CustomInk Reviews in Reno, NV | Glassdoor

CustomInk Reno Reviews

Updated July 15, 2017
24 reviews

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Reno, NV

2.8
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CustomInk Chairman, President, CEO, and Co-Founder Marc Katz
Marc Katz
17 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits: Health/Dental/Vision/Life, FSA (2 (in 22 reviews)

  • Fun, youth-spirited, friendly work environment (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Currently going through growing pains (in 11 reviews)

  • Everyone here knows each other from high school (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Entry Level Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Logistics Associate in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Logistics Associate in Reno, NV
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CustomInk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - great coworkers
    -food twice a week (Tuesdays are snack days and Thursdays are full lunch) it rotates around local places
    - lots of snacks in the office
    - beautiful building
    - easy to make bonuses
    - interested in project ideas

    Cons

    - work can be repetitive
    - management is iffy in dealing with issues
    - not a lot of of opportunity for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Being more proactive about developing talent and being on top of issues would be good. I would hear a lot of grumbling from people who were there a while and did not seem happy with their long term outlook.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Used to be a great place - now, not worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Free snacks & free lunch once a week
    -Casual dress code
    -Opportunities to work from home
    -Good benefits

    Cons

    Although Customink does indeed have some cool features, it's nothing really unique. All the "cool stuff" like the free snacks and company events are ultimately overshadowed by the fact that working here is miserable. I'd rather have to wear business clothing and bring my own lunch to work than have to deal with the clear mismanagement that is prevalent at Customink.

    -Employees are severely underpaid. Many have to live with roommates and/or take a second job on top of the 40+ hours they work at customink due to the low pay. The company's logic is that since we get free lunch once a week, and working here is "cool," we don't need higher pay.
    -The mandatory overtime is obviously a huge complaint, but in some departments, it's used as a punishment. Employees in the printing department were seen talking and "hanging out too much" so they were forced to come in at 3am and work overtime for the entire week. Many of these people have children and responsibilities to attend to but the company doesn't care.
    -The company provides paid time off, but they severely restrict when and how it can be used. Employees are guilted into not even taking time off when sick -- we're told to "think of the team."
    -Managers are young and extremely under trained. They have the power to be "innovative" and make big decisions for the team, but ideas are often not thought about carefully, and changes in the company are constant and clumsy. Any time there's a change (about once a week), there's a major tech issue, mass confusion, and mismanagement. Managers often don't have the answers regarding the changes they helped implement. Even serious issues like sexual harassment are extremely mishandled.
    -The problem with management is that promotions aren't offered based on achievements, performance or intelligence - they're offered based on personality. The more person who applies for a promotion will get the job. Bribery with gifts, baked goods, and personal favors are not out of the question.
    -The company offers performance-based raises every few months. Every little thing we do is tracked and if you're productivity and accuracy are high enough, you'll earn a small raise of about 5% -- or that's what they tell you at least. The company tries to stick to a contrived "fun environment" where the "fun" is literally forced. If an employee doesn't participate in games, potlucks, dress-up days, and pep-rally style meetings, they won't receive the raise that they earned through performance. Some people just want to come to work and do a great job, but they lose out on money because they don't want to do Easter egg hunts, Secret Santa gifts, pajama day, onesie day, or "dress like a geek" day. We're treated like literal children, which is fitting, because management is so basic.
    -Being unhappy at customink is absolutely not allowed -- after all, its a "Great Place to Work" according to many. If someone is unhappy with one of many pointless changes in the company, they get in trouble. If someone fills out one of the many surveys the company sends out and marks their job satisfaction low, they get in trouble. The company uses surveys and weekly one on one meetings with management to gather information on employees -- we're told these things are a safe space to be 100% candid / anonymous and share our true feelings in a casual environment. However, that's simply not the case. If someone shows even a thread of dissatisfaction, it will affect possible pay raises, promotions, and annual reviews. Basically, if you have a bad week, it goes on your permanent record.
    -While the company is very oppressive for "team members," managers have it much easier. Customink pays for regular events for them like Happy Hours at local bars, manager retreats (they all go stay in beautiful cabins in places like Lake Tahoe), dinner parties, free lunches, etc. Management never solves problems because they all have the same idealist outlook and personality. Meetings are literal echo chambers.
    -Managers are also never around to support the team. They attend pointless meetings such as "brainstorming sessions" in which they come up with "ideas" - work related or not. Anything goes. They also have a weekly Book Club where they go to a coffee shop and talk about a book during office hours. Meanwhile, the rest of the team is toiling away with every movement and conversation meticulously tracked by the company. We don't get extra breaks or meetings, and there's not much free time. As mentioned before, we're discouraged from taking time off even when sick, but most managers show up to 2 hours late and leave early every single day. My manager shows up 10 minutes late & leaves about 45 minutes early every day but I had to have a serious meeting with him because I took 4 days off due to a major respiratory infection.
    -All in all, working at customink is exhausting and not at all worth it. There are jobs out there that will actually pay you what you deserve without all the games. Employees are sapped of energy and creativity and forced to be compliant in a system where management hardly knows what it's doing. Change is constant and clumsy. Many wrote it off as "growing pains" but it's much worse than that. Whenever a change is rolled out, nobody has the answers as to what is actually going on. Management often promises to follow up with details, but they never do.
    -On top of it all, the work/life balance is horrible- between mandatory overtime that is often added with no warning, unpaid emotional labor, and high social expectations. Employees are punished for doing things outside of work - posting negative things on social media, drinking too heavily on the weekend, cussing during lunch or after work, or searching for other jobs. If someone tries to leave Customink, many managers won't act as a reference because it's company policy to try and stop people from quitting at all costs.

    Advice to Management

    -Management needs MUCH more training. Most team members have serious resentment over management not working hard or being reliable.
    -Let people express themselves!!!! People are afraid to admit that they're dissatisfied with their job or with their manager because they'd be punished for it. The company has NO idea that about 70% of employees are completely miserable because we're bullied into acting like we're happy 24/7.
    -Stop promoting people based on personality. It's extremely obvious and very frustrating to those of us who have to be managed by people who are disorganized and unintelligent.
    -Provide more opportunity for promotions / advancement for people who actually work hard and deserve it.

  3. "good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Sales in Reno, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CustomInk (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The give you the keys to succeed

    Cons

    were growing fast and changes keep happening

    Advice to Management

    keep it up


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Expert Production Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Expert Production Artist in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Expert Production Artist in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at CustomInk (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Hardware and software were excellent with many tools to create the best job flow possible. As previous reviews mention, the people hired are excellent in every aspect, which can make the work environment enjoyable. Direct management will listen to questions or concerns but they are limited to their own managers input for any authorization.

    Cons

    Upper management is concerned with goals and production without regard of possible health or personal obligations that may rise. The work and life balance is unbalanced because it is a heavy goal oriented position. If something life changing were to happen, you need to be the most well rounded individual with excellent performance goals, otherwise expect to have a serious meeting with management.

    Advice to Management

    Consider the individual and not just the overall company goals. Hiring and training are expensive elements to any successful business, and there are many that will feel worn out by the goals set. It is not always mentioned to management but it is a known fact. These goals can drive away the best employees and when little exceptions are made to keep the better performing individuals, the company will quickly find themselves with higher turn over. The feeling I have now that I look back is that I was just a number, not valuable as a person, and unfortunately that left the worse impression, which has been related to friends and family. Word of mouth is strong and the company will ultimately find themselves spending more in advertising to regain loss of revenue because of their values.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "PRODUCTION - Best for some, worst for most..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Associate in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Production Associate in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CustomInk full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Retirement and healthcare are what differentiate warehouse positions with competitors.

    Cons

    This was a SALES company first, a very successful one at that. They decided to open production warehouses to cut out the middle man and merge into a market that has NOTHING to do with sales.... Production management is an atrocity... Turn over in both upper and lower level positions creates a revolving door of inefficiency. Lack of persistent leadership leads to lack of confidence from the higher ups, intrinsically leading to more simplified, archaic forms of quality control and benchmarks. These are production based earning institutions, meaning you meet goal and then make more money on any production post-goal. In most cases, the training you've received does not guarantee reaching just basic goal, at least not without any errors. The bottom line of this companies financial strategy creates pressure on the production floor that is surmounting. These are the lowest paid positions in the company, with the least amount of training and the most amount of expectation. In the end, these warehouses take advantage of the cities they're placed in. You have mass markets of high school graduates with a lot of retail and production backgrounds. Customink stands out because of the aforementioned benefits package and retirement, so for most of this populous, this is a great place to end up. For anyone actually trying to develop career skills and ascend in their status as an employee, this place is a sinkhole, lead by people who stuck around long enough to get promoted. The management positions in these facilities barely break 50k, you are salaried so your hours are variable, and you still have to deal with all previously mentioned backward momentum.

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiring internally for management positions. Realign financial goals and business plans to allocate more reasonable production goals and standards.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Look at the whole landscape"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Service Representative in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Sales Service Representative in Reno, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at CustomInk (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The benefits, people and customers

    Cons

    Favoritism, immaturity of most middle mamagememt, lack of communication

    Advice to Management

    Keep lines of communication open. Remember the Core Values


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Follow the Golden Rule"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -My co-workers have also become friends. They are creative, fun, energetic people with big hearts.
    -There's always food somewhere.
    -Amazing health benefits
    -Discounts to cell phone bills
    -Ability to work from home (if really needed on certain days)
    -Flexibility (this seems to be tightening up though)
    -CustomInk does a lot of volunteering and charitable work
    -CustomInk has multiple locations with the opportunity to move between them if you foot the bill
    -Great holiday party
    -Cool game rooms (if you ever have time to use them)
    -You can have your personal packages delivered to the office
    -Nice employee discounts on orders

    Cons

    -LOW. PAY. (I see here that CustomInk is an Engaged Employer, so I'm sure that whoever is reading this has seen this comment time and again. Please fully consider how many people are leaving this complaint- our expectations you give us as employees are astronomical and we get yelled at by customers and have to smile through it, so please give us a little more money or lower your expectations).
    -Mandatory OT that barely makes a dent in your paycheck and seems to come up at the last second or is canceled right before you arrive to work early (you need to constantly check your work email while at home or you'll have no idea what is going on)
    -The CustomInk Blacklist feels like a real thing. Management does not want to hear feedback unless it is glowing, positive, and covered in smiley face stickers. They ask for your opinions and ideas and shoot down every single one (although some will mysteriously appear as new policies or "something we're trying out" a few months later, but of course you don't get credit- it is now considered management's ideas. This is very Golden Rule, of course.) Once you give your opinion about things, you mysteriously never get promotions and end up pulling sucky tasks randomly. Weird.
    -Have a serious health problem? We say it's all well and good until you have to take time off. If you run out of Paid Leave while you're in the hospital, well... goodbye!
    -Expectations for quality, accuracy, attitude, productivity, and other categories are very hard to hit. When you mention this to managers they tell you they did 5,000 studies about it and you're actually wrong- you aren't overworked. But when was the last time they were in your shoes?
    -Be prepared to be graded on absolutely everything you do. While feedback is good and keeps employees accountable, this is ridiculous. We are graded monthly on calls, emails, chats, attitude, productivity, time available, overall attitude while you sit at your desk and eat popcorn, how many breaks you take and for how long- everything. You will be constantly scrutinized and you have to take it all with a smile, otherwise you have an "attitude problem" if you try to defend a choice you made with a customer.
    -They tell you there is no script for being on the phone, but there is a secret one. Customers who have been loyal to us for years are starting to notice this.
    -Company is becoming profit-driven rather than people-driven, as it once was. STOP. Stop thinking about how you're going to take over the t-shirt world and focus on your customers (who are starting to notice a dip in quality) and your Inkers, who are starting to get very upset with how they are treated.
    -Do you live in Nevada or Texas? Then forget ever working in a cool department or having a job that isn't order operations. You'll also be working late shifts forever.
    - STRESS. If you are a person who is easily stressed, don't do this. There are several employees who are now on anti-anxiety meds just to get in the front door of the office, and at least two people I know have had panic attacks.

    Advice to Management

    - STOP. Stop thinking about how you're going to take over the t-shirt world and focus on your customers (who are starting to notice a dip in quality) and your Inkers, who are starting to get very upset with how they are treated.
    -Give equal job opportunities to all locations. You send out invites to apply for internal opportunities, but it's not logically set up. If someone is based in Fairfax, they get all of the cool Inkternships. If you are based in another location, we can apply for those opportunities, but then we have to pay our way to the other location and live there for 3 months on our own dime. Yeah, that seems fair.
    -While outside perspective is important, stop hiring upper management from outside the company. They have no idea what we do and they are slowly killing our company culture and raising work expectation at an already-stress-inducing job.
    -Stop paying us with food and prizes. We are not children. We are not motivated by things like "If you hit 110% of goal every day for a week, you get a pizza!" or "If you do this many orders today, you get a ticket, and then you can enter this raffle with 100 other people who have fistfuls of tickets, and you MIGHT get an ipad you already own". I don't want your food. I don't want your tickets. I want money because I have bills to pay.
    -Listen to Inkers. You've let some amazing talent go lately because they spoke up about being unhappy with new policies. The fear of punishment for speaking up is REAL and until you show us otherwise, nobody is going to give you real ideas for how to improve as a company.
    -Stop telling us you "ran some numbers" and tell us who you are comparing us against for pay. For the stress we go through, you do not pay us enough- end of story.
    -Lighten up on grading our every single move. You say we have the power to make our own decisions but every single one of them is under a microscope. This causes undue anxiety and stress on Inkers.
    -Pay increases are a joke. If someone busts their butt for months and then gets a $500 per year raise, that is an insult. Give us actual financial incentives or watch employees start dropping off their quality and productivity, or even watch them walk out the door. Reno is becoming expensive because of Tesla and other Silicon Valley companies moving in. Please don't make us live in the bad parts of town just to work for you.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "There's a Lot of Hype"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Great people to work with
    -Free food
    -Casual dress
    -Amazing health benefits
    -Awesome work space
    -A lot of give aways

    Cons

    -High school mentalities from management
    -Absolutely no opportunities for advancement, unless you're best friends with someone
    -Low pay for extreme responsibility
    -Going through huge growing pains and only focusing on the bottom dollar, instead of the people they're serving
    -Management is passive aggressive, trying to point out how they're helping you in a positive manner but really it's condescending and they're really just being controlling
    -This used to be a great place to work but since higher management has been hired, things have gone severely down hill
    -Every second of your day to day is micromanaged and timed, even if you're going to use the bathroom, get some water, or spending too long on one customer
    -Mandatory over time, no matter what your personal life looks like
    -Says they want employee feedback and that they'll adjust business practices according to feedback but really they only adjust their verbiage when explaining what the next few months hold, while all business practices stay the same or very similar
    -You're punished by having your pay cut for every simple mistake you make. Literally, it could just be a typo but your check gets cut
    -You're responsible for pointing out other people's mistakes and affecting their pay check
    -Many different departments, that you'll never see or have the chance to transfer to in order to learn new skills or grow in the company

    Advice to Management

    The changes you're making to just get money, is going to cause this once awesome company to lose customers. Relax and start focusing on "WOWING" your current customers again. Also, your managers all behave like "Mean Girl" high schoolers. They're on a huge passive aggressive power trip. You should take the time to realize they're treating the people running your business like crap. Please stop giving us stuff for a reward. We come here to earn a living. If we're helping bring more money in to your pocket, put some extra in ours when we're doing a good job.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Decent money but mind-numbingly boring, stifling atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at CustomInk full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You are essentially paid by the order, so you can make a fairly good salary if you work hard. Also, there is usually some form of free food available in the cafeteria.

    There are a LOT of employees, many of whom are extremely talented and bright. The friends I made here are absolutely wonderful people.

    Cons

    The social atmosphere resembles that of senior year in high school. Every promotion opportunity is essentially a popularity contest and actual competence is given minimal consideration when promoting. Many people in management have absolutely no history or experience in management. To make matters worse, there is very little room for upward mobility. You might go up one or two positions, but that's it. It definitely isn't a place for long term growth.

    Face to face interaction is generally discouraged. Employees are instead encouraged to contact one another via instant message only, or to give good or bad feedback through their intranet system. Thus, actual human contact is kept to a bare minimum. I imagine this might be a pro for you if you are a true introvert?

    Every order you touch is graded, and if mistakes are made money is deducted from your paycheck. Productivity is also calculated (you must complete a set amount of orders per day). Failure to do so may eventually result in termination.

    Company bills itself as "innovative," but most process improvement suggestions from bright, experienced employees are discarded.

    The pay structure is unnecessarily complicated, with different tiers for each level of productivity and mistakes and how much each correlates to in terms of dollars. It makes for very unpredictable pay checks.

    The physical atmosphere is okay (cubicles), although the desks and chairs are notoriously uncomfortable (most people start seeing a chiropractor within six months of starting due to the poor ergonomics).

    Frequent seat changes, sometimes to high traffic areas where it is difficult to concentrate, or you may move to extremely cramped quarters. In 4 years, I changed seats almost a dozen times.

    Overall, to me it was eventually not worth the stress and lack of long-term development opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Revamp the management at the AM and Lead level. Give people a normal salary or hourly wage. Hire more mature, experienced people to be mentors to the ocean of embryos who are currently employed.


  10. Helpful (10)

    "Not worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Expert Production Artist in Reno, NV
    Former Employee - Expert Production Artist in Reno, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free lunch once a week

    Cons

    Stringent management, you need to kiss up to climb the corporate ladder. if you think t-shirts are your life long career then go for it. Just about every manager/supervisor has superiority complex and they do not listen to your problems or take advice. they only want higher positions to make more money and do less work. they're usually sitting around in their offices twiddling with their cell phones and creating mind numbing/useless agendas for meetings. its a huge waste of time in my opinion. and bad for the environment - think about it, where are these t shirts being made, and the water resources used for dyeing all these t shirts. Customink buys their inventory for CHEAP overseas and turn around selling a t shirt for $30+ for ONE SHIRT in the US - we need to create LESS NEED by consumers for the sake of the environments. Overall, as a sales rep or artist or printer, you earn very little pay and work like a mule. This is why people are scratching for higher positions - so they don't have to do anything and get paid more. One of the worst companies I've ever worked for, but the CEO is from Harvard, and his only goal is to make money right?

    Advice to Management

    dont let the managers and supervisors hire by favorite-ism and brown nosing, and if you hire a manager/supervisor for an art department please make sure they have ART EXPERIENCE & at least a DEGREE in art


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