Schwan's

www.theschwanfoodcompany.com
There are newer employer reviews for Schwan's

9 people found this helpful  

Still too many hours for what we make

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Route Sales Representative in Ottumwa, IA
Current Employee - Route Sales Representative in Ottumwa, IA

I have been working at Schwan's full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

Mostly great products
Employee discounts up to 40%
Decent medical & dental insurance, although expensive. Vision coverage is worthwhile ONLY if you live near one of the participating providers
Customers become good friends over the years. You get to watch their kids grow up (since you're not home to watch your own kids grow up.) Some customers even give you leads on a better job.
Minimal supervision/interference once you leave the depot in your truck. Your success or failure is largely determined by your efforts.
A good sales week means a bigger paycheck. A decent route will generate $60K+ annual income.
Some customers value good, consistent service & will tip you in cash. It's an extra $50-100/week in untaxed income.

Cons

Every two or three months, another good selling product goes on the "limited availability" or "while supplies last" list. Customers get pissed off when one of their favorites is discontinued. Some cancel service because we no longer offer this favorite product. See also Chocolate Almond Ice Cream, or Green Bean Fries. I don't think anyone in Marshall, MN has embraced the basic concepts in The Long Tail
New products are sometimes hit or miss when it comes to consumer acceptance & sales volume. See also those nasty Mac & Cheese Bites as well as the Southwest Chicken Panino. These same new products are often discontinued before long.
You work stupid hours (12-14 hours per day), including most holidays. Customers look at your strangely & say "Dude, it's New Year's Day. What the hell are you doing here?"
If you get a holiday off (usually only Thanksgiving & Christmas), you have to make up for it on the weekend. Do your holiday shopping early (or online).
If your truck breaks down, or if your handheld computer fails, or if anything else goes wrong to sabotage a route day, you have to make it up on the weekend.
If you are sick or have a personal issue or medical appointments or dental work or anything else that prevents you from running your regularly scheduled route day, you have to make it up on the weekend (or lose a day's pay).
New 2014 compensation plan (the third one in the past five years) can kick you in the balls when you take vacation. If the person running your route while you are away tanks it (because the customers don't know/trust this person, because this person doesn't know their way around your neighborhoods or they're new & don't know what they're doing, because this person is lazy, or whatever), you lose money through no fault of your own.
Ridiculous expectations regarding how quickly you can get in & out of the average customer's home. Your time is budgeted at 4 minutes per customer. If you service a group of customers (i.e., several people at a business location instead of a single person at a residence), you get 1 minute for the group as a whole plus 1 minute for each member of the group. A stop at the local high school to catch 7 teachers and 3 admin staff is budgeted at 11 minutes total. Good luck catching them all in one spot, each with an order list in hand. And even if you do, good luck filling those orders in 1 minute each.
Ridiculous expectations for in & out times also lead to ridiculous expectations for how much free time you have to knock new doors and build your route. You may be required to join weekly conference calls if you are not meeting expectations for average daily sales and/or average new customer acquisition.
If you follow your daily service manifest in exact order, you lack any ability to deliver consistent service times to your customers. The computer system changes your route sequence almost every trip. You might show up at a customer's home today at 11:00 am, and then show up at almost 1:00 pm the next time.
Route scheduling/routing software has no clue regarding traffic patterns. streets with no parking on one side or the other, etc. You will also likely also find yourself serving one customer, then driving down the street to serve another customer, then making a u-turn to serve a customer next door to (or across the street from) the first customer. (You could have served #3 while you were parked in front of #1.)
Schwan's requires you to take a 30 minute break during the day (even though the DOT no longer enforces this rule for driver/salespersons). The break is nice, since I need a snack & a bathroom, but interferes with my ability to meet the scheduling demands for customers. If you take your break even one minute late, or take a 29 minute break instead of a 30 minute break, you're in violation of the non-existent DOT rule. Do it too many times, and you wind up suspended or fired.
New customers added to route are great, but automated system doesn't necessarily put this new customer on a route day when I am serving other customers on the same street. I might have to drive out of my way to get to them on a different day. I might even go into another salesman's territory (or vice versa).
Turnover is about as high in the warehouse as it is on the sales team. This means that you will often find products missing from your truck, or loaded in the wrong door, making them impossible to find. Just as bad, you will often have customers request a product (which your handheld computer says you don't have) ... only to discover a few hours later that you actually have the product. Either way, it results in lost sales and in frustration for both you and your customers.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

1. Spend more time in the field. Jump in some trucks, both with experienced RSRs and with newbies. Take notes, and then TAKE ACTION to make things better for both your customers and for your employees.
2. Field test new products more thoroughly before rolling out to the field & building sales expectations on them.
3. Keep more old products, even if they're available on a "pre-order only" basis.
3. You need better tracking of product demand for out-of-stock items. Not every OOS shows up on the reports at the end of the day. For example, my customers still want to buy tempura shrimp or cream cheese wontons, but can't get these products. However, my end of day reports do not show the product demand.
4. Promote from within. Too many people at TSL & higher positions have no idea what a day in a truck is like.
5. Update your hardware & software. RSRs waste too much time waiting on HHCs to connect for credit card approvals, receipt printing etc.
6. Remember where you came from. There's a BIG percentage of your customer base who look to Schwan's for comfort foods & favorite products REGARDLESS of carb grams, sodium, and other dietary factors. Offer alternatives, but keep the favorites.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

341 Other Employee Reviews for Schwan's (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Treat their workers like slaves

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

    I have been working at Schwan's

    Pros

    It's a job , the customers

    Cons

    Long hrs , some weekends , little pay compared to hrs worked , commission very little , they want you to be all about what you can do for Schwans nevermind your own needs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop drinking the Schwans kool aid

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    They treat there employees like garbage.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Rrd in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Rrd in Albany, NY

    I have been working at Schwan's full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    You get free pizza and all the boss live out of new york so you only have to deal with them on the phone or web.

    Cons

    you have to work holidays and if you get it off it is with out pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you only got to your positions because of the hard working people in the field

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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