work environment (or at least the Nashville office was). When negotiating for a position with the company though it is important to get your money on the front end because raises are a rare occurrence. While management is fairly easy to get along with (again - at the Nashville office) there is little in the way of loyalty to the employee. In my time at "The Box" I saw employees that had been there for 30 + years laid off when a short slow down occurred only to be replaced when things picked back up with less knowledgeable and probably less paid individuals. They are a business though so businesses are in business to make money not friends. As long as your okay with less than steady job security then they are a good choice, The severance packages are pretty fair, but I would not pull up stakes and relocate. There just isn't enough job security. I survived to layoff sweeps in my seven years there and was finally swept out on the third round.
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Comfortable workplace
Telecommunications/Administrative Assistant ǀ (Current Employee), Scottsdale, AZJuly 16, 2014
It's a daily routine at work everyday. Preparing for upcoming moves making sure that each cubicle that a crew member is moving to has a live port. Placing phones for new hire crew members, troubleshooting a ticket for a crew member that is having problems with their phones or port issues. After moves have been completed, I would close the moves and update any ports that need to be added to the spreadsheet and add assets that are not listed on the move sheet. I learned to work on the phone switch to look for any phones that fall into alarms, then go to troubleshoot why it went into alarm. Programming phones and changing phone types on the phone switch. I'll honestly say that management could have some improvement and my co-workers, they're good to work with. They do a pretty good job on what needs to be done. Hardest part of the job is getting the workers lined up on each job and trying to keep them busy. Some of the workers get confused on what needs to be done and explaining to them that they need to write don what they did on the job. Most enjoyable part of the job is that I get to work on getting ports live for the cubicles or analyzing that when I need to swing a port, I thoroughly look for open ports that I can be swung to where it is needed in case there are no ports available.
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Large, global integrator with excellent products and services and poor leadership.
General Manager, South Central/Wis (Former Employee), ChicagoJuly 18, 2012
Pros: good products
Cons: executive leadership totally out of touch with the field and it's customers, in 7 years i saw the ceo in the field about 3 times.
As a GM of a Branch, I was responsible for an entire territory of people and accounts. Company is very well-known for "flavor of the month" business planning and puts revenue/profits in-front of people. Company has no formal performance planning and has not given performance based raises for years. Very difficult environment to work in given the overall lack of direction and leadership from corporate who seems more interested in merging dissimilar companies to drive a missed revenue number then in driving mergers and acquisitions that drive shareholder value. Awful communications. No formal sales leader programs. Several high level VP's are placed in the role of "sales leader" having never been a sales leader or a sales person.

In short, Black Box is a "hollywood set" in that everything looks great until the get behind the doors and there's nothing there.....My worst assignment in a 30 year career.
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Great place to work and great people with excellent management in the Columbus Branch
Payroll Consultant (Current Employee), Columbus, OhioMarch 22, 2015
Pros: great office space- free parking
Cons: corporate holds the branches back
Corporate Office and management needs some changes. They will spend $100 to save $5 is the message that everyone gets at the branches. However, working for the Midwest Region is great. The Upper management is very skilled and fair. The regions could be so much more profitable if it was not for corporate holding them back. The amount of red tape to get a $25 check to pay a bill is unbelievable. The hardest part of the job was the road blocks that are constantly put up by Corporate. The most enjoyable part of the my job is the constant changing in duties. I am not an assembly line kind of person and that is why BBX is so great. I have a large variety in my work load. The other people are great and my Manager is the best that I have ever had.
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Resident Systems Support Specialist (RS3)
Resident Systems Support Specialist (RS3) (Former Employee), Fayetteville, NCJanuary 16, 2015
Pros: free gym access, and affordable lunches on base
Cons: away from home 4.5 days a week
As RS3 at Ft. Bragg Army Base in Fayetteville NC, my assignment to monitor, maintain, trouble shoot system problems , and upgrade the CS2100 voice communications system as well the Callegra voice mail system. Part of my day to day responsibilities was to teach the government employees how to program, maintain, data fill & monitor the CS2100 its peripherals and the voice mail systems.

I've learned to interact and teach co-workers even when attempts are made to de-rail your best efforts.

My BBNS management team was the best an employee could ask for.

The most difficult part of my assignment was teaching the government employees that did not want to learn the "new" systems.

The most enjoyable part of the assignment was teaching the employees that were interested and eager to learn how to write trouble shooting programs and scripts.
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Face paced invironment
Project Management (Current Employee), New Ipswich, NHJanuary 29, 2015
Pros: customer relations
Cons: lack of home time
My typical day at work requires me to quote projects, once awarded i handle all aspects of the job. I would take care of hiring vendors, taking care of all invoicing and finances including billing.
As a project manager for Black Box I have learned quite a bit. My upper management is superior and very skill set. My co-workers are the best, they will drop what they are doing to help me if needed. The hardest part of my job would be if i am away from my family a month at a time+. The most I enjoy about my job is the benefits, personel, and most of all my customers.
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place with its nice and strange sites
Data Centre Engineer (Former Employee), London, ENGOctober 21, 2013
Pros: free hot beverages
Cons: not payed extra hours work
It was pleasure to work there
Many challenges for to find the best way to menage a delicate jobs with plenty of things to prepare before starting to minimize risk of causing unwanted interference
Surveying the way to do the task, the materials needed to carry out the job and if it will need extra help from another engineer/s
Some times when it's to busy the management team rely on decision
you have to make so the job is running with no delays
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Various Company Events
Logistics Lead\Manager (Current Employee), Fort Bragg, NCOctober 17, 2012
Pros: working hours are flexible.
Cons: advancement with in the company.
Assumed responsibility for documenting property accountability transfers from the manufacture to the user as well as executing equipment handoff at designated fielding sites. Prepared documentation for property shipments; deploy custodians to sign and return to property accounting files.
Thoroughly reviewed real and projected operational situations and plans anticipate field responses to situations; visualize alternatives, and developed comprehensive, realistic solutions for response improvement. Approves invoices of material according to the purchase orders reports and addresses any discrepancy with the management team.
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One person covering an entire state for a large retailer
Customer Service Technician (Former Employee), StatewideMay 24, 2014
Pros: company vehicle
Cons: lost expenses, don't pay for vacations hours when leaving
On call 24/7 so not very much home life balance.
Immediate manager was fantastic.
Lost expense reports and had to re-file.
Drive 8 to 10 hours to get to one location
Worked 10 months of a year accruing vacation, and when laid off they did not pay my vacation. HR told me we give it to you, but not this year. Even though none was take in 10 months.
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Just say interesting.
Site Technician (Former Employee), VAJuly 18, 2013
Loved the job and the daily challenges with working on the NEC product. I learned a lot over the years I worked there at Black Box Network Services. Worked with some great Black Box employees over the years.

As a site tech each year you have to constantly wonder if the contract will be renewed or not. After being there as long as I was there was no real advancement with out moving (maybe some possibilities then) and took several years before a pay increase. As in any job there are pros and cons. Benefits were good.
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Black Box is a very strong company with great benefits and opportunities
Field Engineer (Current Employee), Nashville, TNSeptember 20, 2012
Pros: great pay and benifits, opportunities for training and schooling
Cons: long road trips and sometimes undesirable hours of operation
I was very impressed with how Black Box conducts there business and services. All top rate and leading edge technology used. They have a very modern and high impact approach to how they handle day to day work loads and meetings. They do not micro manage, but instead expect there employees to demonstrate there skills and show there ability to be affective and responsible in the the field.
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Warehouse with really interesting inventory
Warehouse Worker (Former Employee), Lawrence, PAJune 13, 2014
Pros: free lunches. getting a look at some higher tier networking instruments.
Cons: lack of challenge.
My typical day involved lots of movement around the warehouse.
I learned how to operate different types of fork trucks.
The management was very down to earth.
Co-workers were long standing employees.
Making sure all of the hundreds of orders each day were correctly assembled would be the most difficult thing at this job.
Learning and operating the fork trucks was the most enjoyable part of this job.
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I would not recommend working here
HR Administrator (Former Employee), Lawrence, PAJuly 7, 2014
Pros: free lunches
Cons: bad working environment
The job was rather simple. Very tedious. All sorts of projects were made up that involved hours and hours of spreadsheets, when a simple report could have presented the same information.

People are quick to point fingers and throw each other under the bus. Very small quarters and a very old building. They had taken a circular conference room and put eight cubes in it. It was just uncomfortable.
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Logistic Duties
Logistic Manager (Current Employee), Fort Stewart, GANovember 5, 2013
Pros: wonderful people to work with and work for. great benefits.
Cons: contract work.
Purchase material for contractor’s onsite, receive shipments, return material (RMA), return excess material and spares to the government with transmittals, Track shipments, log inventory, obtain serial numbers for the warranty list and deliver material to contractors.
Manage the lay down yard and storage units allowing access to contractors, organizing material, receiving shipments and a using a Forklift or Track hoe to unload equipment.
Coordinating and escorting Contractors, Vendors and Government personnel into buildings.
Schedule Network cutovers for contractors and the NEC.
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FLEXIABLE WORKING HOURS BUT LACK OF ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITY
A/R (Current Employee), Nashville, TNApril 15, 2015
I work in billing department. learned invoicing in Great Plains- accounting software. I get along great with co-workers. I have made many friends. We work together well as a team. The most enjoyable part of the job is that I know my job well and it is not stressful. The hardest part of the job is that not having enough challenge. I feel that I have more to offer to the company with my skill set.
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Headquarters
1000 Park Dr.
Lawrence PA, United States 15055
Revenue
$1bn to $5bn (CAD)
Employees
1,001 to 5,000
Industry
Links
Black Box Network Services website