Southern States Reviews in Richmond, VA | Glassdoor

Southern States Richmond Reviews

Updated January 31, 2017
15 reviews

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Richmond, VA

3.1
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Thomas R. Scribner
6 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Mid sized agronomy company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Easy going company culture and low stress environment. Currently providing me with financial assistance and flexibility to pursue a master's degree.

    Cons

    Recently went though restructuring and downsizing. This is a cooperative owned company, so pay is lower than at for profit businesses of similar size.

    Advice to Management

    Better explain shifts in business focus and progress the business is making towards that ends.


  2. "A Once Great Company Going Down the Tubes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern States full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The associates really do care about the customers and their needs.
    Very high quality animal and horse feeds, custom fertilizers
    Commercial chemicals are also top notch.
    Very good benefits & pay. Full time employee starts out with 20+ vacation days.

    Cons

    The company prided itself on promoting from within. The top brass all came up through the retail stores and knew what those employees dealt with. Not any more. Nearly all cooperate hires are now from the outside.

    Massive layoffs of higher paid, experienced employees.

    Each store could once mold their inventory to fit the needs of their local customers. Now it's cookie cutter one size fits all.

    Very poor or no exit strategies for slow moving merchandise.

    Horrible pos and inventory system rife with bugs years after being implemented.

    What was once a family atmosphere is now corporate in the extreme. Your just a resource not a person.

    Terrible work to lie balance. Required 6 day weeks for months at a time. Was told by someone in upper management that they "owned us".

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your front line employees. Go back to advancing from within. Free up your stores to order and merchandise based on the needs of their customers.

  3. "Business Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Southern States full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere, supportive, and interesting industry. Seems to have different opportunities to move into throughout future career. It's nice to have store locations relatively close to the corporate office that we can visit to see how the business is run in the field.

    Cons

    Takes significant time to learn the industry and data. Each division seems to have their own methods of data analysis and buy-in differs across different divisions.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent Corporate Office"

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

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

    Pros

    Compassionate management, work/life balance, opportunities to advance, stability, working with people who are very good at their jobs, low stress atmosphere.

    Cons

    None that should stop you from applying. Currently updating computer systems.

    Advice to Management

    Good communication from upper management in our group but would like to hear more from the new CEO.


  5. "Slow to Change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Virginia in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Virginia in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Improved employee benefits over the last few years, decent compensation, opportunities for advancement within organization, high rate of employee retention

    Cons

    An older company with very slow acceptance of new technology, difficult to incite change or implement new ideas due to multiple levels of approval and reluctance to change "how things have always been done." Layoffs happen every couple of years.

    Advice to Management

    A higher standard of consistency and decisiveness would be appreciated by staff.


  6. "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project and Process Manager in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Project and Process Manager in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southern States (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent benefits. Certain managers were on board to making changes to make a difference with how the company was run.

    Cons

    Senior management had a difficult time of letting go of the good ole' boy system.


  7. "Cooperate Office needs new leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    In general, most of the people I worked with were very pleasant and friendly. With a few exceptions, everyone cared about the quality of the work they were doing. Those who were known for slacking were laid off in 2012. Work life balance is great (8-4:30 with an hour lunch). Cooperate office has a cafeteria on site.

    Cons

    Middle level management has been there forever. There were no fresh and new ideas coming in. Felt like patching holes. Outdated processes and procedures. Same raise every year for each employee done by percentage.

    Advice to Management

    Best way to motivate people is money. A 2% raise is not going to keep talented people around. Make room for the younger generation to shine and take leadership. Look into updating your technology.

  8. "Operations Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Intern - Operations in Richmond, VA
    Former Intern - Operations in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Southern States as an intern

    Pros

    Nice employees and a dedicated staff. Farmer's market and health programs. Don't know if I can say much else. My HR lady is nice.

    Cons

    At least in my department, no one made an effort to talk to me, my manager never checked up on me, never had work for me to do, and overall was very absent, which left me with a lot of resentment and boredom for my ten weeks.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up with the interns and have work for them to do because this is supposed to be a career building experience and all the work I did do could have been done by a high school drop out.


  9. "Southern States Marketing Intern"

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

    Pros

    Awesome company to work for they are very flexible and understanding. Great team members to work with.

    Cons

    Older company so the atmosphere is a bit dry and boring.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Company lacks direction, does not live up to mission statement and values."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company attracts quality individuals at the store level.

    Cons

    Lack of consistent direction and leadership from corporate management. Company lacks focus and is increasingly relying on underperforming management imported from outside the company for direction. Company culture is in constant flux and no longer reflects the noble values of the mission statement. Southern States can still rely on it's employees but they can no longer rely on Southern States. Very likely the company will soon begin shrinking back to it's wholesale/milling core even as it amateurishly pursues retail expansion and continues driving away talent.

    Advice to Management

    Refocus company on the values that made Southern States successful - create a consistent company culture. Reform hiring practices as imported management has damaged company culture almost beyond repair.


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