I have been working at Woodgrain Millwork full-time (More than a year)
I'm pretty new (1.5 years into my stint here), and after multiple Fortune 500 corporations over 10+ years, this is my favorite by far!
That said, the company is smaller and privately owned, so no SOX! Also overall, a very good work life balance.
IT is a strategic enabler in this company, and there are great opportunities to make a difference. I've found a much greater ability to influence key behaviors and change than you find in a over-sized corporation where you are just a number.
We're small, but doing big work in areas of Infrastructure, EAI, B2B, EDI, SalesForce, SAP, etc. There are standards but also flexibility, and team members are truly respected.
One very cool leader is our CIO Connie - she is in tune with helping drive both business strategy at the corporate level, but also able to get into the weeds in terms of both business and technical.
She believes in governance and process, which many would agree is key to keeping a IT department and company moving in a common direction, but also understands (and is willing to listen) to legitimate needs to improve the process or provide flexibility.
For the most part the benefits are really good. E.g., time off and sick leave for hourly employees.
We do a lot of "promote from within", so there are good opportunities if you do good work.
Compensation has been a little low in the past, but this is improving and should be more on par with market.
And last but not least, the executives (and the 2nd / 3rd generation family members who direct the operations) are approachable - we are all real people and our culture shows it!
Like any company, we have our internal political challenges and of course dirty laundry. Some things are more difficult to change then others, so you have to wait to find the right opportunity, but most of this isn't a big deal.
Sometimes you might wish the family members had more of a "executive background" to have a better strategic drive, but in general the strategic drive is great. This is a minimal gap that is managed with patience and influence. (i.e., if you are going to complain about something, instead, present a well-founded suggestion for improvement and influence the management direction yourself!)
Advice to Management
Great job keeping the company personal. For me it's a fun place to work!
Consider hiring a COO from the outside to drive execution / alignment across divisions. We all don't know what we don't know, and you're learning too, which is perfectly fine.
Quit the random drug testing of your professionals. I understand why for blue-collar workers on the manufacturing floor, but for white-collar, it's demeaning and a waste of time. Manage people via the accountability model and save the frustration and wasted time/money.
There will be one interview with two people. i.e. Controller and Account Manager
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