Topco Associates

  www.topco.com
  www.topco.com

Topco Associates Reviews

Updated August 22, 2014
Updated August 22, 2014
39 Reviews
2.4
39 Reviews
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Topco Associates President & CEO Randall J. Skoda
Randall J. Skoda
17 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    First job out of school with a dysfunctional company

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

    I have been working at Topco Associates

    Pros

    There are other out of college people I can relate to.
    Direct supervisor is great to talk to.
    Topco U gives newbies an idea on what the company is about.
    Decent PTO.

    Cons

    The office culture is terrible. I sometimes find it hard to come in because of the negativity and backstabbing that goes on.
    Promotions are seldom and don't come with hard work.
    Senior Management ignores employees and gives off the impression of an after school club instead of an executive team.
    People are leaving like there is a plague, this alone makes me and others want to do the same.
    Transformation is still very unclear to everyone.
    Outsourcing is occurring and we are worried that we will lose our jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While I am not the most qualified to give you advice, I would suggest listening to the people in your organization that have a genuine interest in its well being versus those who are only in it for the short haul. Come out of your offices more often and make decisions on how to hire the best talent. Unfortunately, some of the best talent here has already left. Get rid of people who don't want to be there and don't over empower the Transformation squad as they are a bunch of cheerleaders without any savvy on this company. Their presentation was a riot during Topco U... a riot, meaning a joke. Good Luck!

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

    A company striving to improve but not addressing the things that really make a difference

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Elk Grove Village, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Elk Grove Village, IL

    I have been working at Topco Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    New systems on the way, free food, new offices, Topshop (discount shopping), friendly employees

    Cons

    New systems seem way too complicated to use, consultants are taking over the company, only bench strength is leaving because of no opportunities, sexism and racism to varying degrees are apparent, terrible culture, financial targets are flexible and people are not held accountable for not meeting objectives, instead they are incentivized through bonus payouts, management team needs yet another revamp, very top heavy at the director level and above, male dominated and gift of gab culture, 3 vp level associates have left in the past 6 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't put so much trust into the transformation team you hired. They lock themselves in a room to watch sports, and play boardgames, while their consultant buddies from a past life do all the work and we pay a ton of money to them all. Who is really doing the work here? Do we need an internal team? Ask yourselves what's best for the membership and your associates, the ones that are actually invested in the success of the company.

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

    I have worked for a few dreadful companies and awful people in the past, but Topco tops the dreadful and awful list.

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

    I worked at Topco Associates full-time

    Pros

    I enjoy an important friendship with one person I met while we were both employees at Topco. That's it.

    Cons

    Everything that could be wrong with a company -- or a person -- is wrong with Topco. It would have to improve just to get to be dysfunctional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is nothing to say to management. They think they are just fine, thank you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Slow moving company going downhill

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Executive in Elk Grove Village, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Executive in Elk Grove Village, IL

    I worked at Topco Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Easy 9-5 job, no weekends and no holidays
    Low pressure
    Senior management is happy with status quo
    Nice location
    Nice people to work with
    Great way to get introduced to grocery industry

    Cons

    CEO is risk adverse so is not open to differing opinions
    Advancement based on tenure not performance
    Salary program rewards higher paid staff at the expense of lower paid staff
    Little room for personal growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Come into the 21st century - develop a real strategic plan and way to get it done
    Fulfill the role of leaders by developing a vision and commitment to achieve goals
    Have a commitment to diversity and set goals
    Execs need to leave the executive wing and mingle with staff

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

    Dreadful experience. Keep looking.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Coordinator in Elk Grove Village, IL
    Former Employee - Project Coordinator in Elk Grove Village, IL

    I worked at Topco Associates full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some nice people work there but they can't help you. You'll be stuck in the same antiquated machine they are too. You can go for drinks after work and commiserate together ooooooorrrrrr keep looking for a company worthy of your time and talent. Life is short. Love where you work. This place ain't it.

    Cons

    What wasn't a challenge. Mainly incompetent and clumsy management and then it completely snowballs downhill from there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be a wonderful company to work for, but...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Elk Grove Village, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Elk Grove Village, IL

    I have been working at Topco Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    High job security.

    Decent benefits.

    Bonus for those who are Director or higher.

    Transformation currently underway or so they say.

    Free food samples.

    Help with commuting expense for those using public transit.

    Cons

    A lot of secrecy behind strategy at every level. Almost seems as if there is no strategy.

    People scared to let others shine to protect their own jobs. No development for what they call high performers.

    Departments are run in a disorganized fashion where everything is low-balled. 90% clock-in and clock-out.

    Sales success is usually from customers needs or ideas from younger talent, not from innovative ideas at the management level. People take credit for successes that are not really their own.

    Gift of gab and friendships determine personal success. Putting the people who have been unsuccessful at executing projects in charge of new initiatives is the wrong way to go.

    Phony statistics and buzz words and stories of people involved in Transformation in previous careers are rampant. If people had been involved in Transformation 'at every company they have worked for' why is the company in the shape it's in?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transformation will be successful if you treat the right people properly and put them in the proper roles. Involve all levels of the company. Do not leave it up to people whom have no knowledge of the company, its history and practices, industry knowledge and are truly high potential (not friends with their bosses and HR) to make strategic decisions. Remember, gift of gab and friendships are part of the reason the company is where it is.

    People like me are already looking for new jobs. Do the things the right way and save the company while you still can. Topco could be a wonderful company to work for with a visionary and charismatic executive team or leader and the proper staffing, technologies, and policies. Where it stands 80% of them fall flat.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Company Going No Where

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Management in Elk Grove Village, IL
    Current Employee - Program Management in Elk Grove Village, IL

    I have been working at Topco Associates full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    "job for like" company
    low pressure jobs
    staff are nice people
    low risk company

    Cons

    Total lack of executive leadership
    New CEO picked up where the old one left off - accepting mediocre performance
    Not committed to diversity
    A job, not a career
    Manage by fear

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop managing by fear and start providing leadership

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Only benefit is a relatively secure company

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

    I have been working at Topco Associates

    Pros

    -Great business model in any economy

    Cons

    -Great business model that is poorly executed
    -Leadership's only method of improving productivity is to instill fear in employees
    -2% 401K match (couple low match with very poor investment choices)
    -Working the Topco Super Show which is basically hell week

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Generate new programs instead of trying to get blood out of a rock on the existing programs. Clearly Topco's business model is to reduce cost and bring the benefit of aggregation to the members. However, if a vendor provides their best pricing possible and we're told to "get lower" there needs to be logic behind why we should request such pricing. Key objective is to beat up vendors instead of collaborating with them. Even with a new office, the morale is quite low.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Culture of Fear! RUNNNNNN FAR FAR AWAY.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Food Technologists in Skokie, IL
    Former Employee - Food Technologists in Skokie, IL

    I worked at Topco Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Vacation Benefits, Free Food

    Cons

    When I was first hired, I was promised good learning opportunites and the ability to train in different areas. But there was no time to learn anything. They need more people to get the job done properly. I worked in the lab and the micromanagement style there was so clausterpobic. It is run by a V.P. who tries to implement too many changes too quickly and who ignores you/gives you the silent treatment if you make a mistake. Many people told me my first week there that you know that you haven't worked for Topco if "You haven't cried at least once at Work." At least 30% of the food techologists have quit in the past 2 years.

    The company has poor planning and poor communication. For example, they spent tens of thousands of dollars on a new lab but then ended up moving to a new building.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run the other way. Management by fear culture starts from exec level all the way down.

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

    I have been working at Topco Associates

    Pros

    Growing revenue
    Free food samples
    Summer hours give you a half day every other Friday
    Stable company with very few layoffs
    Lots of free parking

    Cons

    Unfriendly staff coworkers and management
    No one there likes there job and are too scared to quit in this economy
    Very controlling and micromanaging executives who all have big egos
    People have worked there forever and out of touch with the real world
    Worst workplace culture I've ever experienced
    Drab gray depressing outdated decor and furnishings
    People hate this place so much that many of them spend their lunch breaks in their car because they can't stand it inside

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your lack of professionalism and big egos keep workers from performing their best. This is especially true of of lower ranking employees. Your fear tactics don't make workers respect you more. They just teach others your negative ways. I've been here 9 years and it gets worse every year. A sad pathetic bunch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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