Topco Associates - My Comments | Glassdoor
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"My Comments"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Buyer in Skokie, IL
Current Employee - Buyer in Skokie, IL
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Good Benefits, free samples of different product

Cons

Too much politics in the office

Advice to Management

Need to implement a reward system

Other Employee Reviews for Topco Associates

  1. "New Management is weak"

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to be a VP or higher - passing the blame to retailers, suppliers, or brokers and allowing the new CEO/EVP's to assume all the credit for succeses

    Cons

    Turnover out of control - people in roles they aren't qualified for - Sr Management a bunch of yes men to retailers

    Advice to Management

    Focus on what the retailers join Topco for...procuring product....stop listening to a few of the retailers (one in particular) that is challenging Topco to be more than you are capable of being...stop bringing in new VP's that have no people skills - partner with good suppliers and stop bidding process...you are cutting the quality of the products which will be the death of your organization and a number of the retailers


  2. Helpful (6)

    "A "House of Cards""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Topco Associates, LLC is a good place for entry level employees to start their careers. If you land there, you can develop strong contacts throughout the retail grocery industry and also the private-label CPG industry. This can lead to better opportunities later in your career.

    Topco is also a good place for senior management regarding salary structure and bonus potential. The cooperative is very profitable and the ability to maximize bonuses is good for now.

    Cons

    Topco has undertaken a strategy of "change before it is needed". They reference companies in the auto industry as examples of "dinosaur"- like companies that did not change quickly enough and then suffered huge, sometimes fatal, setbacks. Topco has taken some positive steps to correct issues ("retirement" of the CEO in late 2011 was a big one), but other upcoming changes seem to be taking Topco away from its "core" business - which is procurement through aggregation.

    New leadership (not just at the CEO level, but also at the Sr VP and VP levels) want to take this company in a new direction of being a "single solution" for the member retailers. This means focusing on total category management and analysis - which may be a duplication of efforts that are already in place at most member retailers. .

    For example, Topco has been talking internally for several years about how to best leverage a category on both the Private Label and National Brands sides. Even though Topco is best known in the industry as a PL company, it also has a small group that works on behalf of the member retailers on National Brand opportunities. The National Brand effort is small compared to the other Topco business, in part because the members have not completely embraced this initiative - which hinders Topco's efforts to engage large CPG companies. But, perhaps the biggest issue is that the leadership at Topco is completely unaware of how to make the National Brand initiative work. They do not focus on it at all and leave the VP in charge of the department alone. This has proven to be problematic, especially within the last two years as the leadership of the National Brands department at Topco changed. Current leadership of this department has not taken the time to "learn the core" business, either, and is not succeeding. Senior leadership is not fully aware of the issues in the National Brands department but will more than likely figure it out once some key members speak up.

    The retailers join Topco for the benefits of aggregation and it remains to be seen how being a total solution can leverage the aggregation process and provide a value to the members or the CPG community. These new initiatives at Topco will require strong leadership at many levels internally (which is not a given) and also strong support from the member retailers (which means that the member retailers will truly have to work together....which is a pipe dream). Topco may be better off to understand that it is better to be profitable in your core business than to try to expand into areas where there may not be opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your core business. There are so many current gaps in distribution in the core that if even a small percentage were addressed, there would be growth. Topco needs to get better at the core business before looking elsewhere.

    Also, monitor your Sr VPs and VPs alot more closely. Currently, there is one EVP. There needs to be another one in place soon....perhaps even more than that. The VP level has far too much autonomy and is liable to make some strategically bad decisions. These bad decisions are almost a given within the current environment.

    Focus on all departments, not just the big ones. If you have decided that there is a need for a department (program), then don't let it sit off in the corner of the building and "do its own thing". Understand what that department needs to be successful (and that could mean something different by department and not a "cookie-cutter" answer). The National Brands department is a "diamond in the rough". Upwards of 70 percent of the products in the member retailer's stores are Branded products, yet virtually no focus is given to this effort within Topco and the current leader of the department is strategically weak and unaware on how to proceed.

There are newer employer reviews for Topco Associates
There are newer employer reviews for Topco Associates

See Most Recent

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