Please post here any news about layoffs and leave the political scene on the other thread.
News of an additional 15,000 layoffs has upped the stock. Shareholders want profit and, for now, profit=layoffs.
15,000 is not the end of it all. Expect a few thousand more through 2014. Last weekend analysts expected only 10,000 layoffs. Another 5000 popped up overnight.
Site closures will also be included.
Safe havens for now are Tarrytown and Flanders.
Everything else, up for grabs.
LA's RIA is scheduled for shutdown in one year.
September 2014 will see last RIA kits being shipped.
CrossPoint--Not sure what's going on there. Maybe 150 people in a 800 person facility. Mostly Immulite reagents related.
Apparently Llanberis could not handle the load.
Remains to be seen how long they'll stay open.
Definitely not closing next week though.
We hear lots of rumors at Tarrytown about another
re-organization of sorts at this site. MR was impressed with the facility. I think he wants us to take more of a lead in DX.
Yes, they have planned to shut LA down next week!
So, do they plan on shutting down LA anytime soon?
Another one. I can't seem to shoot straight either.
The old platforms definitely don't HELP nor does
Damn multi-tasking gets you every time.
They still have no clue HOW Imaging oops, sorry.
They still have no clue who Imaging is fundamentally different than diagnostics. The old platforms definitely don't hurt nor does the residual bad publicity from the mostly forgotten Advia IMS and the still in the ICU Vista. Vista is limping along but has provided nowhere near the financials that Siemens anticipated. Siemens chaotic service isn't helping either. They are literally like the gang that couldn't shoot straight.
True, but at this stage of the game it really doesn't matter.
They went from #1 to #4(or less) and are basically second string players now. I have no doubt they regret getting into this field in the first place. IMAGING worked out great for them. It was a division and technology they could understand. Diagnostics? they haven't a clue and never learn't from their mistakes.
I agree that eventually most US sites will close with manufacturing moving to China and Europe. Actually, I can think of several sites which should have been closed already.
The platforms being sold are old and some need to be mothballed.
Ironically, DX was one of the greatest things to happen to Roche and several other competitors.
I wonder if, with all of their consultants and all of their own employees, anyone ever explained to Siemens management how and why diagnostics has a completely different business model than their other divisions. Siemens is slowly creeping up on a decade of ownership with virtually no understand of the special attributes of the diagnostics industry business model. Whatever consolidation they do and however many they lay off, it is hard to imagine success until they understand the dynamics of diagnostics.
Siemens to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide by end 2014
Layoff and downsizing: “We are sticking to the rule. First we speak with the employees, then we go public,” says Siemens.
Berlin, Sept 29:
German engineering and technology giant Siemens said today it plans to slash 15,000 positions worldwide by late next year as part of a cost cutting drive, including 5,000 in its home country.
The company aimed for many voluntary redundancies and to redeploy some staff within the vast conglomerate, which makes products from gas turbines to rail equipment to health care goods.
“The ongoing and planned workforce adjustments in the context of Siemens 2014 are about 15,000 positions worldwide, of which about 5,000 are in Germany,” the Munich-based company said in a statement.
The ongoing “Siemens 2014” drive in total aims to save more than €6 billion ($8.1 billion).
The company in July appointed Joe Kaeser as the new chief executive, replacing ousted Peter Loescher, days after Siemens had announced its second profit warning in two months.
When Kaeser took over at the helm of Siemens, he stressed that the company was “certainly not in crisis, nor is it in need of major restructuring”.
“However we’ve been too preoccupied with ourselves lately and have lost some of our profit momentum vis-a-vis our competitors,” he said in late July, vowing to get Siemens “back on an even keel”.
Of the job cuts in Germany, 2,000 positions will be slashed in the company’s industry division, 1,400 in energy, 1,400 in infrastructure & cities and 200 in the corporate division, the spokesman said.
The steps had been “discussed with all those concerned”, with about half the redundancies to take effect in 2013 and the rest by the end of 2014, he said.
Siemens said the cost-cutting plans were not new, just the number of layoffs which resulted from them, and that the job losses had been discussed with workers’ representatives.
“We are sticking to the rule: first we speak with the employees, then we go public,” the company said in its statement.
Earlier today, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper had quoted analysts as expecting about 10,000 job cuts next year. Siemens has about 3,70,000 employees worldwide, including 1,19,000 in Germany.
Siemens reported today it plans an additional 15,000 layoffs across all divisions through 2014. Roughly 2500 from Germany.
The company is in serious financial layoff mode. Although the article doesn't mention Healthcare in particular it does insinuate layoffs in all sectors.
I'm expecting more sites and layoffs in DX over the next 2-3years with some manufacturing moving out of country and or outsourced.
Actually, it's amazing some sites are still open despite the amount of work and employee's it contains. Both east and west coasts are guilty of this.
After a few years of "nothing" regarding slimming down DX it looks like things are finally on the move.
I've noticed many employees at Tarrytown are finally looking at other options.
Don't forget Glasgow where clinical chemistry R&D will be centered. That function no longer exists in Tarrytown. Do you think Llanberis will go eventually, too? Do you envision the eventual closing of Walpole and moving that whole operation to China? Will all manufacturing move to China leaving, perhaps, clinical chemistry development in Glasgow, immunochemistry development and diagnostics headquarters in Tarrytown, and instrument development in Flanders? Will they eventually move everything to China? Siemens does have along and involved history in China which means they know the right people there and how to play the game there.
Lot's of possibilities long term if Siemens can ever get their act together and do something productive and according to plan.
It does look like Tarrytown and Flanders might be the last sites standing in a few years. Actually I'd also include Walpole considering the money spent on that facility.
The rest can easily be shutdown and whatever manufacturing was being done shifted overseas or outsourced.
LA might actually be next on the list considering the amount of people there. Flanders hit the jackpot though. Well, good for them. Glad to see some people got lucky.
Were the LA RIA people given a Retention to stick around another year? If not, then it's clear Siemens wants them to leave on their own. I'm asking because here at Brookfield it's basically a hush hush taboo question. No ones talking...especially management.
I believe I have noticed a trend here. The more that posts relate to the truth about Siemens, the more likely they are to be flagged. This phenomenon is outside of any flagging of stupid personal posts and arguments.
Is there a statistician in the house who would like to try to quantitate this casual observation?
Should I flag this one myself, just to save the flag police the trouble? Is self-flagging acceptable behavior at this site? Please feel free to crack a smile if you appreciate the cynicism.
Anymore news about more layoffs at Tarrytown or the LA site?
My sources still in LA tell me for sure RIA is shutting down in a year. CrossPoint had 6 layoffs two weeks ago BUT everyone there is expecting more layoffs through next year. They finally realize 135 employees in a 900 employee facility is a financially losing gambit even Siemens has to deal with.
At Tarrytown we don't have too many layoffs on the docket for now. With Brookfield closing over the next 2.5 years they'll have over 400 layoffs. It looks like Tarrytown and Flanders may be the last two sites standing in a few short years. We are all getting the feeling Siemens wants to move a good deal of it's manufacturing over to Europe and or China.
Nothing officially announced. Look for October (end of year fiscal year) and November (beginning of fiscal year) as particularly prone to layoff announcements. And if Siemens is anything like Bayer, they'll get a special perverse pleasure out of announcing layoffs just before the holidays.
Sorry to break up the love fest, but I really need to know.
" Something tells me they did the same for you."
Don't you get tired of being wrong all the time. I said I knew the Z's and SA, but I didn't say I ever worked for them. I also never said anything about trial and error or blind luck. That was someone else, if anyone said it at all. You simply refuse to listen. I have praised DPC very highly. I have said very little negative about DPC other than their apparent failure to document manufacturing information (which most other companies I know of have done) and for not really having a plan to move on past the Z's. I have praised the culture while acknowledging its very disciplined nature, and I have praised the technical accomplishments. You completely overlook that when you make your various assumptions which is one reason they are all way off base. What seems to annoy you is that I claim that DPC was not unique and there were and are talented people at other companies and there are companies that have experienced the kind of atmosphere that you describe for DPC. You just can't seem to consider the possibility of sharing the limelight and you somehow insist on having been the best. I have already told you to enjoy your opinion and accept that your opinions are not universally shared. Whether or not you were the best of all time is irrelevant to me because there is no way to prove it and I have no intention of repeating my 'evidence that supports my opinion'. If you can't read and understand simple English there is no point in pursuing this matter. Wanna be the best? OK, you're the best. No one comes close. Happy now?
Well, I've been very perturbed that so much stuff was posted here about how unremarkable DPC was and how Siemens bought the company only as a cash cow and how employees were just like slaves there.
I was puzzled how so many could feel this way until I realized that virtually every post about how unremarkable everyone was at DPC, how things were done basically by blind luck, trial & error, slave labor, how dumb management was, etc., etc., was usually followed by the cash cow remark. Then it hit me, it was all posted by one disgruntled employee or ex-employee. Someone who felt stiffed by the billionaire Z's.
Well, I can actually sympathize, because I myself as a manager at the place felt that I was doing enough to get some of the options that the favored few were getting. And they ended up being worth a lot. I never got them, just like you, but I came to realize over time that in their eyes I was not a company man. Well, truth be told they were right, I was basically looking only at my own efforts and what I thought I deserved. I really didn't care about what was best for the company, just what was best for me.
I guess they "sniffed me out" pretty accurately. Something tells me they did the same for you.
Close, but no cigar. Looks more like you just have nerve, or more accurately, pure chutzpah. Your credibility is shot, isn't it?
Looks like I hit the nerve folks.
Amazing how you can go from one wrong assumption to an even greater one. It's just another sign of you overblown ego and arrogance. You seem to be obsessed with being number one or the best or super extra special or however you want to define it. Enjoy your fantasy if you must. To me it is just a sign of a real inferiority complex or jealousy that, by your own admission, didn't fit in at DPC and couldn't take it there.
Discussing this more is pointless. Just try to watch out for the door jambs when you try to get your head through the door.
Well that really was it, wasn't it?
Bringing up the Jew factor brought out the truth. It is obvious that being a gentile or Jew is a non factor here. What is in play, and maybe even you yourself don't realize it, is the connection you felt you had w/ the management of the old DPC. That you never attained the status of one of the "chosen few", despite perhaps working there long hrs and being there for a long term.
Well sorry, but from what I observed, the management there was very, very perceptive of who amongst the staff was a true company man (woman). You may have made a lot of effort there, but if you didn't play along with most of the formula for becoming one of the "chosen" ones, then your efforts were determined to be not quite the company line. Translation, you really were not a "company man". So if you didn't get the respect or options you felt you deserved, I understand your bit of anger.
Suck it up, the ones who became the "chosen ones" probably deserved it more than you did.
"Perhaps a little gentile envy is at work here; after all Dr. Z was just a war camp survivor, right?"
This is the perfect ending for our debate. It shows your complete ignorance, especially since I lost over 400 members of my family when the Germans marched through their little village in 1941 and I grew up knowing many holocaust survivors. I also happened to have known the Z's and had many interactions with SA as well and had many connections with the other companies that I mentioned previously.
In addition to your incredible insensitivity, you don't seem to know how to read. You can't get it through your thick skull that I highly praise DPC but merely state that other companies were excellent as well. I see absolutely no point in arguing about which one of these many companies was the best at any given time other than to satisfy the egos of a few former DPC employees. I guess you are too self-centered to share the spotlight with anyone else. If it means that much to you that everyone must agree that DPC was the greatest and in a class by itself, so be it. I don't care to debate how good DPC was or not any more, and your last comment makes it pretty clear that there is no reason to deal with someone like you at all. The comment was a rude and ignorant assumption which says far more about you than it does about me. I am more than happy to let others judge you by your last, totally incorrect statement.
" Some work with me at Roche and all speak of their time there fondly"
Now this is a realistic post. Thanks whomever you are. I'm the one going against the twerp that has a bug up his butt about DPC. I feel just like all your former DPC co-workers whom were there. I hated my time there, as I was not cut out at that time to work w/ such fervor. I would like to think I have gotten much tougher w/ age and maturity, but who knows, maybe I was never cut out to be such a hard core DPC'er. Turns out only a small % ever were, that is why everyone felt that working elsewhere was a breeze, including me.
But like being in the Marines or being on a hard nosed football team w/ a very tough coach, you hate it when you are there, but feel much fonder about the experience once you are out of the pit!
It makes one feel like we can handle any experience because absolutely nothing could be as brutal. Further, from what I witnessed, if you were indeed of the right stuff, you received unrelenting trust and devotion from DPC management. The slackers always felt it was favoritism, but those w/ an open mind had to admit that those chosen few actually were the most devoted and capable. Many worked incredible hrs.
When you think about it w/ a deeper than "DPC was not anything special, they just did a bit more than everyone else"
attitude, one realizes that the tough as nails management and selective rewarding of only the most devoted employees is precisely what highly motivated and accomplished employees want from their employers. The very best and the ones that absolutely know they can contribute more than the average, want more than anything to be recognized for outstanding effort. That is what is wrong w/ companies like Siemens; they treat employees like chess pieces, replaceable and equal as long as the resumes are similar.
We all know how incorrect this reality really works in the real world. The really great employees can only be vetted out by their performance on the job, and w/ the Siemens's of the world these special employees would get a chk mark for "sufficient performance".
After a few great decades of "DPC evolution" by the time I got there, it was a lean, fierce animal that I could not compete with for the long haul. But at least I stayed long enough to satisfy myself that I lasted far longer than the average, so it was a "badge of courage" for me which I still use today to generate confidence. For those who do not believe in this tale of "diagnostics boot camp ", it is because you did not experience it. My feeling is that your easy dismissal of DPC is a giant indicator that you yourself would have been one of the many out the door immediately if you had worked there. Your mentality is precisely why you do not believe in the "DPC myth"; you believe that no one is necessarily better than anyone else, as long as the have the equivalent education/experience.
That was the complete and opposite view of DPC management. They believed in exceptional, devoted employees whom had to prove themselves over the long haul before they got "DPC tenure". Having a smart but lesser dedicated individual leave bothered them very little. In fact I think they used the tough company stance to quickly weed out the slacker's regardless of reputation and resume/ degrees. As a matter of fact. the pHD's were the first to get raked over the coals for poor performance. The higher your position the harder they were on you.
But the tough attitude insured the companies survival and success, so the employees that survived eventually reaped the benefits of their loyalty and it swirled on a continual faster and stronger effect until the place was the most formidable environment possible with the benefit of strong business metrics.
Incredible company indeed.
"Nothing is left in LA. So you don't need to worry about it anymore"
Really? I thought they still did some Immulite work there. If that's the case I'm sorry to see them go.
I had known many working at DPC in the 90's. They called it the Bootcamp of Diagnostics and a great place for gaining experience. The ones I've stayed in touch with tell me the learning experience has made every other company they've worked at a breeze.
I think that says a lot about a company. Some work with me at Roche and all speak of their time there fondly.
None of these companies started off much larger than DPC
And I'm sure you think that what they ended up with was far more impressive than DPC.
It just sounds like you have a great need to minimize what DPC was, while I simply had an eye opening experience there. We can agree to just leave it at that.
But I really wonder about your need to express so often, how "ordinary" DPC was. The negativity just oozeses from your posts. Perhaps a little gentile envy is at work here; after all Dr. Z was just a war camp survivor, right?
Nothing is left in LA. So you don't need to worry about it anymore!
Less than 150.
Now that notice has finally been given with RIA shutting down September 2014 all eyes are on the CrossPoint Facility.
How many people are still there? I had heard the facility use to have 800 employees. What's left?
I will try one last time and then lose interest. I already mentioned small companies like Clinical Assays who at one time was number one or very close to it, Syva who revolutionized drug testing, and companies like Technicon which started out very small. I could probably add companies like Coulter, but I don't know anyone there. All of them had their golden ages and feelings of excellence and, perhaps even of superiority. They all had a certain amount of arrogance because things were working so well. Each had their own Camelot period. None of these companies started off much larger than DPC. Just a few workers and some people with a vision. Just like DPC.
If you wish to maintain the uniqueness of DPC, please be my guest. I think I have made my point more than once.
I merely state that I know many other individuals who worked at other companies who share your experience and memories.
Yes, and how big were those companies? 3,000 or 5,000 employees perhaps? These companies also were not likely stand alone companies either, kinda like Siemens or GE or even the Dade-Behrings of the world (the co's name already hints at a consolidation). Diagnostics companies with a wide menu of tests and back then, an auto-mated platform, whom were also vertically integrated were never small independents. Even DPC purchased the Immulite platform from an East coast company, whose name escapes me at the moment. You are not going to independently engineer an automated diagnostic platform with a company of 800 people already doing tons of things, so DPC did incorporate this facet of the business w/o in house work. But you know, I'll bet it was at the back of managements mind to do so, if they didn't need the system like, tomorrow. It was just their way to do everything independently if at all possible. So yes, I like your term,"one rat test", because that was precisely DPC- there was only one rat in this experiment.
None of the companies whose employees you are familiar with were in a DPC like "rat experiment"; totally independent (no mother company deep pockets), total vertical integration, total in house reagent production, totally self sufficient R&D staff developing all of the companies menu, tech services/ marketing/ sales/order taking/shipping/etc., etc., and even the printing of all literature and kit/ reagent vial labels were done w/ the 800+ staff!! I know most companies farm out the printing of kit instructions, sales brochures, reagent vial labels and even farm out the production dispensing/ capping of reagent vials. But virtually everything was done by those 800+ employees!
That does not leave a lot of staff for the fancy science stuff we were alluding to, and this is precisely the point. It was an incredibly small staff that did all the real science and R&D stuff.
There was also a large offsite farming facility that housed the thousands of animals producing polyclonals of many species and a significant in house mouse breeding/ hybridoma operation for the monoclonals that were also produced. I don't think any cell lines were purchased for production of mono's either, they produced their own cell lines. These are just the things I can recall from my time there. So you name another company so small that did so much. It is not like they did things no one else did, it was that they did virtually everything everyone else was doing all at the same time an incredibly small staff of 800+ people!
If you were there your head would have spun around a few times. I know mine did.
A good conclusion to the proverbial one-rat experiment. If you can honestly tell me that you were at other companies during their peak time of creativity and productivity, then you've made the sale. My 'data', which consists of numerous individuals who did operate in such environments (albeit briefly as is almost always the case -- the Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame syndrome) and who pretty much say exactly the same thing about their experience as you say about DPC. This has little to do with looking forward or backward. It is about many companies that have a golden period of excellence, of team spirit, of great scientific and technical accomplishment, and that feeling of being unique and special. I am not trying to rain on your parade by any means and I respect what DPC did during the golden age. I merely state that I know many other individuals who worked at other companies who share your experience and memories.
Perhaps thinking about this as a test will help. If you get 100 on a difficult test, that makes you special. If a few others also get 100 on the same test, they in no way diminish your accomplishment. At the risk of being perceived as sacrilegious, there are many who are able to walk on water and who are not aware of one another. Strangely, virtually all of them eventually sink. It is hard to think of a company that keeps the magic forever. Just look at Apple today as an example. Despite Apple's current problems, nothing can ever take away from what they accomplished in the past. The same is true for DPC. The old DPC deserves much honor as do several other companies in diagnostics. So try to be generous and share the accolades.
OK, I'll go along, you win also.
If you want to compare and critique a company which has zero of the talent that it once had (never mind less than 10% of the original number of staff)to what others are doing "lately", then I cannot argue with you.
I only post here because while you assert you are only looking forward, you continually argue against anything special about the Old DPC, so I defend their very unique history.
Stop with the "DPC was not special in any way in the old days" and I have no beef with any of you guys.
I just know what I saw there, and it WAS DIFFERENT from any other former or current company..........bank on it.
OK. You win. DPC was unique. WAS. It's employees were special. WERE.
That was well over a decade ago. And as it is said: What have you done lately? And, other than a few people who live in the past, who really cares? The world in which DPC existed is gone along with typewriters and long distance telephone operators. Time to move on to today's reality. And the reality is that Siemens never valued DPC the way its (ex-)employees did. Immulite was always planned as a cash cow and that fact was posted here many years ago. Very few at DPC accepted that reality and fought it tooth and nail on the basis of the excellence that existed once upon a time. The failure to close LA is partly due to Siemens' incompetence and partly due to the fact that DPC never incorporated a plan for continuity. DPC seemed to be totally dependent on the original Z's' immortality and the immortality of their key, special technical experts. Yes, DPC was the last survivor of the small diagnostics companies, but they also sowed the seeds of their own destruction. So credit the DPC 'account' with technical excellence and great teamwork and spirit, and debit them for not having a long range plan for survival and expansion. Sounds like a wash to me.
Yes, indeed they probably do.
I know Bio-Rad for example started out in a garage, the owner making batches of serum controls he then sent out for free to many labs so they could establish clinical ranges for them. Once data was rec'd he set ranges from all the diff labs so that they could then be used as controls in each lab with the huge benefit that they knew what other systems ranges would be. A great concept, but of course the controls needed after the initial evaluation sets had to be purchased at considerable cost.
But it was basically control sets and other labs doing the grunt work. Not a highly diverse technical endeavor even if it became a giant in the field. The same for all the others, great technical work was done by big money backing and w/ many company affiliates lending a hand but very few were 100% vertically integrated even as they were much bigger outfits.
That was my input; not that DPC was truly "magical", that was just exaggerated praise, but what was truly amazing is how such an independently run ma & pa outfit was able to compete with all the big boys in a very difficult field and be a totally stand alone company with virtually no assistance by other sources integrated into its system. Just try that on for size and I think you will start to see it my way. I have no dog in this argument, I didn't even like my time there, I couldn't take it. But looking back, I can see why they were the only ones with these parameters that made an impact. There just was not another company like them. I know this very well, I have worked for many in the industry, and they are all casual outfits by comparison.
I do not look back at my time there fondly, I hated it at the time, and hated my boss. I am just posting here because what I read tells me all of you have no clue what that company was like, and all I hear is that all companies can do the same things DPC did. Well that is true, I agree with that but they do not do it with the same infrastructure. Deep pocket "Big Boy" companies can do all of this stuff, but they do it with much more interdependence with suppliers/ consultants and much bigger staff. DPC was at the time had less than a 1,000 TOTAL employee staff and was structured to be totally vertically integrated, while independently developing all their assays (mostly isotopic and allergy as Immulite was just getting going back then). I would say that that indeed makes them a very, very special animal.
Technicon has a very similar history of starting out as a small company. In their case, the key technology came from the outside, but developing it into a product and eventually dominating the clinical chemistry market for a while was done in an environment very much like DPC. If you go back far enough, there were small companies like Clinical Assays who were known for their coated tube technology back in the RIA days. Syva started as a small company, too. Bio-Rad also started out small and was the vision of one (eccentric) man. And all of the people who worked at these places during the high times feel exactly the way that you do.
Your point is well taken, but still, I think people on the outside just have no clue as to how much was being done w/ the original company staff. You are talking about a few dozen key members and maybe a hundred or so lesser R&D staff doing it all from the ground up developing assays and making virtually every reagent component for what eventually became the most extensive menu (many unique in the industry, albeit w/ minimal sales) in the industry. The companies you are comparing the old DPC to are huge companies w/ even bigger parent firms bankrolling their operations. DPC was a lone wolf going against the grain and doing it w/o any help what so ever from outside sources. Yes, the Immulite technology was dated, but the company simply could not develop fresh automated systems every decade to stay even w/ the big boys. There just was not enough financial backing or staff for this. So the ones in control did what they new was necessary to survive independently; keep the largest specialized menu in the industry while staying vertically integrated to eliminate dependency on external sources of key reagents. They also targeted markets outside the USA because the Roche's, Beckmans's, Abbotts, etc. had a good foothold on the American market. With minimal marketing/ ad. budgets compared to the big boy's, this was very, very smart management.
The amazing thing was the companies independent nature, vertical integration, small size, huge menu, and great success that was perhaps the only great stand alone diagnostics company in the country. If you are a huge conglomerate w/ many divisions and consolidations it is easy to be successful. But try that DPC's way and very, very few would have survived even if they tried to do so in the exact same time frame. I know this because every other stand alone diagnostics firm of any significance during those days, were consolidated or dissolved.......none survived.
DPC survived well until DR.Z passed and then the juice slowly bleed out of the company, esp. after it was sold to Siemens.
I understand the culture that made DPC what it was and I also understand what it was. In terms of antibodies, you are talking about two real issues: make vs. buy and how good is good enough? DPC chose to do things in-house and try for the best. In a scientific sense they succeeded for the most part. Competitors chose to go to specialty houses for their antibodies and were satisfied with them being good enough meaning they met customer needs. However, when one looks at Immulite and its market share, it is pretty clear that Immulite was not a big factor in the US market, and tended to do very well in developing countries and smaller labs. This takes nothing away from the scientific accomplishments. US and Western European customers did not care enough about 'the best' to actually buy a lot of Immulites. Immulite was starting to be perceived as 'old', again, not the chemists' fault. Siemens knew all of this and that's why the cash cow concept worked so well. Replace Immulites with Centaurs and gradually phase out Immulite, LA, and eventually, Llanberis. The technical excellence of the reagents were not enough to sustain Immulite as a viable product worthy of additional investment. And this is my main point. The excellence was an example of better being the enemy of good enough and that there were plenty of other suppliers of 'good enough' antibodies and other reagents for your competitors. The other issue with DPC was their failure to document the processes for manufacturing and testing the key components (mostly conjugates, I'd guess) of their reagents. Other companies do it and they all use the same basic coupling reactions to generate conjugates. Bayer transferred manufacture of the magnetic particles which involves far greater complexity than making conjugates so complexity is not an excuse. DPC just never realized the value of putting the details of the process down on a piece of paper (or computer file) in such a way that any reasonably trained B.S. chemist could make the product relatively reproducibly. It should make little difference whether the product is made by R&D expert Ph.D.s or B.S. chemists at a remote manufacturing site. And it is an R&D job to push the process to others and have a process by which the transfer is tested and validated. To me, the failure to do this is a strike against the R&D function at DPC and is the major reason that Siemens has been unable to close LA. Siemens does not seem to have a process for transferring things and are almost certainly getting no cooperation from LA (most likely due to lack of reasonable incentives).
So I take nothing away from the technical excellence of DPC. I merely state that very similar expertise existed elsewhere, either with competitors or their suppliers. DPC had an era of high energy and spirit, a feeling of teamwork and accomplishment. For those who experienced, enjoy the memory. Many other highly skilled people are enjoying their memories too.
Special, perhaps, but not by any means unique.
Well, we can just agree to disagree, but I was there and the place was filled with very unique talent, with a few very special ones. I know there are talented people everywhere, and the specialties they have make them difficult to replace in any systems platforms, because of their familiarity with them. It is the same where I currently work, lots of very smart pHD's running around. The diff. is that at DPC it was blood and guts or you didn't survive. Trust me the conditions and expectations were truly brutal. But I guess for those who embraced this environment it had to be rewarding. If you weren't like this you just didn't last, the pressure to produce was too great. I have never seen a workplace where so much effort was undertaken daily by so many people. Everywhere else I have been (it has been many) has been a cakewalk by comparison.
To top it off, the company produced from raw materials virtually every reagent that was used.......everything including hundreds/ thousands of antibodies poly and mono's of which only a small fraction went into the final products. So you tell me of another company with such a vast menu that made all of the antibodies that were in each production assay. You will not be able to do it. All other diagnostics firms have always purchased the specialized antibodies needed to compete with the best. The old DPC facility purchased only a handful of antibodies for their kits, even for Immulite. Everything was made in-house,and that is why Siemens is having a difficult go of it. It tales a tremendous amount of skill to manage this feat.
Special, perhaps, but not by any means unique. For example, just consider how special the people at Syva were at one time. Their technology was unique. Many companies have had experts at making good antigens to create specific antibodies and good conjugates to go with the assays themselves. There was a 'special' spirit at DPC at one time, but that died when the original Z's were gone. One could also talk about the special spirit that existed at one time in Tarrytown when it was known as Technicon, too. That spirit and the creativity that existed at Technicon started to die when the W's sold Technicon off to Revlon. By the time Bayer got done with Tarrytown, the creativity, spirit, and excellence was gone. It is easy to see why former DPC people extol the virtues of their company and environment, but they were never unique in the industry. It is probably true that Siemens never appreciated the value of what they bought when they acquired DPC, but it should be fairly obvious to all by now that Siemens didn't care much either. DPC was bought to be a cash cow and not as a place for further investment (e.g., to spend money updating the 'old' solid phase which was, at one point, going to be a major effort in LA). Remember the facts that include Siemens' very early decision not to continue with upgrades of Immulite or the solid phase, and the equally early decision to put Immulite assays on Centaur. I will do nothing to justify these decisions. I merely point out that they are evidence of Siemens long term intent with respect to DPC and Immulite. It was to be the cash cow that gave Siemens time to convert Immulite customers to Centaur. Whatever expertise existed back then in LA was completely irrelevant to Siemens and it is hard to argue with the facts.
To those who worked at DPC during the glory days, enjoy your memories and be thankful for having had the chance to work on such a team. But please don't be so arrogant as to believe that you are or were unique. Even the Z's knew this. Their tough environment when it came to their employees indicate that they knew that each and every employee was replaceable and thus, not unique. The same was true at Syva when they were acquired by Dade, and the same was true for those who experienced the glory days in Tarrytown.
LA will argue that their people are unique and that they, and only they, can produce critical compounds needed for their products.
That argument for DPC had merit with the original cast of characters, because they were indeed a special group, but none of them are still there. What is left is a ghost of the old spirit, just my input as I worked there 15 years ago. Those guy's at that time were ruthless but very, very good at what they did. They would have been very difficult to replace with the same resultant capabilities, but all that is history. Why Siemens has not been able to shut down LA, is sad because if they think they still need those people, they have no conception of what has already been lost. Just my two cents, because I left because I could not compete/ accept the brutal conditions back then. But still, they were a very formidable group of specialists, better than anything I have seen since, and I have seen a lot since then.
"Tarrytown isn't going anywhere for many years."
You may very well be correct. My warning was not an absolute statement of fact. As for LA, keep in mind that there was much resistance there to the idea that Siemens would eventually close them down. The fact that Siemens has been unable to complete the closure is a combination of the resistance of LA people to assist in the transfer of technology (mostly to Llanberis) and the incompetence of Siemens management when it comes to understanding and managing technology transfer. LA will argue that their people are unique and that they, and only they, can produce critical compounds needed for their products. In contrast, Tarrytown was able to transfer very similar manufacturing processes to a remote manufacturing sites including the incredibly complex manufacture of magnetic particles. It isn't easy, but it can be done.
Will Tarrytown close at some point? I don't know and I have no inside information to tell me that a closure is part of Siemens plans. My only point was that Tarrytown people should keep their eyes and ears open to any signs that suggest an inevitable closure. Keep in mind that the last people on a sinking ship are the ones who will have the most difficult time finding new jobs, especially now when good jobs in diagnostics are fairly scarce.
It never hurts to be on guard and to watch out for things that can be detrimental to one's career. Siemens still appears to be in much flux and awareness and caution of potential problems should benefit any employee who cares about their own future. If nothing bad happens in Tarrytown, nothing is lost by those who are being vigilant as I suggest. In other works, being aware can't hurt.
Yes. You can sleep well every night!
Tarrytown isn't going anywhere for many years.
If Siemens can't even close down LA with only 150 employees in a 1000 employee facility I'm not worried about Tarrytown. In fact I heard we'll be becoming more involved with DX's pipeline and long term plans.
Losing more Microbilogy accounts than ever before. The Walkaway plus is a joke!!solenoids constants failure, level sensing LEDs don't work, too much waste. In plastic ! Vitek kicking our butt!!!
I am not at liberty to give details without violating a confidence. If I am wrong, I apologize in advance for any inconvenience or unnecessary worry that I have caused. I only suggest that Tarrytown people look around them. Look to see if any functions are being shut down. Look to see if other functions are being carried out elsewhere as well as still in Tarrytown (potentially making Tarrytown redundant). Be especially concerned if the function originated in Tarrytown and is now being done elsewhere. Look for anything that smacks of consolidation and ask if Tarrytown's role has been enhanced or diminished. Figure out who in upper management has real influence on things and try to understand his or her agenda or preferences. Don't expect management to spell it all out for you in simple, second grade level (see Spot run) memos or town hall meetings. But they will give you clues as changes are announced. Tarrytown is a high priced property that has limited, if any, expansion capability located in a high cost area. Delaware is quite the opposite. Ask yourself: If I were in charge and had to save money, and going to a single major site could be a big money saver, which site would I close?
Just food for thought. All I am really suggestion is to keep your eyes and ears open and see if any pattern emerges. The forewarned are the forearmed. And an updated resume is always a good idea.
There are now several strongly suggestive signs that Siemens ultimately plans to shut Tarrytown down completely and transfer most functions to Delaware.
What signs do you see?
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