CDW

www.cdw.com

CDW Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
705 Reviews
3.9
705 Reviews
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CDW Chairman and CEO Thomas E. Richards
Thomas E. Richards
318 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There is also a great work life balance as long as you prove that you are a high performer (in 71 reviews)

  • Many coworkers have the ability to work from home a day or two a week (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance - great if you are single, not if you have a family (in 18 reviews)

  • Base salary could be higher to attract better talent in the beginning (in 37 reviews)

More Highlights

323 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Lack of structure and lack of big picture strategy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Corporate Sales Operations in Mettawa, IL
    Current Employee - Corporate Sales Operations in Mettawa, IL

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

    Pros

    Employees are innovative because there is basically no structure.
    Lots of food which is bad if you don't want to gain weight.
    Employee diversity - they are very supportive of gay rights.

    Cons

    No structure or systems in place across the board. Get your act together! No structure may have worked 20 years ago when CDW was a small company but if they expect to succeed long term they need to put some resources into building a structure or fail.

    Big egos in middle to upper management - please leave your egos at the door. You're not that great. Sometimes I snicker inside or cringe in embarrassment at some of the self-appraising statements I hear. This group (middle to upper management) are way more unprofessional than other large companies I've worked for. It appears they try to hire women that fit the 'mold' however they tend to be high strung monsters to work for. Again, the egos at CDW tend to be out of control especially considering that no one in leadership I ever encountered attended above a tier 3 or 4 university. There is a lot of un-professionalism and nepotism in management which really kills the morale. The favoritism is rampant and to get ahead you better brown nose the right people and fit a certain mold.

    Revolving door in sales - VERY HIGH turnover. You never know when your 'coworker' or manager is just going to disappear one day. The company fires people for stupid reasons - usually it's political. They must have to pay a lot of unemployment compensation. Employees feel like there is an invisible hatchet over their neck - not a great way to promote good employee morale. In fact, it seems it's counterproductive. I have seen really good account managers start to fail when they're 'scolded' for inconsequential issues.

    Strategic big-picture thinking is not encouraged. Instead there is a lot of micromanaging and focus on unimportant details while missing the big picture completely.

    An immature culture - lower/middle management does a lot of finger-pointing and blaming. Lots of nice, hardworking people have had to leave the company because a woman above them has control issues. Make sure when you promote a 'coworker' to be a people manager that the power over others doesn't go to their head. Also, start making them accountable for what goes on under them. A failing employee is usually due to a lack of clear direction and the ability to motivate and grow. Treating human beings the same way you'd treat your dog when they have an accident in the house is demeaning!!! I have also noticed a lot of condescending management styles and the use of humiliation to correct errors. Not a great way to get the best from your employees and it makes it very awkward for coworkers like me that cringe when we see this. Remember it's not just stressful for you and the person being 'scolded like a child' - it's very stressful for others around them. Be professional and take care of this stuff behind closed doors. Embarrassment and demeaning adults = bad management. Childish behavior from people in management should NOT be encouraged.

    The communications in this company are horrible! Not only do we rarely hear anything to explain company goals by the executives but when I have seen communications, I cringe at the grammatical errors and inability to articulate strategy clearly. Seriously the entire top tier of CDW needs some housecleaning!!!

    I really don't see this company succeeding long term.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop taking away our commissions and realize the goals you are setting are getting impossible to meet. I can't wait to leave!!

    Work on being able to articulate the WHY and HOW of the company's strategy and goals. If you can't clearly explain it, how do you expect your employees to adopt it.

    Stop using the word 'coworker' instead of 'employee' - it comes across as totally insincere in your authoritative company culture. We're not stupid.

    Your pay is substandard. If you want to keep great employees, reward them with money. Daycare centers and workout centers don't apply to a lot of employees. We show up to work for pay to support our families, not bagels.

    Develop more trust in your employees instead of trying to spy on them. Your new cubicle design will not foster collaboration. It will cause even more infighting and distractions. I can't stand having to sit next to someone who's very loud on the phone. I need to concentrate to do my work. Executives, if you like that design so much then maybe you should give up your large private offices and collaborate with each other. Maybe setting an example and walking your talk would get the rest of us on board. If not, then stop throwing us together like rats in an overcrowded cage.

    I am spending a lot of my efforts in finding a job with a company that pays better. Hopefully before I have to share a cube with 6 'coworkers.'

    The working from home program is a joke. You can just tell management wants to get rid of it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    No identity

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

    I worked at CDW full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    teaches how corporate America works
    willing to try new programs and/or improve

    Cons

    greedy senior executives
    no identity or direction
    low morale
    affirmative action department

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out as soon as you can!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Leadership Fails, Tools Lacking

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

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

    Pros

    Some flexibility concerning work from home.
    Decent benefits.
    Direct supervisors very approachable.

    Cons

    Main leadership is lacking and communicates one stated goal while going another way.
    Claims toward caring about coworkers are less impressive when they are completely ignored during engagement surveys.
    Tools are lacking and frustrating to use.
    Many people are poor at communication skills and lack the basic sense to read an email before responding (internally).
    Pay structure is poor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A toxic culture is cultivated when an open door policy is supposedly in place, but in effect is anything but. There is a clear marketing spin being given to employees in a way that is almost cultish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 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 (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
  6.  

    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 (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
  7. 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 (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
  8.  

    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 (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
  9. 2 people 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 (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
  10. 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 (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
  11. 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

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