CDW

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CDW Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated July 17, 2014
Updated July 17, 2014
630 Reviews
4.0
630 Reviews
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CDW Chairman and CEO Thomas E. Richards
Thomas E. Richards
267 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is also a great work life balance as long as you prove that you are a high performer (in 59 reviews)

  • Many coworkers have the ability to work from home a day or two a week (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • Base salary could be higher to attract better talent in the beginning (in 33 reviews)

  • There is sometimes quite a bit of turnover among the inside account managers (in 33 reviews)

More Highlights

17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    10 Years and a steady, undeniable decline which makes me sad to see.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Executive Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    You can make a ton of money and if you get the right manager, you can little/no oversight. Vendors provide a ton of perks, free concerts, ballgames, a happy hour every night of the week, free lunches, etc. There are a decent amount of good people left working there

    Cons

    They've cut pay every single year since I started in 2004. Literally every single year. And account managers have the same base salary($25k) they did as long as anybody I know that works there can remember(15+ years). They have a focused effort to devalue the role of account manager and have consistently been stepping down compensation more drastically in recent years. The caliber of people they've hired the last five years is really, really bad, so a lot of your coworkers are there because nobody else will hire them and they're willing to work for $25k. The fact that they've hired a lot of terrible people recently has also had a bad effect on morale. It's never been lower since I started. Even people making top dollar hate their jobs. Also there is zero career path. If you dream of being a sales manager, well keep dreaming--last I heard that job starts out at an amazing $45k base salary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase the base for AM's, weed out unproductive people and show us you care at least a little bit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Stay out of the warehouse.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pick/Pack  in  Vernon Hills, IL
    Current Employee - Pick/Pack in Vernon Hills, IL

    I have been working at CDW full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The company has a huge parking lot.

    Cons

    Managers and supervisors are only good at sleeping and ordering pizza. Promotions are based on who you know. CDW also caters to the minority. They continue to hire people that speak little or no English. Most of these people don't care how they are treated just throw them a bone once in awhile and they are happy. Also no breaks just a 45 minute lunch. The computers in the warehouse have grease and ketchup all over the chairs and keyboards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start hiring from the outside! No more internal promotions!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Go for the training, gain some experience...and then leave...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at CDW full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Training. A lot of young, fun people (although rarely very smart).

    Cons

    Internal resources that are supposed to be part of CDW's value prop aren't reliable or valuable...

    Upper management = huge embarrassment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Turn over is so high and has been for so long that my conclusion is that CDW is insane...insane to not overhaul its compensation plan and insane to not overhaul their hiring and recruitment process.

    CDW needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and think about where they are going to be in ten years. There is zero innovation occurring within the company and I predict it will soon be left in the dust.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Revolving door

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good experience gainer to sales and IT

    Cons

    low pay
    no room for advancement
    dont care about you unless you are the top sellers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    care more about your employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Get 18-24 months experience then get out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at CDW full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I worked with about 3,000 22-28 year olds in downtown Chicago with an endless supply of vendors to take you to happy hour. It’s basically an extension of college. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it was fun. Unfortunately, that is really where the benefits end. The sales training was mediocre, but the technology training was very well done. Get 18-24 months experience then get out.

    Cons

    The two biggest issues here are compensation and poor middle management. For HiEd, K-12, Healthcare, S+L, and MedLar you are based at $25,000k. This doesn’t change depending on seniority or performance. Commission is 10% of GP unless you have about $40k in profit for the month. At that point your base drops out and you get 16-21% depending on the total GP. To put this in perspective here are some numbers of a typical AM who has been there for 2-4 years; You sell $250,000 in a month at 8% GP netting $20,000 profit for the company and in $2,000 in commissions for you. If you do that every month you will earn $24,000 in commission and $25,000 in base for $49,000/year. You aren’t poor by any means, but it is far below industry averages and around 30% of what they claim during the interview. To top it off, if you fall behind 80% attainment of goal they don’t pay commission. They try to hide this from new hires so if you are just starting ask about it. Goals are often set a few days before the end of the month so this can be a surprise $2-3k hit. If it happens once or twice during busy season then you may quickly end up at $40,000 for the year instead of $50,000.

        Management is made up primarily of people hired from 1998-2005. In 2006 the company nearly doubled its sales staff so anyone with experience who wanted to be a manager got the job. This resulted in a lot of under qualified and under motivated individuals in management. To compound the issues, a lot of the people they started with are now on their teams. This results in a favoritism that is toxic. As people leave the company, their good accounts are given to the Managers friends, who then send their worst to the mid-level account managers, who take their worst and send them to the new employees. This is a huge issue in government sales since new entities are rarely created meaning that hand downs are the only way to get new accounts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don’t know if there is much management can do. They got bitten by the private equity beast and it is slowly killing them. The cutting of compensation won’t stop until CDW has been back public for a few years. Invest in your employees if you can. Gut the ineffective managers and hire from within. There is still talent in the AM ranks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    I woke up dreading work and sick to my stomach.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at CDW full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Academy managers truly help and care. The benefits are good, free food, and vendor gifts.

    Cons

    Hiring managers are quick to judge and expect the unattainable from you. Your book goal is outrageous and most of your book of business is awful. It's hard to gain new business. The minimum call count is crazy, they want a high call time, and the new review and compensation plan are awful. The classroom trainer I had was awful and I did not get much out of it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more guidance to new employees. You also need to realize that life happens outside of work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    The worst job I have ever had

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at CDW

    Pros

    Great training- The training provided to Account Manager was fantastic and intense. You are constantly learning something new in the IT world.

    Cons

    The base salary is absolutely terrible and the commission plan is even worse.
    They talk about being a company that build relationships and adds value to their customers, but really it is just a bunch of commodity brokers just like tigerdirect.com or newegg.com. They only care about how many calls you make. You really aren't a sales person there, you are a tele-marketer. The most important thing management cares about is how many calls you make, they could care less about how much you sell or how much profit you make for the company.
    Long hours for low pay in short with an uptight atmosphere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your comp plan is awful! If you are going to treat employees like garbage, than pay them for that mistreatment. You may be able to recruit talent, but will never be able to retain talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Not worth it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW

    Pros

    Working downtown and in a nice area
    Clean facilities
    Some what comfy chairs

    Cons

    Low pay, bad management, calling a lot, poor communication between employees, snobby bosses and low pay. This is a stressful job and not worth 25k a year in my opinion but for others it might be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees what you would want to be paid for the tasks that are required.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great for some, terrible for most

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW

    Pros

    - the vast amounts of continued training and informational materials
    - numerous resources to assist account managers
    - extensive initial training
    - vendor perks

    Cons

    - CDW epitomizes the faulty american culture - all work, no play
    - CDW does not promote a healthy work life balance, in fact they discourage it
    - feels like working in a frat/sorority house
    - though the resources are plentiful, an account manager has to jump through way too many hoops to make any progress
    - not nearly as laid back as they promote themselves to be
    - extreme micromanagers in a subtle, backhanded kind of way
    - very rarely congratulate you but very quick to tell you what you're accomplishing isn't good enough
    - every time I go to someone with a problem they tell me to go to someone else, who tells me to go to someone else, etc. until i'm back where I started
    - we are falsely encouraged to be "ourselves" as long as "ourselves" is exactly what the company wants us to be
    - nearly impossible commission structure on top of laughable starting salary
    - very little paid time off offered
    - extreme favoritism
    - success depends heavily on who you know rather than how good you actually are

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - focus on truly promoting a healthy, enjoyable work/life balance
    - increase the starting salary to stay competitive in the sales industry (i promise you what it's at as of 9/12/11 is not at all competitive)

    - UPDATE: as of this month there is a new commission structure and you did not successfully pull the wool over anyone's eyes - the amount of money you claim to have fought for to put into the new structure is great on the surface but what you don't mention is that you initiated a pay cut to a large majority of account managers in order to throw more money at the absolute top tier and to newer account managers who will quickly grow their business beyond the lowest commission tier but will most likely never reach that absolute top tier - they will be stuck in the middle majority making less on the new & "improved" structure vs what they would've on the old structure...please revisit your compensation plans and make it more appealing for us to stay with CDW

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    There is no way to save this sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW

    Pros

    The only thing that is making me happy right now here at CDW is that the vendors are spending more money towards contests and trips that you can win. My pay check over the last 7 years has dropped due to accounts being taken or moved.

    Cons

    The managers don't know what they are doing half of the time. I have a manager who has been with CDW for less than 3 years and this is their 1st job out of college. The pay sucks and I am back to making the money that I 1st made when I started with the company 7 years ago.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Like everyone else posts on this site, you need to treat the sales reps with more respect and better pay. We are the ones who are making money for the company to pay your paycheck. Also, you need to trim down on how many managers/directors there are. I feel like I am in the movie "Office Space." Every month someone is being promoted to some new job position that was created out of thin air.

    Disapproves of CEO

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