Lawson Products Reviews

Updated July 22, 2015
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3.5
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Lawson Products President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. DeCata
Michael G. DeCata
21 Ratings

Pros
  • Management at the Cleveland Call Center has drastically improved (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • No one seems to be on the same page, a lot of underhanded activities (in 3 reviews)

  • Poor communication between corporate office and sales force (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. Not a place to grow your career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Des Plaines, IL

    I worked at Lawson Products

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You learn how to get a tough skin

    Cons

    Management consistently puts you down. Lots of backhanded compliments. They discourage taking time off. You will work 12+ hour days and are "encouraged" to work on the weekends. Advancements are based on based on skill level but how much you have in common with the management. ie... golfing

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with respect.


  2. Helpful (3)

    A place where sub par talent goes to die and those whose are intelligent enough to know better run away while they can.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Des Plaines, IL

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Compensation - There is a reason they are willing to give you exactly what you or your recruiter ask for and that is because this is their biggest selling point to get you in the door... and let me tell you... there is a reason for that. Wish I had more to say here but honestly there are some decent people but they are so far overshadowed by those who are awful its hard to even consider that a positive

    Cons

    Mind you I am writing this as someone a year out from leaving and I left on my own accord: - Poor "leadership" just trickles down - its hard to achieve a vision when your fearless leaders don't even understand what that means, not to mention no one is actively measured against goals - Management isn't even something that I would consider an active practice by most that call themselves managers at Lawson - Growth / Opportunities - when I was hired in I started with 4 other people - 3 of us left in under a year - working here is taking a backseat to growth while just sitting at your desk for 10-12 hours a day doing nothing or anything to just collect a paycheck - needless to say if you would like to regress in your career this is the place to do it - Corporate Culture - I will say it again - people go here to die - so if you can wake up for the next 40 years in the same thankless job, with the same problems everyday, and no way of getting any traction of fixing anything this is the place to do it

    Advice to Management

    I have worked at a handful of place, some good and others not so much, but Lawson was hands down the absolute worst place I have worked in terms of people development, feedback, and overall rapport between employees. My advice would be to honestly assess the way in which your people feel and the promises that have been made upon walking into roles but beyond that look at the way in which management is assessed in their abilities, most people managing here don't even offer constructive feedback when its solicited.


  3. 20 plus years experience in outside sales.

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

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Independent - did not have to punch a time card. Some products were exceptional. Didn't have to work in an office. Pay check was stable. Some product innovation.

    Cons

    Upper management changes constantly. Sales goals unachievable in a down economy. Pricing way out of line. Shipping costs passed on to customers killed many sales. Management just not in touch with reality. They act like Washington politicians.

    Advice to Management

    Start implementing some of what made Lawson great many years ago. Superior training of sales force made for superior customer service in the field. Currently there is little to no training whatsoever.


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  5. Hectic

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

    I worked at Lawson Products

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A learning experience in the beginnng with room to grow

    Cons

    No valid training, or if you do get any sort of formal training it is very minimal. Had SAP installment and that almost ruined the compnay for mgmt didnt look into the installment very well. It was a time thing and they installed the whole comany in a few months...The systems left were antiquated and there was no formal training.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your old time sales staff when Sid Port was living and the founder of the company...He knew how to run the company...Not run to the ground...


  6. A place where time, and your career, stand completely still

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Professional in Des Plaines, IL
    Former Employee - Professional in Des Plaines, IL

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The environment was fun. There wasn't a lot to do there because the company is a sinking ship. Everyone just sort of goofs off waiting to get their name called for the next lay-off.

    Cons

    Management in every facet of the business (Customer Service, IT, HR, Sales, etc) was completely inept. No one talked, no one got along, and no one agreed on anything. There is ZERO room for career advancement. They take the same people, shift them around, give them different titles, no pay increase and call it a promotion. They switched to SAP, the implementation proved to be a financial disaster. The family who owns the company is feuding, so the future for the company does not look good. If you were to walk around there today, most people would say they are extremely unhappy there. That the working conditions are below standards, and they don't believe in their management team.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the company. For a while you were bringing in outside, high-priced talent to try to turn the ship around. At this point there is no hope. It is clear that a once semi-strong company is now plagued with poor sales, no market presence, employees who have just given-up and don't trust who they are working for. So just stop the madness and close the doors. You sold all of your real estate, you let go all of your talented people who cared deeply for the company. Now it is just a bunch of strangers who don't work well together and are hoping not to get caught up in the next RIF,.


  7. Not a great place to work

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

    I have been working at Lawson Products full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are very little pros at this company

    Cons

    Poor management, they do not interact well with underlings The company appears to be in a bit of financial trouble, so many rounds of lay-offs have occurred, and more to come No one seems to be on the same page, a lot of underhanded activities No communication between departments, no filter of information from management to employees A lot of departments are changing leadership all the time, tough to get a handle on who is in charge at any given time Sales are not doing well, company seems to be headed for disaster

    Advice to Management

    Haven't been here very long, but I can see nothing is going right around here. Get some good solid leaders in place. Poll the employees to get a mindset of how people are feeling. No one seems happy here, so that means they won't work hard for you. Work on developing the talent pool you have, offer advancement opportunities and listen to the little people. The management around here seems at a loss.


  8. Lawson Products

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

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Used to be Independent Agents

    Cons

    Agents no longer are independent agents

    Advice to Management

    Go back to Independent Agents-- They have more to gain if they are independent and work much harder


  9. Helpful (1)

    Lucrative and productive until the company lawsuit affected industry perception

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Independent Agent in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Independent Agent in Jacksonville, FL

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    No micromanagement; Independence (set your own work schedule, appointments and work flow). I've won many awards and the company is great about acknowledging your hard work. You can work from a residential office but this requires discipline in order to meet/exceed your quotas. Consumer perception of company is well recognized in the industry. Quality product lines. I was proud to represent this company amongst competition.

    Cons

    Despite hiarchey of managment, competition between agent and district mgr is condoned since they have their own personal book of business and territory overlaps. High priced product line makes it difficult to secure bid awards. Company's indeciveness and financial upheavals impacted a loss of tenured, valuable agents up to corporate heads and CEO. Realignment of regional mgrs and district managers caused a mass exodus as the company attempted to downsize their salesforce after the $35 million lawsuit. Inquire about their turnover now. Based on repetitive current job openings, they still have issues with retention..at least in this area.

    Advice to Management

    Formerly a great company to work for until company MO changed. Very disheartening to see valued, tenured volume producers leave. Take stock in your most valuable asset-your Lawson employees (the review ratings could be bolstered)


  10. Helpful (5)

    Outside Sales Beware!

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

    I worked at Lawson Products

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good Products and people at corporate that care but often are unable to help due to policies.

    Cons

    100% commission. 100% funded by you no gas, car, clothing, entertainment, or other reimbursement. Push you to purchase samples to show customers but you have to buy the samples and pay shipping. Prices higher than competitors in the same market. YOUR commission has to be cut in order to get sales and then it hardly pays to go to customers due to automotive expenses.

    Advice to Management

    Give all reps car allowances like you do in California. Look at pricing in different markets and lower them without starving out the salesperson. Get the managers to learn the complete sales process from cold call to install and maintain so they can support the sales force. I mean ALL the managers DSM to national. Choose samples to send o reps that everyone can sell then send enough to give out to customer to try. Your profit margin is plenty high to be able to do this.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Unorganized very hard company to work for and make a living

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Territory Account Representative in Baton Rouge, LA
    Former Employee - Territory Account Representative in Baton Rouge, LA

    I worked at Lawson Products full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I can't think of one positive thing to say. Government team director arrogant and demeaning, Engineering dept. knows less about product than new hires, basically flip through catalog to find products if not there they send you to specials which you cannot contact if you have been there less than a year. ridiculous strategies.

    Cons

    BDM's offer no help, instead suckle off the hard work of the individuals that actually bring revenue to the company. There is no accountability for BDM's.

    Advice to Management

    The training provided by the leaders in Chicago is a joke you all spend way to much on the top eight products and transactional sales. Focus more on VMI and what you profess separates Lawson from the competition.



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