Brickman Area Manager Reviews | Glassdoor

Brickman Area Manager Reviews

Updated Apr 11, 2014

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2.0
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Brickman Chief Executive Officer  Andrew Masterman (no image)
Andrew Masterman
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  1. Helpful (13)

    "Senior management is running the company into the ground. Scapegoats are a hot commodity."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Area Manager in New Albany, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Brickman full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are some very good people who work at BFS, mostly at the lower levels. There's also a deli on the first floor of the building that has really good food.

    Cons

    There are some great people who work at the Brickman Facilities Solutions corporate office in New Albany, OH. Unfortunately for the organization, none of those people are in upper management. The company has great potential, but their business model consists of selling any contract the sales team can get their hands on regardless of whether the company can really service it or not, then blaming the operations team for failing to service the contract to the customer's often impossible expectations and getting off scot-free, only to repeat the process until enough contracts have been lost that a layoff is needed. Time and again the operations team is put in no-win situations where it is nearly impossible to do one's job, then the blame from the people who put the regional and area managers in those situations is quick to come. Of course it's the lower-level people who get laid off, not the senior management who caused the situation in the first place with their incompetence. There is no consistency or sense of direction from upper management. Many a time I watched in disbelief as two or more senior managers would discuss a procedure or policy and fail to come to a decision, leaving the area managers with no clear directive on how to handle a situation which resulted in many things falling through the cracks and never getting done. There are no standard operating procedures at BFS; area managers are usually forced to guess on what to do in all kinds of situations, which of course results in chaos. There is also nearly no hope of promotion within the company. Nearly all positions are filled from outside regardless of the qualifications of the people already working at the company. Not exactly a good message from senior management. During the summer slow season the work/life balance is decent to good depending on what accounts you're working as some customers are more demanding than others, but during winter throw your plans out the door because you're going to do nothing but work. Management does their best to ruthlessly exploit their salaried employees, with 12+ hour days in the office followed by several more hours of working at home being the norm and expectation for no extra compensation of any kind. Comp time is a running joke among the area managers as management occasionally talks about it when prompted but refuses to follow through. If you work really hard, they might send a cart around to give everyone a cookie or bring doughnuts in, but that's about it. Emails and phone calls are nearly continuous no matter the time of day, so don't bother trying to sleep because you're just going to get another phone call or high priority email with the next gigantic crisis in a few minutes. Senior management also has no backbone of any kind and refuses to stand up to customers who try to weasel their way out of their contract or make demands that are clearly impossible to meet. They simply pass the demands down to the area managers with a shrug and then conveniently blame them when the impossible cannot be done, setting the stage for justifying another layoff. Since management's goal seems to be the artificial inflation of the size of the company by selling any contract they can whether it's good business or not, giving support to the operations team is not a high priority. During my time at Brickman a contract was sold that our billing system was not built to handle, but the sales team sold it anyway and senior management made no attempt to modify the system so that both Brickman and our contractors out servicing the sites could be paid, creating mass chaos since no one could get paid for their work. Typically, blame was then placed on the operations team for not servicing the contract correctly. At the time I left the company which was two months into the contract, not a single contractor had been paid for their work because the system was still not working correctly. If you are a contractor looking to work for BFS, please save yourself the trouble and don't bother. Many area managers do their best but are often put in impossible situations and the contractors suffer. Ridiculous demands from customers and problems getting payments to contractors are constant issues that cannot be permanently solved due to the lack of support that the area managers get from upper management. Area managers are forced to use archaic systems and procedures that are often redundant or don't work much of the time, resulting in endless problems getting payments to the contractors. Upper management is also only too happy to acquiesce to the demands of customers to lower their price, resulting in pay cuts for contractors while the scope of their work is increased, especially on fixed fee contracts where some customers expect their sites to look like multi-million dollar mansions but will only pay for the basic landscape service that the contract states but upper management refuses to hold the customers to the contract. Many good contractors have been thoroughly screwed over by Brickman due to the awful management and inability of the area managers to fulfill to promises that they are forced to make. Hopefully this long post is helpful to someone who is looking to be an area manager and gives them a realistic idea of what working at the BFS corporate office is like. It is a high turnover, high-stress, thankless position with little probability of advancement and no hope of extra compensation for the huge number of hours you must put into the job just to keep your head above water. Wages are poor for the amount of work required and getting burned out is nearly guaranteed. Don't expect anything but hypocrisy, empty promises, cynical manipulation and petty politics from upper management. I would only recommend this job to someone I really hated so I could watch them suffer in sadistic amusement.

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    Advice to Management

    The only way the company will be turned around is for senior management to be completely cleared out and replaced with competent people who care about their employees instead of seeing them as expendable pieces of equipment to be used, abused and then thrown out whenever the opportunity arises.

    Brickman2014-04-12
  2. Helpful (3)

    "Require better management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Area Manager in New Albany, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Brickman full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Quality people, quiet working environment

    Cons

    The upper level management seems to lack a business model. Structure was changed weekly as well as, protocol and process. It became difficult to figure out what was supposed to be the focus. Eventually the lackluster leadership cost the company 41% of the business and let half of the associates go.

    Advice to Management

    Get a business model and stick to it. Be flexible, yet focused. Hire stronger leaders.

    Brickman2014-03-30
Found 2 reviews