DCA Design Reviews

Updated 29 Nov 2019

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3.3
62%
Recommend to a Friend
65%
Approve of CEO
DCA Design Managing Director Rob Woolston (no image)
Rob Woolston
5 Ratings
  1. Helpful (6)

    "Profiting, but frustratingly backwards"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Industrial Designer in Warwick, West Midlands, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DCA Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great legacy, founded in the 60s with a huge and varied portfolio of work. Big projects for large global companies. Benefits! Paid overtime, half day Friday's, regular bonuses, subsidised sports and lunches. The company is in great financial position, meaning good equipment, training, and exhibition visits. Passionate and talented teams with great capabilities.

    Cons

    Like many of the reviews mentioned on here... DCA feels like it's stuck in the past. Conservative management that love to say 'no, if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Internal systems are frustrating and backwards (most still done on excel spread sheets). People are friendly, but atmosphere still feels cold, impersonal and quiet offices. Can be difficult to work in varied sectors and disciplines. Procedures and red tape doesn't encourage flexible and collaborative work. Work can sometimes be unfulfilling. Reviewing staff isn't a priority, took me months to get a review despite requesting. Warwick and Leamington are small midland towns and can be a bit quiet.

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  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great job, amazing people"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Warwick, West Midlands, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at DCA Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Extremely friendly and relaxed office atmosphere. You can get a wide variety of interesting work. Full of very talented people who you can learn a great deal from and the staff at all levels are friendly and approachable. The teams work well together and have great work ethics. Good opportunities for career progression as a graduate. Great work life balance. I really enjoyed working here.

    Cons

    HR department is too small and can be difficult to get a hold of, but is run by a woman who does care about the staff. It can be difficult to move between sectors and you don't always get a say in the projects you will be working on.


  3. Helpful (14)

    "Stuck in a (strange) bubble."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Warwick, West Midlands, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at DCA Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The half day Fridays are great, rarely any stress or pressure on the job. As a technical/design engineering consultancy their offering is reasonable, the model making and prototyping skills are very solid (probably their core strength). Subsidised dinners, decent equipment.

    Cons

    The company is from an era past and creatively its output reflects that. Industry paradigms from the 80's and 90's rule here and hellfire be brought down if you mention that! It is a technical company masquerading as a creative one, however creativity requires broad thinking, an open mind and a progressive attitude.... essentially everything that scares DCA. Personal insecurity is cloaked in arrogance and rife from mid to top management and therefore a strong passive aggressive approach is of course employed. Consequently and by intention the workforce in general is a docile, safe and steady 'mid level' bunch, pleasant enough. However beneath an abundance of plastic smiles and 'play-a-long' attitudes lies a very strange almost creepy work environment!! Reminds me of the town in 'Hot Fuzz', there is something strange going on in these ere backwoods of design! Occasionally talented creatives do join us, they unsurprisingly do not stay very long. Creativity by nature is unsettling and talent it appears heckles the insecurity of those lacking..... this upsets the 'steady' DCA ship!

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  4. Helpful (7)

    "Run, run for the hills."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at DCA Design full-time

    Pros

    There are some genuinely clever people working at DCA, and the majority of staff are likeable, open and friendly. Half-day Friday's are great for work/life balance. DCA are rightly well-regarded for clever, dependable engineering-based solutions.

    Cons

    A large-ish consultancy with a small-minded and risk-averse attitude, particularly to progress and change (the opposite of design in other words). Like Warwick itself, DCA seems stuck in the 1990's in an insular and slightly arrogant vacuum. There is sometimes a whiff of 'Stepford Wives' there, an atmosphere of 'going through the motions' with a forced smile. In fact if you are looking for a creative design agency then move along, there's nothing to see here. Offices (some nice, most awful) are spread around town, making communication poor and people feeling silo-ed.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Industrial designer"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     

    I have been working at DCA Design

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, Interesting design process.

    Cons

    Low salary, Area that the office is currently is not that exciting. Warwick is a very tiny town.

  6. Helpful (5)

    "Poorly governed design organisation"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Contractor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at DCA Design

    Pros

    - Interesting fields of work - Great relaxed setting (Warwick)

    Cons

    - Undermining leadership - Internal conflict within senior management

  7. "interior design"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interior Architect in DC Ranch, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at DCA Design part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    productive workplce, creative people and

    Cons

    low salary, long hours and

  8. "Office Manager"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Manafer 
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at DCA Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Diverse work environment, opportunity for growth(....)

    Cons

    Pay scale, bonus program very low

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  9. Helpful (15)

    "Great legacy, difficult environment"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at DCA Design

    Pros

    DCA get some good projects, have hard working staff who are passionate. There are benefits, such as half day Fridays and paying overtime. Some of the Heads of Practices are great - they have a great track record, have worked internationally at some of the biggest consultancies going and are very clued into what is happening in the industry. Despite the cons outlined below, they still do very well financially in comparison to other UK consultancies.

    Cons

    The benefits of DCA are in competition with the Heads of Practices - during my time there I constantly felt that there was a fight between the Heads (who I respected and was definitely inspired by) and the Management (who I was bored by, who had old thinking and who also didn't even know my name). The real problem at DCA is that there is very little 'fresh' talent. There are people at DCA who have been there for 20 years - while this is good in some respects, there is a very 'content' and 'good enough' culture, not exactly inspiring. It also means there is a tired way of thinking about design, one that is simply not the way the industry is today and is why it is unlikely that DCA will ever be a true competitor to the big international consultancies.

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