Columbia Distributing Company Reviews

Updated March 29, 2015
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2.4
32 Reviews
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Gregg Christiansen
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Could use a little more compassion for the underlings.

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

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company

    Pros

    The employees are wonderful to work with. They create a super fun, casual atmosphere that still allows work to get get done professionally.

    Cons

    Long, off time hours. Upper management seems to only be out for themselves except for a select few. Disconnect between corporate and operations as well as between Portland and Kent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation for long work hours is key. Knowing exactly what occurs in every department would be helpful to the company as well. Cross training is key!

    Approves of CEO
  2. Management is extremely disconnected from the real world.

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

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great group of people to work with. I have met some of the best people who love the industry. Excellent top management.

    Cons

    Management is disconnected with what is really happening with their employees and managers. Managers are rude, and unfair to many employees. Instead of trying to make Columbia a better company managers believe that if you don't like how they do things you should leave, because we are right and you are wrong. The thought of management taking a idea from a general employee is appalling to middle management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your middle managers are rude, mean and back stabbing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  3. Great place for retail experience but not so for pay scale.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I was given weekends off within 3 months of working, lots of knowledge you gain about the DSD business and what goes on behind the doors at your local grocer, cheap beer in the dents room, meet lots of people at while servicing accounts

    Cons

    Pays about 4 to 6 dollars less then the competition within the beverage industry, not willing to promote merchandisers to sales team without a degree or sales experience, too many SKU's for merchandisers to service all at once.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push the merchandising team to move into sales or give out monthly incentives like a $20 gas card to the top performer, small little gestures like that will keep people around for a while.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Not a lot of growth

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

    I worked at Columbia Distributing Company part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    This job is physical so I didn't need to go to a gym after work. The teams all help each other, so if you have a fast day you go help a slower team. This means that most of the teams work the same amount of hours. I enjoyed the weekly free beer nights sponsored by Columbia brands.

    Cons

    Either you go home at a decent time and do an okay job or you do a good job and go home later. The longer the breaks and lunches you have the later you and your team goes home. Many people did not take lunches and it was generally frowned upon when you did take a lunch. My "breaks" were eating in my car while driving to the next location. Holidays are all hands on deck, so if you have Monday off and the holiday falls on Monday then you will only have one day off. The job is boring which leads to gossiping. The promotions they often talk about really aren't that great.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. Big companies often mean more opportunities!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Multiple Positions Over Multiple Years in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Multiple Positions Over Multiple Years in Portland, OR

    I worked at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I met some of the most wonderful people (that I still keep in touch with) at their Swan Island facility. I also loved some staff that moved to the Yeon location.
    We were permitted to spend some time forming committees to work on things like recycling, how to make bike riding to work easier, etc. I also enjoyed serving on the B Well committee and participating on the Portland/Hood to Coast teams. There was also good local fundraising, and programs/opportunities to volunteer or donate.

    Cons

    It is still the largest corporation that I've ever worked for. A large board was in charge while I was there, but at least we would occasionally still see the patriarchs of the business... maybe because I worked in a dept. where the staff had been there 20+ years. Columbia was bought by an investment firm (around 2012?), so the 'family-owned' and 'family-run' feeling is long gone. At that point, it feels like you are just a cog in a dispassionate machine.
    I didn't feel heard when I would talk about the fact that we represented so many companies and so few were here in Oregon. Oregon is a HUGE beer producer, and very few companies want to go with the 'big giant' because they feel like they will get lost in the crowd. After Columbia, I worked for their competition, and because they did a great job representing Oregon brands, they grew by leaps and bounds.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In departments like Purchasing and Graphics, we were often not told about company functions, tap takeovers, etc. My journey to LOVE and know beer while working there was not fostered. It seems they assume we are not in sales, we wouldn't enjoy the events, products, etc. Do NOT ASSUME everyone in accounting, HR, graphics, reconciliations, etc. do not love craft beer, cider, wine, etc!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. A+ Culture / C+ Technology

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

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company

    Pros

    Working in the beverage industry lends itself a plethora of perks. Overall, the people working in this industry have a lot of fun and take great care of their employees. I've never worked with a better group of professionals.

    Cons

    I think the technology has been the achilles heel for Columbia. There are a lot of opportunities just in the technology space. While it might not be perfect, we are working safely to navigate options,

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue taking care of the people.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Mismanaged company that does not care about employees or compensate well.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good environment, meet nice people, get to travel around and not stay in the same place a long time.

    Cons

    Supervisors always send merchs to other teams and then are short staffed and have 10+ hours a day
    Pay is ridiculous. Start at 11/hr and you can't make more than 13/hr. Pepsi and coke both start at 15/hr. You do not get raises. Several people I work with were told they would get a raise after working 90 days, and didn't get the raise until after a year.
    Most team members are rude and talk badly about other merchandisers, even the lead merch and the supervisor.
    Management pays no attention to employees except to discipline them. They treat us as expendable and always fire the good workers and refuse to fire the ones who don't do their job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show appreciation for the hard work we do.
    Actually give rasies, or at least pay more to compete with other companies.
    Hire and fully TRAIN new hires and treat them good so they want to stay and have a reason to want to do a good job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Pay is good as a driver…that is all.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Delivery Driver in Kent, WA
    Current Employee - Delivery Driver in Kent, WA

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The only reason to work here is for a pay check, and benefits, nothing else. Don't expect any other pros.

    Cons

    this company doesn't care about its high turn over rate. If they could hold you at gun point and force you to work for free they would be more than happy too. Be ready to work 60 hours a week and be told its not good enough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't walk around like your poo don't stink.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. Potential to move up quickly if that is route you want to go.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    This job is great for people who want to be on their feet and stay pretty active. You can move up in the company really quickly if that is what you are looking for. If you dont have a college education this is one of the better paying low stress places to work, and you can take night and/or online college classes around your work schedule! The people are almost always nice, and we like to have fun while still making sure things are properly done.

    Cons

    Too much turn around because people realize it is way more physical than they originally thought and the sups dont interview people, they just hire from express. We are almost always short people and still expected to do the same amount of work which is absolutely exhausting. The company should be more willing to financially reward those who really do take pride in their work. The lack of communication runs rampant in this company, Most the time we dont know when we are losing or gaining a product until after the fact.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to the people that actually stay with the company and put a lot of effort into making sure things are done correctly. Make sure all supervisors are relaying information to leads about new products or ones we are losing. The little guys are the ones that keep this company going.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11. Positive work experience and a supportive company to get your career started. Active in the local community.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Merchandiser in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Merchandiser in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Columbia Distributing Company full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits if you see yourself there for the long term. Active work environment that takes care of their employees.Good work-life balance but opportunity for extra hours if you want.

    Cons

    Can be physically demanding and having to deal with customers that arent technically the company's. Promotional opportunities are limited but good training and guidance is provided if you care for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More company/district/division meetings - makes it easier to work for a company once you have actually seen management / HQ.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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