CDW Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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331 Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Where Account Managers do all the work and Management reaps the benefits.

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

    I worked at CDW

    Pros

    Easy hiring process for the exception making people drive all the way out to Vernon Hills. They did not lay off during the recession.

    Cons

    There are thousands of Account Managers. Who are you? An Ant.
    There is no room for growth. Management has been there for years. Who are you? An Ant.
    They pay commissions far less than any small business out there they want to put out of business. Under Paid Ant.
    Account Managers in 2010 took a $5000 per year pay cut. Who reaped the benefits? Lower Managers!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being dishonest! Greed only gets you so far. Also, little less of the frat house attitude.

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

    Good place to start

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    Great training that many people appreciate. Vendors provide a lot of lunches and trips as sales incentives as they are a re-seller. You can learn a LOT about technology and sales if you are a sales professional.

    Cons

    25,000 base for Account Executives...really? That hasn't been changed in 20 years at this point! You want your reps to sell hard and work their butts off as personal account managers? Then offer a base pay relevant to this century. Also the phone time monitoring... 2 hours a day? So outdated as well. I would bring in 100k of business in a day EMAILING people who I had relationships with and they'd put my phone time in the red. Join 2015 essentially.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give people a live-able base pay and allow people to sell through email. Track total activities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful

    Solid groundwork for a successful career.

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

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

    Pros

    Free lunch, sports games, dinners, happy hours, events. Lots of fun people. Solid vacation and PTO. Great training program and knowledge if you are fresh out of school.

    Cons

    Very political like most corporate companies. Do not pay their employees like they should. 25k base is almost laughable for the work they expect. Commissions are great… if you stay there for 3-5 years to build your book up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay better. Focus on helping account managers develop instead of worrying about own goals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Great Company

    Current Employee - Solution Architect in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Solution Architect in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at CDW

    Pros

    Great people. Fast paced working environment. Culture of winning. High standards. Competitive compenation packages. Flexible work from home arrangements.

    Cons

    No real cons. I have had a great experience thus far

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Great starter job.

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

    I have been working at CDW full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, ability to make great money, company culture.

    Cons

    Below average pay, incompetent management structure, limited room for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop by apologists, admin organizational faults and take them head on.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Total lack of leadership and communication of company strategy.

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

    I have been working at CDW full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're in sales as an account manager or field account manager and above, it's a great company to start out with. Unfortunately they have changed their commission and goals to where other companies pay better.
    Sales driven company.
    Many days you will not have to buy lunch or breakfast when you're in sales.
    It's a great company to start out. However, because of the low pay, only the mediocre and the complacent sales people stay.

    Cons

    Since I've been here, I have seen very little communication from leadership compared to other companies I've worked for. Usually leadership communication is used to motivate sales teams and get us revved up. At CDW you'll rarely hear anything from someone above your immediate manager unless you make an error. I feel the lack of communications of the company strategy is going to hurt this company in the long run.
    The pay is very low compared to competitors. In fact, I have been recruited by a competitor and will be leaving CDW principally because of the low pay.
    For some reason the company is always having trouble computing commissions correctly. If you're smart, you keep track since you will probably notice your commissions are lower than they should be.
    It's a very political company. There are hundreds of employees who have been with the company from the beginning. Unfortunately, while they have experience in how CDW works, they will be lacking in a lot of skills and experience necessary to make it in the majority of large US corporations.
    Outside of sales, management is generally poor. Because many of these people worked their way up the ranks, they lack some of the professionalism I have encountered in other companies. I have noticed immaturity and a lot of finger-pointing rather than accountability. Outside of sales, there is a general lack of training and employees are told to watch videos that have little or nothing to do with one's job.
    Overall, I will happy to leave even though I did learn a lot.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve your communications and strive to articulate the company strategy in a way that your employees will understand how it fits with their job. Handing out a laminated copy of the circle of excellence tells us nothing. It comes across as insincere and unusable unless regular communications come from leadership demonstrating how various teams have met the criteria. Use communications to motivate-stop being silent and acting like you're deities. No one has respect for absent leadership in a sales-driven company.
    Do some housecleaning in your leadership areas. Make them accountable for the success of their teams and don't let them get away with the blame game.

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

    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
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Great 6 years until we switched bosses and it all went downhill from there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Configuration Technician in Vernon Hills, IL
    Former Employee - Configuration Technician in Vernon Hills, IL

    I worked at CDW full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits,401k, won 3,000 bux Ina raffle my 2nd week, good people, they treat you good if you work hard.

    Cons

    Raises suck. Doesn't matter how much work you do or what your doing you still get paid the same. They start configuration techs at 12.31 and u work2pm to 11pm plus mandatory overtime. So ice gotten home at3 in the morning. They treat you like you are lucky you have a job because they will replace you in a second.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I quit after6 years because they hired someone to run the config center w no experience at all. They hire brown nosers as bosses and the bosses to do nothing at all But sit all day. They also put more work on the people who are dedicated to their job. Overall management is a joke in configs. I would still be there if they didn't hire a joke of a config supervisor and another supervisor who I worked next to for 6 years and decided to treat me like crap once he became boss.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people 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
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Account Manager Review

    • 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

    Pros

    I have been a public sector Account Manager for 7 years. In a sales role you will not be micro-managed. There is the potential to make well over $100k if you end up in the correct segment.

    Cons

    Based salary is half of the industry standard. If you sell in the Public sector you must pay all the contract fees and freight out of your commissions; something they don't tell you in the recruiting process. It is nearly impossible for AM's to switch segments once hired. The training program does not teach you what you really need to know to be successful and their CRM tool is buggy and unstable. Limited travel to meet with your customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Public Sector AM's need a comp plan competitive with the rest of the industry. AM's need to be in front of their customers a minimum of once per quarter. Seasoned AM's should be allowed to live in their territories and telecommute(we sell this tech, lets use it). Our business model of only having inside sales and very few FAE's is a failing business model. Customers and partners all admit that they prefer to work with someone that is local and provides face time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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