Blue Book Network Contractors Register
2.6 of 5 50 reviews
www.thebluebook.com Jefferson Valley, NY 500 to 999 Employees

Blue Book Network Contractors Register Reviews

Updated Mar 12, 2014

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2.6 50 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

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Rich Johnson

(7 ratings)

36% of employees recommend this company to a friend
50 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "At the home office in customer service we also have many wonderful people that remain"
    in 7 reviews
  • "The Blue Book is 100 years old and has NEVER had a lay-off because of hard times"
    in 4 reviews
Cons:
  • "Distrust, micro-management, fear and intimidation are the components of the current culture"
    in 8 reviews
  • "I have to say that there is not a single manager that commands respect from any of the sales team"
    in 4 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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2 people found this helpful  

I'm in my thirty's and I plan to retire with this company, owning a piece of the action along the way!

Account Manager (Current Employee)
Orlando, FL

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 8 years

ProsIncome potential is very good, some in your control, some not.. Yes, not everyone will make six figures but I doubled that one year and even during my worst year stayed pretty close to six figures. Not everyone will make that kind of money as it will depend on your territory and how you work what you are given. If you are a salary riding person and not a go getter, this job will not make you six figures( and you probably would not make it past interview two-lol). But with a base salary more than most of the teachers I know in Florida and most typical 9-5 corporate employees, it is above average but also depends on the territory you are managing. The salary is not what get's me to six figures. It is the commission and many, many bonuses offered along the way. Monthly, quarterly and year end bonuses that are more than most sales organization offer. Now that we are ESOP-Employee stock ownership plan. I can see myself working until my retirement age, God willing. This is now a built in pension that I can control as part owner of this company based on my W-2. There are not many companies that offer that in a sales environment. It is a great feeling to say the least.

There is no real competition to The Blue Book Network in the industry. We offer exposure and opportunity to our Network Customers they cannot get anywhere else. We offer Targeted Loyal Network of users, strong distribution of printed books, very strong targeted online presence and usage (We are the Google for Commercial Construction) We have the Largest most active number of Private users using our BB-Bid & SyncWare tools to help communicate Project information and plans specifically to who is needed. We do not sell leads, we build you a Network of the right people at the right time. Most of my customers get real consistent phone calls for work and emails everyday looking for exactly what they do. We help build them a Network of new people outside of their existing Network so they can grow their business at the pace they are most comfortable. We open the door the rest is up to them. But hands down NO ONE does all that we do for our Customers, period.

Amazing benefits package. I have had 3 Children and have paid no more than $70 from start to finish for each delivery. Our Medical Insurance is that good. And to get paid for 8 weeks like I was working in the field at 100% of my income during my short term disability for maternity leave. The 401K is also great, the Company Matches up to 10K. I put in 10K they put in 10K. That is awesome!!! Nice nest egg I am building for my future.

Great support from Customer Service. I turn in the simple paperwork and my orders get processed and Customer Service handles any problems as they arise. Without this kind of support this job would be much more time consuming. Our back office and our BB-Bid helps me manage my customers and prospects along with my online users and help me stay in follows-up mode to ensure retention and customer satisfaction. There is so much support in every aspect of this job. We are all on the same team working together.

It seems that some people in other book areas may feel micro managed at times, I have never really felt that way in ten years doing this job. I guess I always do more than what is expected of me so I do not need to be micro managed. I have a passion for helping people and I really enjoy my job and growing MY business. I really feel like I am running my own business and if I just do the little things each and every day consistently over a long period of time, everything just all comes together in the end it is just all works out. I max out my bonus levels each month and each quarter( a majority of the time) and I get a year end bonus and hopefully make it back to Presidents Club. An even through the downturn in the economy and the construction industry the past few year, we never laid off one person from our company.

ConsThere is A LOT that is asked of us to do on a daily basis. Our title is Account Manager but only a portion of the time is actually spend managing existing account to ensure a high retention rate. Ten years ago I had more time to Manage Accounts and sell new business. I was not required to do more than just that. Now I have to go see my GC's, Property Managers, Facility Mangers, etc. I do have the ability to increase my income by over 15K to build this Network of users but it is very time consuming.( I wish this was not capped out because I feel I should earn more for the huge Network of users I have developed over the years, years when it was not tied to extra earnings) This year we do have help to take some of the burden off us in the field. We have Specialist up in NY to help each region. So we open the door since we are out in the field, they will take over from they to ensure usage. I am excited to see how this will pan out, so far so good!!!

 We also do Lunch & Learns with Architects, purely to increase knowledge and usage of our new free products and online tools. Again, we do get paid to grow this as well and this is not capped so their is benefits on both sides to build these relationships. This job easily could be two separate outside sales jobs, one to sell adverting and manage account and one to create usage and train people on our fabulous free tools that streamline everyone's work-flow and productivity. I work way more hours then I ever thought this job would require. There are long hours out in the field, going to Networking events, and prep work needed to be done for the up coming days in the field. Also, online research and keeping up with whats going on in the industry can keep you working very long hours.

We often launch products a little prematurely before all the bugs/glitches are worked out.( or knowledge on how to sell or material to make the sales presentation) We do not get too much direction on how to "specifically" sell the new tools. They change a lot of things without always asking for our feedback in the field before it is set in stone. If they would actually ask us for feedback prior to making permanent changes, tweaks or launching new tools it would be better for moral and the products would more complete and may not need to be tweaked after launched. We are the true boots on the ground, we have to sell it, we should be involved more in creating it and marketing it.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work in trying to be everything to everyone in the construction industry. Keep up the research and development that make us the industry leader that we are and will always remain 100+ year strong. Keep coming up with new products and tools to enhance our users experiences and retain our huge customer base. BUT PLEASE..... get the sales people more involved during the beginning, middle and end stages of these new products, tools, enhancements and advancements. Let us help ensure that once launched it does not need to be tweaked. Let us help design our GC Lunch & Learn presentation since we have been doing them for years now. Let us get you some feedback on what really needs to be tweaked inside BB-Bid before you launch the new BB-Bid. Ask us how a new commission structure should be set up for our GC users based on our hard work in the field.

Try to make changes quicker on things that are obviously going to help everyone if it were changed. It should not take years to create online tweaks that wold enhance workflow and productivity now. If we were more involved in these decisions as they were going on we would be that much more ahead of the game. Were the ones out in the field so talk to us, not our managers, not our area managers, us. If you start to to this you will see how valuable we can be to you then just a sales force. Keep up and increase the two way communication and the adding of more people to our staff inside and outside.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

The Blue Book's value proposition is lacking.....not the sales team's activity.

Account Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe Blue Book has done a tremendous job over the years maintaining the database of over 1 million businesses that are active in commercial construction, which is the fundamental asset of the company. Creation of BBBid, which allows general contractors and other buyers of construction services to readily review, access and communicate with this database, was a business innovation that set the Blue Book apart from any other construction resource. The technical support for these general contractors and others within BBBid continues to be outstanding, as is our customer service group. The BBBid plan room and the I Group are also a real asset to the project communication value of the Blue Book. Also, BPMSelect fundamentally is a terrific product, but does not seem to have achieved the results it should be due. Also, Vu 360 is a very good addition to the BBBid family of products. It should also be noted that the ProView “product” shows a lot of promise, as long as the Blue Book can continue to drive traffic to its website. Compensation and benefits at the Blue Book in the 6 years I’ve been with the Blue Book has been very competitive and fair. Vacation and personal time is one serious shortcoming.

ConsIn my opinion, BBBid has lost its value for many reasons, but fundamentally its value has been most significantly impacted because the GC’s have been allowed to abuse and overuse the vendor wizard search, resulting in most non-customers receiving for FREE nearly everything our paying customers receive. BBBid for many GC’s is simply a way to provide a free lead to essentially every business in the Blue Book’s prominent database in order to win at competitive bidding. I often see GC’s invite up to 90 different contractors for every trade via the vendor wizard. Paying customers are also provided “leads” which are assumed to be both public and private and of similar value as those from reputable lead services, but the leads are but a small portion that are actually available. And, they are often misdirected to incorrect classifications. Also we recently have added terms like “player’s list” and “awarded” projects that seem to suggest that we have the actual bidder’s list and the awarded GC’s for the projects, which simply is not the same as is provided by a reputable lead service. The opportunities we provide as a result of “leads” and BBBid has lost much of its value.
Much of The Blue Book’s business model is based upon the calendar year of the printed publication. All of the online features are billed as though they are connected to the printed (mostly obsolete) directory. The best features of the online Blue Book, including BBBid are provided immediately for customers who don’t even begin to pay for the benefit they receive for many months. The Blue Book’s model is still based primarily on a two year non-cancellable contract, which today is obsolete. Most lead services today are offering shorter or month to month enrollments. No one else in this industry encourages a two year, non-cancellable, contract.
In the past few years, the management has attempted to introduce many new products that have little value. Products such as BBSupply, ProQual, MyQual, Project Link/Source, etc. are used by very few in the industry
In my opinion, most of the recent emphasis has been trying to give The Blue Book the ability to have bragging rights, like “the largest and most active construction network, from “design thru post construction”, and now we serve “the entire continental United States”. For example, The Blue Book added additional states to the network years ago and to this day still do not have account managers or any other employees there and have no one reaching out to the general contractors or facility managers. We say we actively serve the design community and yet our only product, BPMSelect, which was designed “for the architects….by architects”, is used very little.
I work in a market/state that was added after BBBid was created, so the construction community does not have the long history of knowing the Blue Book as much as a resource, but more as a lead service. I’ve been able to maintain an income over $80K since I joined the Blue Book and am a past Presidents Club winner. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to be helpful to the entire management team, calling attention to areas that are either not working well, are truly a waste of time. I try make positive suggestions. I’ve not seen ONE manager at any level truly interested in making changes or speaking honestly about the currently misdirected energy and efforts. All I’ve seen is a push to micro-manage the sales team and create more wasted time and energy on issues that really do not help increase sales. I, like many others, am developing my exit plan for the near future.
And, the most amazing of my observations is the fact that during the same time that The Blue Book’s powerful BBBid system was losing its effectiveness, the management team increased the cost to enroll by 78%. Now there’s a case study for a major university to tackle. Even the crazy idea to limit the number of general contractors the sales team could work with last year was amazing. The GC’s are the drivers of BBBid and the leadership actually decided it was better that we limit the number we can see to earn commission. I’d like to have been a fly on the wall to see who was in the room when that was decided. It’s because the culture of the company that ideas are not to be challenged. The current strategy seems to be to simply demand and monitor the sales team to do more, better and faster. And, what about our prospect leads, such as the “greater than five views”…..that used to be a great working tool, but in my mind has absolutely no accuracy or value today.
The reality is that the pressure on the sales team will always be an inverse relationship to the company’s products value. The lower the value of the product, the more pressure there will be on the sales team to grow the business.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to recognize that the value proposition the sales team delivers no longer meets prospective customer expectations.. Our premier product, BBBid has lost it innovative edge and is totally unused or misused because of it. To say we provide leads to our customers is barely honest. Blue Book customers expect to get more for their investment. Management has to consider that low sales results are due entirely to poor sales activity. Management seem to have actvity confused with results. Demanding more and monitoring more is only driving good account managers from the business. Sales managers need to be more focused on creativity, training, encouragement and support as opposed to their current routines of trying to keep all of the boxes filled and checked on all on the new activity reports.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

One very concerned employee

Account Manager (Current Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThe only good thing about our company is the 401K Its a shame I cant think of anything else at this time.

ConsWe are a sinking ship that has almost sunk. The upper management is closed minded and does not want to hear what the salesforce has to say. They are taking a once great company and totatly destroying it HELP US PLEASE SOON VERY SOON

Advice to Senior ManagementGet off your high horse. The Blue Book is not what it use to be. Help save our company or SELL US TO SOMEONE WHO CARES FAST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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3 people found this helpful  

Current Sales Representative

CIP (Construction Industry Professional) (Current Employee)
Parsippany, NJ

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time

ProsTerrific benefits, 401k 2 to 1 match!, Customer Service and MIS depts.

ConsMicro management of Sales force. Too many products that don't get to the core issue's that the customer base has expressed a need for... ACCURATE INFORMATION!!!!. Many bells and whistles are added to our inferior products to further confuse and drive away usership/ownership and ultimately DOLLARS!!!

Advice to Senior ManagementHOLD YOURSELVES ACCOUNTABLE to the degree you hold us sales people too!!!! You ALL would be on your final PIP! ( performance improvement plan)

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

If you want to be treated like dirt and micro managed to death, this is the place! Glad to be gone!

Account Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGood benefits, although starting 2013 you must pay a lot more for them.

ConsThey lie to you to get you hired, telling you how much growth the territory has in it; totally ignoring the reality of the construction market. The paperwork is unbelievable, yet you are expected to put in a full 8 hour day in the field with unrealistic expectations. This is the only place I know of where Account Managers who end in the top 1/2 of the company get reviews that say 'Unacceptable". And then there is the constant job threats because you can not live up to projections that only the top 15% of territories can live up to. This is a C+ product trying to make itself have the image of an A+ product.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop micro managing everything possible; stop giving us more and more paperwork to justify your jobs. Stop lying to the team about how secure the company is and the growth potential the territories have.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Desperate Measures for Desperate times

Sales Representative (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time

ProsGreat brand recognition in the construction industry. Excellent 401k, recently went to an Employee owned company which should be positive. Good contact management system.

ConsBeing in the construction industry the company has taken a hit with the down turn in the economy. The industry overall has shrunk dramatically. At the same time many IT based start ups have entered the market place with good products. Unfortunately the BB has not has not kept up with the changes or the competition. The approach seems to be to continually make changes or introduce new products that are not addressing the needs of their core customers.

BB has decided that if they micro manage their sales force they will vastly improve the above. BB already has had, for years, an excellent customer contact system which in turn tracks activity of reps. They have decided to "enhance" it with the sole purpose of nano management instead of investing time and energy into the short comings of the products the reps are trying to sell. In addition, the minimum daily expectations from management are near impossible to reach.

The Blue Books only true advantage over any of its competition is that they have reps in the field that are able to work with customers and get them over some of the short comings of product. At one time management realized this and treated sales well. The company prided themselves on the longevity of its employees and their culture which was strongly based on creating relationships in the field, unfortunately this is in the past.

Advice to Senior ManagementEmployees do understand the need for growth, you are dealing with mature people with great experience and industry knowledge. You are managing from a yellow pages handbook, an industry that is disliked by its customers and their employees. Is this the direction you want to go? Try listening, leading and inspiring as opposed to telling, threatening and demoralizing.
Your vision is short sighted and based on it being an "employers market" this too will change and this culture will not attract the professionals this company needs to get the job done.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Do they really choose to ignore the writing on the wall????

Sales Representative (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 5 years

ProsSome of the best sales reps still remain, but many have their exit plans already in motion, the 401K is better than most, now an ESOP company. At the home office in customer service we also have many wonderful people that remain. Working from home is a plus. We are well branded at 100 years old this year. A newly promoted good ole boy to VP with many years with this company could be our only hope.

ConsThe management team has chosen to follow some newly hired additions to their team from the Yellow pages. They are closed minded enough to think 2012 was a better year simply because of the NEW WAY the sales team is being handled. This is absolutely FALSE. These methods are demoralizing and will cause the eventual fall of this once great company. From our fist company meeting for 2013, we learned that it will be an unreal year of micromanagement. The expectations of what can actually be done in a day by a sales rep is TOTALLY unrealistic. You will be held accountable, with signatures and reviews required monthly. So much of this daily activity is NON revenue activity. This new culture is unbearable to even our new hires. They have stated that they wished they had "made better choices" before taking a position here. It of course did not help, that they were sold on the "old company culture", not the NEW CULTURE now in place.

Advice to Senior ManagementMost of you need to look in the mirror. You have made decisions that SALES is held accountable for with which we NEVER have any input. Management did listen a long time ago, but no longer. The first company meeting of this year, they promised to listen, but how could they???? They continue to roll out unreal expectations for all of us!

Hire better management

Listen, before it's too late

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Awesome company!

Account Manager (Current Employee)
Tampa, FL

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 3 years

ProsBest in the business and company treats you great!

Conslong interviiew process, but worth it!

Advice to Senior Managementkeep it up!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Was great but no more!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Blue Book Network Contractors Register for more than 10 years

Pros401 K, Home office - The people still there

ConsIn the last 5 years a complete debacle - A company run by former sales reps with a chip on their shoulder - No management experience whatsoever- Not an MBA within miles of this company - The money and time wasted is truly unbelievable

Advice to Senior ManagementGet some management - REAL MANAGEMENT

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Employees are crying the Blues!!

Account Manager (Current Employee)

I have been working at Blue Book Network Contractors Register full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe ability to schedule your week with daily appointments and work from home are always a plus in any industry. Compensation, benefits and incentives are good. 401K is great. Co-workers are wonderful and supportive. Especially the ones that have longevity. But, those long term employees are unfortunately dwindling!!

ConsUpper management does not see the reality of the industry. Times have changed. We are no longer on top. If the construction industry is running flat, new business licenses have dropped, and we almost doubled our rates, how do we grow our territory?? Guess what, we don't. We need to be more competitive with our competition on job leads. "Exposure" is no longer a big selling point. In numerous presentations, when BidClerk or Reed come up, I know I'm stuck. I don't have all the GC's listed bidding jobs, we don't message out who was awarded jobs and we don't have all the bidding subcontrators. It's become a hard sell. Not to mention we are more expensive than our competition. These are all issues that regional and area managers have heard for years.

Management compares the majority of the sales team to a few top producers in that given year. Even if you had a great year LAST year, if you have a bad one THIS year, you will be put on a plan. Which is fine and understandable, if it was fair and the same across the company, but it is not.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe solution is very simple and textbook. Listen to your sales force. The people that are out on the field hearing what our company is lacking compared to our competition. Bring together account managers, both long term and short term, from different regions and ASK what's going on out there.

MOTIVATE and ENCOURAGE your sales force. We don't need a cheerleader, but feeling like someone has our back and will listen would be wonderful. There has to be accountability on the account managers to drive the product and sell it. That is understood within the sales team. But what about upper management, area managers and regional managers???? Where's their accountability in this company for the bad decisions that have been made and the failings of this company???

It was and can still be a wonderful company. Hopefully, management has their listening ears on.

I

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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