School Specialty Reviews | Glassdoor

School Specialty Reviews

Updated October 12, 2017
197 reviews

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2.5
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Joseph Yorio
51 Ratings

197 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people with a desire to produce great work and make the company better (in 14 reviews)

  • Work-life balance is excellent at this company (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management isn't good at all (in 19 reviews)

  • Benefits were cut, no raises for years, involuntary time off with no pay (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Decent."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Care Advocate in Bellingham, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Care Advocate in Bellingham, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good local people. Company sponsors weekly lunches during the busy summer season. Three weeks of PTO for full time employees, plus holidays and paid volunteer hours. Decent benefits otherwise.

    Cons

    Upper management has tried to push corporate alignment across all business units, but does not think about how changes will effect business units of drastically different functions.

    Different departments within the business units are sometimes at odds with each other, which is unfortunate, which may stem from middle management.

    Very slow to deal with promotions/pay increases.

    Advice to Management

    Think about individuals, and the separate business units within the company. Try and work more with each-other, instead of being at odds.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Not The Best Place To Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Distribution in Mansfield, OH
    Current Employee - Distribution in Mansfield, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The only good things about this job: The friendly coworkers, the money, and the simple tasks.

    Cons

    Cons. So. Many. Cons. Let's see, the upper management for the most part has NO IDEA what the employees are doing nor how to do the functions that they're supposed to be doing. Plus they don't know how to run things. They tried taking people from every other area to focus on one and that backfired. Gee, I wonder why? Oh yeah, cause when one area can't keep up, they all shut down. Not only that, but you have constant 10-12 hour days for what seem like months on end which drain every fiber of energy you have. Plus they never communicate well. We've had several instances when everyone on one shift left except one person because upper management never informed them. Then we've had issues with breaks where management wouldn't let us know if we'd be taking a break or not. Then there's a lot of people (mostly youngsters) that constantly get on their phones when they're not supposed to. We've had those people reported for it before, but nothing ever happens. They're still there. Another problem, they don't enforce their rules. I could keep going, but those are the main ones.

    Advice to Management

    Work WITH your employees. Don't just hide elsewhere. We wanna see you work just as hard as we are. Learn every function and prove you know it. Also, stop pushing everyone to maximum exhaustion. It's ridiculous. Put more emphasis on caring for your employees instead of caring more about work getting done. It's obvious that employee happiness and well-being is last on your list. Seriously, get yourselves together and work on getting better or else this place will become a total failure.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Best to pass up position"

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

    I have been working at School Specialty full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It is a steady job, and a paycheck.

    Cons

    We are always consistently understaffed. With exception of two supervisors, the remainder have never done the job. They came from a competitor, and try to run as a call center, instead of a care center. People leave faster than they can be trained. Our upper mgt is more concerned with the numbers of phone calls answered, than if any issues are actually resolved. Our sales has dropped, because of lack of meaningful service, and hugs transportation issues. I would not suggest anyone work here. The mgt structure will eat you up, and spit you out. The specialty group has been on overtime of some sort for the better part of a year.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management has been told time and again what is wrong. Although they provide lip service by having occasional meetings with the lower staff, nothing changes. All senior mgt lives out of state, and has not been on site for several months.


  4. "Marketing Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Greenville, WI
    Former Employee - Marketing Specialist in Greenville, WI
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of work to keep busy! Great employees and management in Marketing!

    Cons

    Because there was so much work to do, there wasn't much time for planning ahead.


  5. "I Had No Summer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Picker/Packer
    Former Employee - Picker/Packer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at School Specialty full-time

    Pros

    As a college student needing to make money during the summer, the pay wasn't all that bad and I loved my co-workers, which made coming to work not completely hateable. I worked as a packer and so the work was pretty easy during the day.

    Cons

    The hours. The hours were terrible. I was hired as first shift but found out they moved me to second shift the day that I came in for orientation so I didn't get a good impression right away from management. I was put into packing which I enjoyed right away until I realized that packers have to stay an hour later than pullers just to finish the boxes they had initially finished at the end of the day. Also, when I got hired, I was told that there would be a few Saturdays that we would have to work, but I wouldn't have to work all of them. I worked every Saturday (6-9 hours) in July and August and they would close the days for taking vacation so you needed to tell them you couldn't make it at least a month in advance if you for sure needed it off. First shift worked 8-9 hour days tops while second shift worked 10-12 hours every day plus Saturdays. I was putting between 50-60 hour weeks in during July due to staying later for packing as well. Every meeting we would have at lunchtime with our supervisor was him just telling us that management is yelling at him because the employees aren't working as fast as they can, but I can tell you when I went to help out with pulling, you're constantly bumping into people. Later on, they started firing people every day for pointless reasons and then continued to yell at us even though we were losing workers so the pullers that were there needed to work even faster to make up the work of what the fired people could have done. I remember using the phrase, "Working here is like being on the show Survivor", this would refer to being pushed to your limits and being completely stressed out. We had people fired, we had people quit right on the spot (including a full-time employee who said "I'm done" and we never saw her again), many of us packers would have mental breakdowns just from how fast we would have to work to try and get out faster, but it never worked.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating us like we're stupid and don't know what we're doing. We all had lives this summer that got ruined due to you piling the work onto us and telling us we are all horrible at our jobs and it's our faults that we're working 11 hour days. Everything was our faults even if we got extra work added on 2 hours before our shift was technically done.
    I would recommend training a third shift to help out.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Bid Coordinator"

    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 School Specialty full-time

    Pros

    Good Benefits and good PTO

    Cons

    Training is poor and management does not understand the bidding process. They started downsizing and sales reps are quitting more and more because of the pressure put on them. It is up to the bid department to train the sales rep on strategies when they should understand their own customers. Stay away from this company. Overtime from Jan to June.


  7. "Estimator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at School Specialty full-time

    Pros

    Decent pay.
    Great vacation time. 3 weeks to start. 4 weeks after 5 years. 5 weeks after 15 years.

    Cons

    Top heavy.
    Process needs an overhaul.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Run don't walk - Bad Company, culture ended a long time ago. Now just harassment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Account Manager in Bellingham, WA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Account Manager in Bellingham, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good working hours with weekends off unless it's busy. Clean office. Great parking and a bicycle rack. Who could ask for more.

    Cons

    Horrible management team. Not experienced, no leadership, direction or training. Change directions like the wind. Pay is low and job is not what you are hired for. Beware. Commission is two months behind and big turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Leave. You are not qualified to manage yourself let alone anyone else.


  9. "Temporary summer position"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Picker/Packer
    Former Employee - Picker/Packer

    I worked at School Specialty full-time

    Pros

    Consistent full time hours available, shift differencial, team atmosphere on 2nd and 3rd shifts especially.

    Cons

    Working with the first shift employees (the ones that were there full time year round) did not seem to employ a team attitude, but instead many cared more about their own individual production. Management on first shift was also this way in some ways.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that your summer employees are there for the summer and would probably perform better and have better attitudes if not taken advantage of.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "School Specialty - Sales"

    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 School Specialty full-time

    Pros

    Used to be a great company.
    Used to be a fun company.

    Cons

    No longer, for a long time now, a great company.
    Compensation for Sales Reps got worse and worse.
    Once a sales force of 250-300 strong is now under 90.
    With margins in excess of 30%-35% in most territorys, overall compensation would usually be below 4% of of overall revenue, and its just getting worse.
    No longer value what the outside sales rep brings to the table.
    A progressive company like a WB Mason or something similar will soon gobble SSI up, which it appears they are trying to set themself up for.

    Advice to Management

    For the love of your employees, fire yourself now so the company may still survive before you lead it into the ground.


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