Univar
2.2 of 5 84 reviews
www.univar.com Redmond, WA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Univar Reviews

Updated Apr 15, 2014
Univar – US – “Univar HQ”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.2 84 reviews

                             

52% Approve of the CEO

Univar President & CEO J. Erik Fyrwald

J. Erik Fyrwald

(27 ratings)

19% of employees recommend this company to a friend
84 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Okay Compensation and Good Benefits thanks to the Union"
    in 9 reviews
  • "Affordable benefits & decent work-life balance"
    in 3 reviews
Cons:
  • "Many good people are being forced to leave or are wisely leaving for the competition"
    in 5 reviews
  • "No room for advancement, no career growth advice"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
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  • Comp & Benefits
         
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  • No Opinion of CEO

 

Good place to work, growing company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Univar

ProsUnivar pays well and has great benefits. Company has undergone a lot of change, but is starting to see some progress.

ConsUnclear direction on how to move up within the company.

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

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Sales

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Univar

ProsHeadings in right direction with new strong leadership. Through a lot of changes now getting better. Move to Chicago was great idea.

ConsWe have been through a lot of change. We need to stay the present course and not shift again.

Advice to Senior ManagementStay the course. We will win !

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1 person found this helpful  

"Drifting" in the wind

Regional Purchasing Agent (Former Employee)
Strongsville, OH

I worked at Univar full-time for more than 8 years

ProsHours are decent, and pay is competitive with the market

ConsSenior management and executives make decisions without consulting local and middle management. No clear direction or vision seems to exist.

Advice to Senior ManagementCustomers are crucial, and when you lack consistency in your approach, you will lose (and have lost) customers.

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

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A sad, rapid decline of a company that used to be great.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Redmond, WA

I worked at Univar full-time for more than 8 years

ProsSomehow, Univar managed to hire and retain some really amazing people. I maintain friendships with a lot of the folks I met during my time there.

ConsWhere to start? I enjoyed Univar for many years, and then things started to change. New management came in and brought all of their "friends", which started the decline. Then more new management came in and brought their "friends" and the decline continued. A lot of clearly selfish decisions were made for good of upper management at the expense of everyone else. Long-term employees could see the problems, but they were ignored. We were told we wouldn't get bonuses or increases due to "budget cuts" while we were purchasing a private jet for the Pres/CEO. We were blatantly lied to in company meetings, made promises that weren't followed through, placated when there was nothing but more disappointment coming down the pike. I distinctly remember the new CEO telling us "only a few departments will be moved to Chicago for strategic reasons. The rest will remain in Redmond." Now, many departments have been moved (and I imagine it's only a matter of time for the rest), and many good, long-term employees have been laid off in order to rehire in Chicago. I chose to leave on my own because the environment had become so uncertain and frankly, depressing. No one enjoyed coming to work anymore and there was no employee recognition whatsoever.

The whole situation is pretty sad, because this is a company that used to be great. A lot of selfish decisions have brought the company to where it is today. I truly hope things can turn around and bring the company back to what it once was, but until some change happens, I can't recommend this environment to anyone.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the employees. Don't just ask, but actually make changes based on the feedback. Make decisions for the good of the company, not for the good of upper management. Be HONEST with employees. Even if the information isn't great, it's better to know we've heard the truth, rather than being lied to and having the rug pulled out from under us.

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

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Walk away!!Look but don't touch..

Manager (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Univar full-time

ProsGreat team working through different arcane systems although there is no set process and highly inaccurate master data. The workforce (both union and non-union) puts in 100% although they are never appreciated or motivated.

ConsUpper and middle management are old boys out of Nalco/Dow and only look out for themselves. Hardly any salary increases or opportunities to grow within the company. A 8% 401K match is given to select employees but not to all. Similarly, bonuses are unevenly distributed at the top with the leftovers given to the many. Supply Chain SIOP along with Inventory optimization initiatives are a farce!! HR department is not developed. Downer's Grove location is a mirage created to fool clients and increase sales..

Advice to Senior ManagementNone. They have never listened. A bunch of buddies who look out for themselves without any care for the company or its employees.

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

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3 people found this helpful  

"I cry every day on my way home from sheer mental exhaustion"

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Univar full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat co-workers
Good pay and benefits

ConsNo direction. Only short term focus for owner group to launch IPO and cut their investment losses.
Horrible communication at "leadership" levels.
No training, mentoring or feedback on performance
non-existent career opportunities.

Advice to Senior Management*Good luck. Your management teams are not truthful on how things run and how business is performing. This will become evident when Investment Houses come through and dig into the company details.
* Stop quitting. Ive seen over $250M spent on projects that we dropped when things got hard and it was deemed easier to start over than address the problems.
* Listen to what the employee surveys are not saying. There is no trust in Management and the people who could give the best input to your surveys don't fill them out because they don't trust you.
* Stop spending money on sales people and start building systems to support your customers.
* Stop mass emailing employees and ask them if they have ideas on how to grow the business. Delivery drivers, while hard working, should not be asked to recommend sales opportunities.

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

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Good Company, after many changes and acquisitions they have lost direction

Senior Business Development Manager Latin America (Former Employee)
Houston, TX

I worked at Univar full-time for more than 3 years

ProsLarge company, large presence within the US and Canada

Conslack of information systems, lack of internal integration / synergies, very small presence in LATAM, Europe or APAC regions

Advice to Senior Managementupon contact

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

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Great company but they are a little behind the times with technology

Black Belt (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Univar full-time for more than 8 years

ProsCompetitive pay, fair benefits and decent people.

ConsLittle direction from management. Lot of change in the past year with management

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the employees and understand that it takes time to turn a company around

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

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No Vision

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Univar

ProsNo deadlines. Easy going life

ConsNo career growth. Management is indifferent to the people growth.

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

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Stay Away!!!

Material Handler (Former Employee)
Twinsburg, OH

I worked at Univar full-time for more than 5 years

ProsWork here if you like walking into a bee hive every day of your life. The only perk is that you enjoy above-average pay (union contract) for a very hazardous job in an incredibly difficult environment.

ConsManagement has an aggressive, overbearing, union-busting mentality. They focus on harassing and overworking their skeleton crew of workers, or 'bodies' as they referred to us, instead of employee safety issues. Five major accidents occurred during my seven year tenure, including a major fire and two massive chemical spills that each leached into a local creek, killing everything downstream for over a mile. Hundreds of hours of federally-mandated, on-the-clock training also adds to an already intense workload.

Advice to Senior ManagementTour the Twinsburg, Ohio facility unannounced. Interview the first and second shift Materials Handlers without management present, if they allow this to occur. The first shift is comprised of the most senior, and hardened, of employees. They have been through hell and back, do not trust management, and will not truthfully cooperate for fear of certain reprisal. The second shift is comprised of the lesser experienced employees, and will be more candid. You will be astonished and ashamed at what you learn. You never know, it could prevent another million dollar accident, or worse.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Univar reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Univar CEO J. Erik Fyrwald. All 84 reviews posted anonymously by Univar employees.