Derse Reviews | Glassdoor

Derse Reviews

Updated November 27, 2016
28 reviews

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2.9
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Bill Haney
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28 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Most rewarding career to date!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Derse full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people at Derse are among the best reasons to work here, and the tenure in the Dallas office speaks directly to this point with over 33 people employed for 10+ years, 6 of which have been here since the Dallas office opened in 1996. This industry – unlike any other I’ve worked for – consists of a truly dynamic life-cycle model where the work of each individual touches that of another, all the way through the job until billing is complete, so the employees at Derse tend to go above and beyond to ensure each project is seen to completion to the best of our ability, every time.

    The quality of our work at Derse never ceases to impress me. I marvel at the creativity and ingenuity of our designers, and am fascinated when I see the work being produced out in the shop to see how it all comes together.

    The Derse community as a whole is one I take great pride to consider myself a part of. Every division of Derse is involved in giving back to their local communities in one way or another, and any time someone within the immediate Derse family is struggling everyone truly rallies around to offer both emotional and financial support as they’re able.

    Cons

    Like any mutli-divisional company with a primary corporate office I feel communication could be disseminated better out to the field offices. Annual all-hands meetings driven by the corporate office are good, but we should continue to elaborate our company goals to employees throughout the year, calling out divisional successes to give appropriate recognition where it’s due, and addressing missed opportunities so we can learn from the experience to rise above and put out a better product next time.

    While the workload can be aggressive at times and it sometimes feels like we’re all working at capacity, I don’t think there could ever be too much cross-training. When we do have an individual out of the office there should always be someone who can support them up in their absence to make it as seamless to the client as possible. I believe employees would gain valuable insight & appreciation for the necessity and complexity of each individual’s job if they had the opportunity to cross-train throughout the division to see how their work affects others, and vice versa.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate successes more frequently. Praising work done well instills pride, and pride encourages a level of expertise to be sought after going forward. When pride is at the foundation of our work, everyone wins.

    Distribute show site pictures of booths created so that the “paper pushers” of the business can see our hard work in action. Very few people actually travel to show sites, and unless a booth is constructed fully on-site then the people working behind the scenes never really get to see the finished product. Seeing our high-quality work in action brings us back to the personal pride we each feel knowing we all had a hand at some level in making it happen.

    Identify and reduce, if not eliminate, toxic staff. When a member of the team is dissatisfied and actively creates a hostile work environment, it’s critical to identify the problem, work toward a reconciliation with the individual(s) responsible if able, and, when necessary, replace them with more apt employees who not only appreciate their office and co-workers, but take pride in the results of their work and the company as a whole. Every company experiences some level of strife and dissention, but when it escalates to the point of antagonism and insubordination it has the potential to affect everyone in their wake and this should be reduced as much as possible.

    Communicate our annual objectives by division on a more frequent bases in order to help everyone understand how their role is vital to our success as a company. Maybe it shouldn’t be necessary, but reiterating the importance of each individual in their role ensures a sense of belonging, and everyone, at every level, wants to know that they’re needed and valued.

    Derse Response

    Apr 21, 2016

    First, thank you for such a detailed review. It’s clear you are passionate about your work and fostering a tight-knit, supportive environment for all employees. You play an important role in making ... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Don't be fooled by longevity of employees"

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

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

    Pros

    Multiple locations. Decent benefits. Flexible scheduling. Different products to sale

    Cons

    Very few personnel on branch level. Very concerned with overhead costs, over bids on estimates, loses too many sales. Quick to cut staff, staff turnover. Hires newbies to industry for cheap. Very unhappy employees
    A few lifers. Watch insurance
     Self insured, hr views all of your claims, don't know if this is even legal! They approve all costs.

    Advice to Management

    Quit being so top heavy in corporate. Give your branch offices a chance to flourish. Cut some of the corporate peeps, real sales are in the field. Hire project managers


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Good Working Relationship"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Multi-media Designer in Hummelstown, PA
    Former Employee - Multi-media Designer in Hummelstown, PA
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Derse (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Although, my full-time contract position ended, I am currently working for them on an occasional freelance basis.

    - Good pay for contract work.
    - Almost all professional interactions with people in the organization were overwhelmingly positive.
    - Open to creative input from contractors.
    - Paid invoices promptly and without hassle.

    Cons

    As is the case with most design firms (and indicative of the industry itself), deadlines are very short, and very late nights and weekend work is a given much of the time. But, one should know this going in. It's the way it is.

    Based on conversations I've had with full-time employees, if you have ambition to advance in the company, the work-life balance is hard to maintain. You'll be working a LOT of hours.

    Derse Response

    Mar 4, 2016

    We appreciate the feedback from a contract and freelance perspective. We take great care in selecting the right people for outsourcing, which means we look for smart and talented people to compliment ... More


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  5. "Account Coordinator"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Derse full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It is a great atmosphere. The work culture here can be intense at times, but overall we all work together to get things done. Attitudes like this is what sets Derse apart from many other companies.

    Great place to work if you have a family. I am a busy mother of three and am always on the go. They work around doctor's appointments, conferences, games, concerts and more.

    Cons

    Our industry can tend to be overwhelming at times. Long hours and weekends. Very stressful if you are not organized. One has to be strong in multitasking as well as thinking quickly on one's feet. It is a very demanding job, and, honestly, it is not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management would be to know your people, and appreciate your people more. A "thank you" or a "good job" really goes a long way in this industry. Remember happy employees = happy clients = more sales! :)

    Derse Response

    Feb 15, 2016

    I’m glad you enjoy working for Derse. You’re right, this demanding industry isn’t for the faint-hearted, but we know our employees’ wellbeing is very important. I’m especially proud to read that ... More


  6. "Paradise in Tradeshow? Naw... but it's stable and secure"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Las Vegas, NV
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Well grounded and financially conservative company. Overall sense of team-work is present for a company of this size.

    Cons

    Some procedures are out of date and need revising for the times, we are told this is being looked into but as with cautious and conservative companies, things do not change over night.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to your people, it is sometimes difficult sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to problems (what IS the real problem, etc). Continue to avoid emotionally charged or "knee jerk" decisions.

    Derse Response

    Feb 11, 2016

    Thank you for taking the time to post. We appreciate your continued service. You’re on target with your comment about listening to employee issues and not responding emotionally. We stress with our ... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great group of talented & creative professionals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Director in Waukegan, IL
    Former Employee - Account Director in Waukegan, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Derse full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with a great team on cutting edge designs. One stop shop for creation of exhibition designs, graphics, experiential marketing & lead capturing. Whatever a client may need concerning exhibiting, chances are there's a division in the company you can turn to help provide them a solution. My co-workers were friendly & helpful.

    Cons

    The SOD business system which feeds virtually every aspect of the company from creative, design, estimates, proposals, production & shipping, seemed pretty antiquated. Trying to manage a client account with a decent sized exhibit program, while also wading through all the minutiae of learning this system & figuring out all its requirements, quirks & short cuts, is frustrating & counterproductive. Derse has excellent Account Managers who know that system inside & out, make sure you get assigned one or have access to one you can share with another exec.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Hard-working, creative company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Derse full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Creative atmosphere. Employees care about the clients.

    Cons

    Although creative drove the strength of the company, sales account executives were treated like overpaid rockstars. Can be hard to fit in, many of the employees have developed long-standing clicks.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Company needs to stop allowing hostility in workplace."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Administrative in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Derse full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Modern building. Non-management colleagues are nice.

    Cons

    Hostile work environment with a fear of failure instilled in employees. Zero tolerance for errors. Many times employees were yelled at either behind closed doors or in the open-concept office space.

    HR does nothing to assist when an issue arises. Union shop employees are not qualified and have been in their positions for too many years.

    Advice to Management

    Have calmer approach to issues, as they do happen.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "I gave it all I had.....yielding a very disappointing career move."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Derse full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The trade show exhibits designed and constructed at Derse are impressive. The Milwaukee facility has a nice and modern cosmetic appearance and incorporates modern technology for IT and in the conference rooms.

    Cons

    The training received was incomplete to the promised schedule and the assigned "mentor" at the time of hire was non-existent in providing assistance and supporting my success. Be aware that the shop is unionized, and many aspects of the union do affect overall company policies, culture, and will also affect what you can and cannot do in your job role. Also, the shop hours are different from the office hours which provides a misaligned environment for deadlines and daily work flow. Expect to be "on call" seven days a week, particularly during busy show seasons. The 30% travel requirement was made clear up front, however the "available all the time via cell phone" nature of the business is something that was not communicated up front and provides a poor work/life balance with hours per week that can easily exceed 50+. The internal operating system is a hybrid of different formats, leading to different departments using different report formats, and cumbersome duplication of lengthy work between the estimating and written sales order processes. Waste is also present, from scrapping display materials and components, to invoicing at large margins that consume client marketing budgets under foggy pretense. Both the hiring and exit experiences with HR had unprofessional elements to them including missed phone calls and inaccurate information on paperwork. Other reviews speak of an "every person for themselves" and "throwing under the bus" setting which I also experienced, even on the very team I was supporting. Last, if you do not like climbing stairs, the office layout is not good since nearly all the "desk" jobs are located on the second level accessed by two separate staircases (in addition to one elevator.)

    Advice to Management

    Underlying problems should not be chalked up to the demands of the trade show industry as a whole. Instead, the model being used needs to be taken apart, examined, and put back together with a fresh approach and perspective.


  11. Helpful (10)

    "Could be a good company. Needs a revamp!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milwaukee, WI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Derse full-time

    Pros

    Ok pay and medical benefits. Dental insurance.
    Some good employees.
    Quality finished products.
    Nice holiday and summer party for employees and their families.

    Cons

    There is no accountability, and information is not shared across the departments. Employees are not trained properly and the persons responsible for training don't have a complete understanding of what the company does or what each department is responsible for. The internal system in place is so overthought, exaggerated, and cumbersome. It takes more time fighting the system than it does fulfilling your actual job description. Responsibilities lye in the wrong places. The departmental managers are seemingly picked out of cracker jack boxes and have no real useful knowledge or any decision making power. I've never seen a company with so much back up information, randomly stored all over, but yet when a question arises no one has an answer. Peers blow off questions, but later, when it's too late, want answers. Good employees are often overlooked, while lazy, inefficient employees who put in more time, are considered valuable and are often praised or promoted. Upper management seems more concerned with the 9-5 mentality, rather than who is or who isn't getting their job done. Lacking common sense practices throughout.

    Advice to Management

    Ask your employees how things really work, and really listen.
    Allow for employees to anonymously review their managers.
    Worry more about who is/isn't doing their job, rather than what time they came in and left at.
    Enforce accountability!



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