Schwan's - Route Sales Rep (Trainee) | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Schwan's

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Helpful (6)

"Route Sales Rep (Trainee)"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - RSR (Trainee) in Fargo, ND
Current Employee - RSR (Trainee) in Fargo, ND
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I have been working at Schwan's full-time (Less than a year)

Pros

You are needed because retention rates for RSR's is moderately high. Good management at my depot. They are concerned about your development as a route driver. The company has a new CEO and is making a push for a better work/life balance, i.e. work 4 days a week for 12-14 hours each day. Weekly pay and opportunities to fill other route days to make more money. The highest compensation that I actually believe that an RSR can make for a year is about 80K for a 20 year RSR who has had the same route for many years. 2 year RSRs make about 40-50K.

Cons

Just finished my 4th week as a trainee. Current pay is $115 per day for fourteen hours. Comes out to about $8 per hour. Driving in all kinds of weather conditions, traffic, dogs, heat, cold, etc. If you are on a rural route restroom facilities are limited, even if you had time to stop and go. Sometimes it comes down to asking a customer to use their restroom (which is unprofessional) or going outside. I have heard of several RSRs soiling their pants because they were trying to hurry up and not stop.

This job is a balancing act. Company requires you to run about 70 stops on your route day while still expecting great customer engagement/service. If your stops are spread out you might have 30 seconds talk time per customer to take the order, then pull product from the truck, return and complete payment. Customers don't want to be rushed, and want to engage for a bit (especially the elderly ones) and take their time perusing the product book. It is unfortunate that we often have to contact the last 10-15 customers on our route that we can't get to them tonight because DOT rules for drive time have kicked-in. The customers say "why does Schwan's schedule so many customer stops per day"? Good question. If I had 40-50 stops there would be enough time, but then my total potential compensation for the day would be greatly reduced due to lack of commissions because of lower sales. The experienced RSRs know which customers will be home, who the good buyers are, and when they can skip them until next time. etc. What sucks is when you run somebody else's route and you don't know the customers you can skip over.

Equipment problems cause many heartaches. Truck problems, hand-held device problems, inventory problems, etc. GPS system can be challenging at times.

Advice to Management

Spare no expense on top-of-the-line equipment and training. Cut route stops to 40-50 and adjust the commission rates so that a decent level of compensation can be maintained with fewer stops.

Other Employee Reviews for Schwan's

  1. Helpful (1)

    "RSR in Everett WA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - RSR in Everett, WA
    Current Employee - RSR in Everett, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Schwan's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great customer, coworker and manager. Good benefits 40% off food.

    Cons

    Very long hours. The pay keeps changing and I am making less every time for the same work.

    Advice to Management

    None


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Still too many hours for what we make"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Route Sales Representative in Ottumwa, IA
    Current Employee - Route Sales Representative in Ottumwa, IA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Schwan's full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Mostly great products
    Employee discounts up to 40%
    Decent medical & dental insurance, although expensive. Vision coverage is worthwhile ONLY if you live near one of the participating providers
    Customers become good friends over the years. You get to watch their kids grow up (since you're not home to watch your own kids grow up.) Some customers even give you leads on a better job.
    Minimal supervision/interference once you leave the depot in your truck. Your success or failure is largely determined by your efforts.
    A good sales week means a bigger paycheck. A decent route will generate $60K+ annual income.
    Some customers value good, consistent service & will tip you in cash. It's an extra $50-100/week in untaxed income.

    Cons

    Every two or three months, another good selling product goes on the "limited availability" or "while supplies last" list. Customers get pissed off when one of their favorites is discontinued. Some cancel service because we no longer offer this favorite product. See also Chocolate Almond Ice Cream, or Green Bean Fries. I don't think anyone in Marshall, MN has embraced the basic concepts in The Long Tail
    New products are sometimes hit or miss when it comes to consumer acceptance & sales volume. See also those nasty Mac & Cheese Bites as well as the Southwest Chicken Panino. These same new products are often discontinued before long.
    You work stupid hours (12-14 hours per day), including most holidays. Customers look at your strangely & say "Dude, it's New Year's Day. What the hell are you doing here?"
    If you get a holiday off (usually only Thanksgiving & Christmas), you have to make up for it on the weekend. Do your holiday shopping early (or online).
    If your truck breaks down, or if your handheld computer fails, or if anything else goes wrong to sabotage a route day, you have to make it up on the weekend.
    If you are sick or have a personal issue or medical appointments or dental work or anything else that prevents you from running your regularly scheduled route day, you have to make it up on the weekend (or lose a day's pay).
    New 2014 compensation plan (the third one in the past five years) can kick you in the balls when you take vacation. If the person running your route while you are away tanks it (because the customers don't know/trust this person, because this person doesn't know their way around your neighborhoods or they're new & don't know what they're doing, because this person is lazy, or whatever), you lose money through no fault of your own.
    Ridiculous expectations regarding how quickly you can get in & out of the average customer's home. Your time is budgeted at 4 minutes per customer. If you service a group of customers (i.e., several people at a business location instead of a single person at a residence), you get 1 minute for the group as a whole plus 1 minute for each member of the group. A stop at the local high school to catch 7 teachers and 3 admin staff is budgeted at 11 minutes total. Good luck catching them all in one spot, each with an order list in hand. And even if you do, good luck filling those orders in 1 minute each.
    Ridiculous expectations for in & out times also lead to ridiculous expectations for how much free time you have to knock new doors and build your route. You may be required to join weekly conference calls if you are not meeting expectations for average daily sales and/or average new customer acquisition.
    If you follow your daily service manifest in exact order, you lack any ability to deliver consistent service times to your customers. The computer system changes your route sequence almost every trip. You might show up at a customer's home today at 11:00 am, and then show up at almost 1:00 pm the next time.
    Route scheduling/routing software has no clue regarding traffic patterns. streets with no parking on one side or the other, etc. You will also likely also find yourself serving one customer, then driving down the street to serve another customer, then making a u-turn to serve a customer next door to (or across the street from) the first customer. (You could have served #3 while you were parked in front of #1.)
    Schwan's requires you to take a 30 minute break during the day (even though the DOT no longer enforces this rule for driver/salespersons). The break is nice, since I need a snack & a bathroom, but interferes with my ability to meet the scheduling demands for customers. If you take your break even one minute late, or take a 29 minute break instead of a 30 minute break, you're in violation of the non-existent DOT rule. Do it too many times, and you wind up suspended or fired.
    New customers added to route are great, but automated system doesn't necessarily put this new customer on a route day when I am serving other customers on the same street. I might have to drive out of my way to get to them on a different day. I might even go into another salesman's territory (or vice versa).
    Turnover is about as high in the warehouse as it is on the sales team. This means that you will often find products missing from your truck, or loaded in the wrong door, making them impossible to find. Just as bad, you will often have customers request a product (which your handheld computer says you don't have) ... only to discover a few hours later that you actually have the product. Either way, it results in lost sales and in frustration for both you and your customers.

    Advice to Management

    1. Spend more time in the field. Jump in some trucks, both with experienced RSRs and with newbies. Take notes, and then TAKE ACTION to make things better for both your customers and for your employees.
    2. Field test new products more thoroughly before rolling out to the field & building sales expectations on them.
    3. Keep more old products, even if they're available on a "pre-order only" basis.
    3. You need better tracking of product demand for out-of-stock items. Not every OOS shows up on the reports at the end of the day. For example, my customers still want to buy tempura shrimp or cream cheese wontons, but can't get these products. However, my end of day reports do not show the product demand.
    4. Promote from within. Too many people at TSL & higher positions have no idea what a day in a truck is like.
    5. Update your hardware & software. RSRs waste too much time waiting on HHCs to connect for credit card approvals, receipt printing etc.
    6. Remember where you came from. There's a BIG percentage of your customer base who look to Schwan's for comfort foods & favorite products REGARDLESS of carb grams, sodium, and other dietary factors. Offer alternatives, but keep the favorites.


There are newer employer reviews for Schwan's
There are newer employer reviews for Schwan's

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