Knowledge Delivery Systems

  www.kdsi.org
  www.kdsi.org

Knowledge Delivery Systems Reviews

Updated 29 October, 2014
Updated 29 October, 2014
7 Reviews
1.3
7 Reviews
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  1.  

    The only option was to leave

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The tech team. Quite honestly, the company doesn't know how to retain employees but, at least the tech team knows how to have a good time.

    Cons

    Upper management. It seems to be routine to say that upper management is an issue, seeing that nearly every review mentions it. Well - after nearly 5 years with the company I can attest to that fact that upper management is a severe problem. There's the clear issue with a revolving door when it comes to losing/hiring employees. They give bonuses out to those that don't deserve them. They hand out poor raises to employees who work harder than anyone else. The CEO claims to have an "open door" if there's any issues - yet, he's hardly ever in the office. The newly hired CFO thinks that since the company is small that they can make snide & snarky comments and get away with it, when really they should try to be a leader and be someone that everyone else looks up to.

    They claim to be a tech company, yet for the 4-5 years I was there they never had a Chief Technical Officer or a IT Director. How a "tech" company can get by without one of those is insane.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hand in all your resignation letters and let an actual group of hard working, know what they're doing folks come in and handle the job. Clearly, you all don't know what to do to make the company successful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mayday! A Sinking Ship, Egos Overboard.

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

    I have been working at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Convenient to various subway lines and there are a lot of places to grab a meal locally. There's a Duane Reade a few doors down, and a Fedex Kinko's right downstairs. South Street Seaport is also nearby.

    Cons

    The ship is not only sinking, it is rudderless. There is a supercilious and disigenuous Arrogant Captain, and a first mate and willing henchman who is can best be described as Just Little. Company spent it's second infusion of venture capital funding like a drunken sailor at a cathouse. No one was at the helm. Now the ship is on the rocks, with no wind in the sails to help propel it to a safe shore. Recently, many sailors were tossed into the sea, as they were regarded as flotsam. Remaining sailors are seasick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue, a map, a compass, and some lifeboats. Your destination was Fantasy Island, but you're headed for Gilligan's Island.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    It seems unfathomable, but KDS fails on every level.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There are some exceptional people who work at KDS, but they won't be valued or retained.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, all of the reviews are 100% accurate and the cons are too numerous to list. Here are a few:
    -No culture
    -Excessive voluntary turnover--nearly 50%
    -No communication from senior management (no clarity around mission, goal setting, objectives)
    -Horrible working conditions (dirty rugs, walls, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.)--no one seems to take pride in anything
    -Unprofessionalism (outbursts, consistent swearing from management)
    -Overt sexism (A leader of the company directly called a currently employed coworker a "b*tch" at a holiday party with no repercussion/sensitivity training, another leader referred to "teachers" at a company-wide meeting as people who sit around and "b*tch" which an employee reported to HR and nothing was done, countless examples of senior management overtly disenfranchising women which is inappropriate, especially given that the company "promotes" education equity)
    -Low employee morale--no promotion or value of hard work, no treatment as an individual
    -Underpaid salaries by market value
    -Long hours for some, short hours for others and in 2014 everyone received across the board 2% raises, less than inflation, regardless of position or value add
    -Extreme ego and narcissistic behavior from senior management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It feels like a sinking ship, but if there is a way to turn it around, start by establishing a culture where people are treated as individuals, where they will be valued, and where they will want to stay for longer than a year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    High Turnover Says Everything

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Knowledge Delivery Systems

    Pros

    Many nice people worked here and remained friends afterward. On an individual level, concern for how to help educators better do their jobs.

    Cons

    The first three reviewers are describing the company accurately. Working here was pretty heartbreaking. Hard work was unseen and unrewarded. Integrity and initiative were not valued. Venture capitalists would do well to ask about employee turnover, which is astonishingly high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on what you want the product to be, and ask the hard questions about what it will take to improve it. Know who your employees are, and what they're good at. Model respect from the top down, treating employees as you would like to be treated. Put processes into place so people know what their responsibilities are and have a chance to succeed. Don't ever lie to a partner, client, or employee. Greater transparency needed.

    Doesn't Recommend
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great Concept, Terrible Execution

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

    I have been working at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Product is a seemingly viable solution to scalable teacher training needs. Most of the employees seem to really care about supporting schools.

    Cons

    Where to begin… the business model is a complete joke. The company hides behind claiming to be in “start-up” mode, when in actuality they’ve been in business for more than a decade, but have to keep reinventing themselves because nothing they’ve tried ever comes to fruition. The CEO is 150% focused on sales, even though the company has actually lost any business it was cultivating because of poor decisions and terrible execution; yet still continues to spend through venture capital like a trust fund kid.

    There is an incredibly high turnover rate at all levels, but no one is thoughtful about transition planning or identifying why employees are dissatisfied and unsuccessful. The result is a culture of blame where it’s normal to point fingers at former employees or even other coworkers. There is a lack of overall responsibility, even from the executive team. New employees spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to recreate history and navigate through sloppy record-keeping, convoluted systems, and poor business practices.

    I’ve seen many of the things mentioned in the other reviews like strange departures, outbursts, and crying from people at the VP level, all in open office space, but with no reasonable explanation. Equity is a big issue too. Some employees arrive late and clock out at 5 when others report working crazy hours over weekends and well into the night. I’ve heard rumors of looming lawsuits from former business partners and employees. Basically every day the company doesn’t go out of business for one of any myriad reasons is considered a small miracle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest the time and money to get external help to reevaluate the company structure and make sure it aligns with the business model. Get recruiting help to develop a better system of identifying talent and then provide incentive (monetary and cultural) to keep good employees. Follow through with initiatives – some of these suggestions have been tried before, but every project loses momentum quickly, resulting in wasted money and time resources. Update internal systems and improve reporting tools. For a technology company there are way too many workarounds and cumbersome processes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    In essence, a failing company, no fun to work at.

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

    I have been working at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I am trying to think of positives. The Tech team appears to have fun and are a close knit group, probably because they're sardined in a tiny windowless room that looks like it should be for storage.

    There was a keurig machine they let you use "for free", though I heard the CEO complained about that costing too much.

    I suppose the location is ok, easy to get to. The offices however are dumpy, and seem cramped.

    The really only positive is there are a lot of really nice people working there.

    Cons

    The executives are 100% to a man, arrogant (a given usually in that job) and total jerks. It seems that they are barely keeping their heads above water, even though they got some minimal VC funding recently.

    Strange things happen, like employees are escorted out crying, then an email comes out saying "that person chose to move on, we wish them the best". Then, the manager responsible for this person is seen laughing and dancing around in glee because she "got someone fired". What kind of behavior is that?

    As I said, office is dumpy. Internet is slow. General air of dissatisfaction about the place. From the CEOs weird speeches to the office, everyone should focus solely on money and working more, even though all the marketing material says we're "about helping the children". No one has ever articulated a mission or a message that we are about.

    ZERO company culture. CEO had no idea this was something he was responsible for. Simply a salesman, like many CEOs. Most of those types fail.

    Benefits are not good. No 401k match. From what I understand, raises weren't given out for 4 years then when funding happened, below market raises across the board, even for people who weren't performing. Is that even a plus?

    Sales force has a lot of turnover. But that's nothing new.

    Salaries seem below market. Hear lots of complaints about that. And you should see the bathrooms. They're like prison bathrooms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what kind of company you want to be. IBM? A Start-Up? Stop letting everyone on the executive "team" give widely varying direction to everyone--in other words come up with your strategy and agree on it. Pay people at least average market salaries. Stop hiring tons of VPs that don't appear to offer added value (beyond hiring other people to do their jobs).

    Neutral Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Considering working for KDS?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at Knowledge Delivery Systems full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Easygoing atmosphere, flexible hours, good location.

    Cons

    Extremely poor communication from management, archaic software and e-classroom, close-minded management, terrible air circulation in the office, strange environment where being an individual is frowned upon. Also, mysterious layoffs and people who disappear without giving any notice whatsoever because they are unhappy with the working conditions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check references before hiring anyone, be honest and upfront with prospective employees, update your e-classroom, look to the future more instead of the past, and don't rely as much on potential new investors to help the company make ends meet. The company should also pay more attention to things like budgets and fiscal year planning, as well as training. For a company focused on education, they don't seem to know anything about it, or practice what they preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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