Schwan's

  www.theschwanfoodcompany.com
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Schwan's Reviews

Updated Jul 29, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.1 210 reviews

31% Approve of the CEO

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Dimitrios Smyrnios

(26 ratings)

18% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There are still some good people within the organization (in 10 reviews)

  • My route had great customers, not all routes are that lucky (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Can be some long hours, because your customers have to be home for you to make a sale (in 36 reviews)

  • upper management cares about numbers not the person (in 17 reviews)

More Highlights
210 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Route Sales Rep (Trainee)

    RSR (Trainee) (Current Employee) Fargo, ND

    ProsYou are needed because retention rates for RSR's is moderately high. Good management at my depot. They are concerned about your development as a route driver. The company has a new CEO and is making a push for a better work/life balance, i.e. work 4 days a week for 12-14 hours each day. Weekly pay and opportunities to fill other route days to make more money. The highest compensation that I actually believe that an RSR can make for a year is about 80K for a 20 year RSR who has had the same route for many years. 2 year RSRs make about 40-50K.

    ConsJust finished my 4th week as a trainee. Current pay is $115 per day for fourteen hours. Comes out to about $8 per hour. Driving in all kinds of weather conditions, traffic, dogs, heat, cold, etc. If you are on a rural route restroom facilities are limited, even if you had time to stop and go. Sometimes it comes down to asking a customer to use their restroom (which is unprofessional) or going outside. I have heard of several RSRs soiling their pants because they were trying to hurry up and not stop.

    This job is a balancing act. Company requires you to run about 70 stops on your route day while still expecting great customer engagement/service. If your stops are spread out you might have 30 seconds talk time per customer to take the order, then pull product from the truck, return and complete payment. Customers don't want to be rushed, and want to engage for a bit (especially the elderly ones) and take their time perusing the product book. It is unfortunate that we often have to contact the last 10-15 customers on our route that we can't get to them tonight because DOT rules for drive time have kicked-in. The customers say "why does Schwan's schedule so many customer stops per day"? Good question. If I had 40-50 stops there would be enough time, but then my total potential compensation for the day would be greatly reduced due to lack of commissions because of lower sales. The experienced RSRs know which customers will be home, who the good buyers are, and when they can skip them until next time. etc. What sucks is when you run somebody else's route and you don't know the customers you can skip over.

    Equipment problems cause many heartaches. Truck problems, hand-held device problems, inventory problems, etc. GPS system can be challenging at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpare no expense on top-of-the-line equipment and training. Cut route stops to 40-50 and adjust the commission rates so that a decent level of compensation can be maintained with fewer stops.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    NO FAMILY LIFE

    Route Sales Manager (Former Employee) Sikeston, MO

    Prosdrving cold in the summer

    ConsLong hours minimal Pay.
    Routes are hard to make money on.
    upper management cares about numbers not the person.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake care of you employees. They are your company. Reward everyone for hard work it takes just as much effort to run a high$ route as it does a low dollar route.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Zero concern for Employee and Customer Safety. Profit is the only concern. Sales are tanking. Glad I'm gone.

    District Sales Leader (Former Employee) Marshall, MN

    ProsNo longer any pros for working here. Don't get sucked in. It will be a waste of your time and energy.

    ConsThey could care less about the safety of their customers or their employees. These are just 3 issues in the last 2 months. Think about how many more over the years have occurred. Many more of which never make the news.

    According to the FDA’s May 7, 2014 Enforcement Report, Schwan's Food Company is recalling two types of canapés manufactured by Holiday Foods that were prepared with ingredients recalled by Parker Farm because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The Parkers Farm products that were recalled included cheese spreads, peanut butter, cold pack cheese, and other products.

    Schwan Unit To Pay $2.5M To Settle Calif. Robocall Suit
    Law360, Los Angeles (May 06, 2014, 4:34 PM ET) -- The home delivery unit of frozen food giant The Schwan Food Co. has agreed to pay up to $2.5 million to settle a class action alleging it placed automated calls to consumers’ cellphones without their permission, according to documents filed in California federal court Monday.

    Mar 13, 2014, 1:33pm EDT OSHA fines Schwan’s for alleged violations in Atlanta - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Schwan’s Global Supply Chain Inc. $264,360 for 32 alleged serious safety and health violations at its Atlanta facility.

    Check these out and you be the judge.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are the problem. The sad thing is You know it. And You care less as long as You get that next bonus and You get another day closer to retirement.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Still too many hours for what we make

    Route Sales Representative (Current Employee) Ottumwa, IA

    ProsMostly 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.

    ConsEvery 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 Senior Management1. 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Was once a great company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsExcellent class act product line, paid vacations, 401K match, excellent optional life, AD&D, short, and long term disability, dental, and vision insurances, 40% discount on home service products when you sign up for rewards and order online or through their contact center otherwise discount is 20%. Opportunity to make a very nice high end middle class income as long as you don't mind putting in a lot of time to do it.

    ConsMedical insurance has change to the high deductible plans and are no longer worth very much. Recent pay changes affecting Route Sales Representatives, Bonus structure changes affecting Territory Sales Leaders and Sales Distribution Support Supervisors and the elimination of the opportunity for Chairman's Club for the TSLs and SDSSs which was a very nice merchandise award or trip for exceeding 5% over sales plan for the year. Everyone bonus eligible is not depending on the entire company to make its profit goal and not just the individual location. In reality all the above is compensation changes that are negatively impacting your field employees. More senior management being hired from the outside in hopes that they will have the magic bullet to fix Schwan's when in reality all they do is bring more chaos in upon the long term employees. Outdated Hand Held Computers, printers, and GPS units which cause much frustration in the day to day duties of a Route Sales Representative.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you really want to fix your employee retention problem them stop messing with your field employee's income. Retention is going to get much worse before it gets better and also don't plan on your engagement scores being very high this coming summer because all these changes are going to affect that too. I do understand the current business state is difficult and needs to move to the desired state but it still impacts us negatively. Please replace your outdated hand held computers and GPS units for everyone involved including the customer. You asked for constructive conflict. This is as transparent as it gets.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Route Sales Representative

    Route Sales Representative (Current Employee) O'Fallon, MO

    ProsGreat company and great schedule..Work at your own pace. Compensation excellent. Must retain great customer service and that is the key to success

    ConsSome long hours on occasion and must work weekends or days off to cover for holidays.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Customer Service

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Bloomington, MN

    ProsExcellent people with an engaging culture

    ConsTakes time to move in roles

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good Solid Company

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSolid Company.
    Great Products, Home Service and Consumer Brands- Some world class products!
    Good Equipment.`

    ConsAs good as any other company out there.
    All companies are changing and investing.

    Advice to Senior Management#1 Priority must be Culture! "Employees"
    Culture = Safety, Culture = Profit

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Losing its Luster

    Sales Manager (Current Employee) Bloomington, MN

    Prosvariety of food types it produces, lots of R&D resources to work with

    ConsIt is so hard to get the highest quality management candidates to relocate to MN, so Schwan's repeatedly settles for mediocre management types (who have been let go from other companies) to fill senior roles. This leads to a viscious cycle of repeatedly turning over employees and making short sighted decisions which negatively impact the businesses.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire great people. Use best practices. Stop changing course all the time. Play to the company's strengths, do not dwell on its weaknesses. And--for goodness sake--have some checks and balances over decisions management employees are making.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    A decent place to start out a career in sales.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGood compensation depending on the job title, flexibility in scheduling of hours.

    ConsToo much expected of field employees, too many incompetent field employees. Too many hours demanded when incompetent fellow employees drop the ball (Drivers, CSR's, Merchandisers, etc.)

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry to focus on the work/life balance of your field employees more, not just your administrative staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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