Southern Wine & Spirits of America Reviews | Glassdoor

Southern Wine & Spirits of America Reviews

Updated October 9, 2017
389 reviews

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3.2
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Southern Wine & Spirits of America Chairman and CEO Harvey R. Chaplin
Harvey R. Chaplin
170 Ratings

389 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good benefits if you are in the union and you will never go thirsty (in 23 reviews)

  • Great people from VP's, managers, sales reps to office personel (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • corporate hierarchical mandated work life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • Upper management takes no accountability yet reaps all the rewards (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Key Account Specialist"

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

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time

    Pros

    Great team, manager, perks, and work/life balance

    Cons

    Sales pressure, lots of driving, will calls


  2. "sales representative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    probably the best overall wine and spirits book in the industry. Built by the reputable Lauber team.

    Cons

    Micro managed. The philosophy and practice of personal relationship building business skills one on one has been replaced by a " pushing out boxes en masse.. " dictator style management that has ruined, in my humble opinion, the entire atmosphere in the most important and prestigious wine markets worldwide. In short, SWS came in and removed knowledgeable, caring consultants and replaced them with box pushing foot soldiers for the most part. They've ruined the cultural aspects of our beloved wine industry.

    Advice to Management

    Attitude is reflective of leadership.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "The free liquor made it easier to drown your sorrows from a bad job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chain Territory Manager in Cerritos, CA
    Former Employee - Chain Territory Manager in Cerritos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free wine and spirits. You could create your own schedule as long as you start by 6:00am. If you got on a good team you could reap from the benefits of the sales in their territory.

    Cons

    Bonuses were unrealistic in most territories. You had to lie to meet your quotas, which your manager instructed you to do, and you usually didn't get your bonus unless you lied. Management also had you go to stores that were 80%+ EBT and most of their liquor left the store with a five finger discount. The compensation you got for driving doesn't cover the expenses from the driving. There were a lot of promises from the Recruiters that turned out to be unobtainable or nonexistent.

    Advice to Management

    Make goals reasonable and obtainable. Do not force the territory managers to go to stores that are a waste of time. Compensate your employees better. If the VP can drive a $120k+ car and get carpool violations and act like he is just getting a burger from McDonalds, something isn't right with that equation.


  4. "Very Smart Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - DSM in New York, NY
    Former Employee - DSM in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of brands to work with

    Cons

    Too many masters to work for

    Advice to Management

    share the love


  5. "Overnight shift"

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

    Pros

    Good pay and easy work. Nice family environment. Gives a good amount of breaks.

    Cons

    Slave work. Hard work. Overnight shift is killer. I had to take public transportation so the time traveling to and from work affected my performance

    Advice to Management

    Learn that the people is the most important asset


  6. "Don't do it"

    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

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Once you become union the benefits and job security are good

    Cons

    Lack of leadership
    Team work
    HR DPT and GM is by far the worst, EVER!
    Under staffed on all shifts
    Runs employees into the ground

    Advice to Management

    Hygiene is a must
    Keep relationships professional inside of the company
    Learn to have better work ethics/ Stop putting blame on others
    Treat employees like you'd want to be treated


  7. "Zero Value Placed On Existing Relationships"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Boise, ID
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Boise, ID
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility, typically a fun working environment, freebies, expense account, customer base is friendly, pretty good benefits, company paid phone, car allowance

    Cons

    "Regional" management 2 time zones away?!?! Said management had ZERO clue about markets outside of their home state. Also, there was far too much paperwork and reporting - spent more time on conference calls and spreadsheets than I did out selling.

    Advice to Management

    There is a guy in Ohio who would sell his first-born down the road to advance his own career. QUIT PROMOTING HIM!

  8. "Don't do it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chain Sales Merchandiser in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Chain Sales Merchandiser in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - cool people- loved a lot of managers
    - cool perks- free wine during quarterly meetings and events
    - independence- making your own schedule/ route each day

    Cons

    - terrible working hours
    - a lot more manual labor than any sort of skill
    - all male management
    - low base salary with not a lot of opportunity for commission
    - bad promotion structure- you can only get promoted if someone else moves on from their role

    Advice to Management

    - increase base salary
    - increase commission structure
    - have opportunity for more female management


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Be prepared to work hard"

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

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Not stuck in small office

    Cons

    You give hours and hours of physical labor to grocery stores who treat you like garbage, then you are left to dry by management who sits at their desk texting orders.

    Advice to Management

    Have realistic requirements

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America Response

    Jan 19, 2017 – Content Marketing Manager

    Thank you so much for your review. We are so sorry to hear of your negative experiences in working with us. Furthermore, we hope to take your feedback and use it as means to improve as a company.


  10. "energetic upbeat competitive atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    The management kept us reaching beyond our comfort levels to achieve greater goals. The overall company atmosphere was positive and encouraging

    Cons

    The pay structure was going through a reorganization and it was near impossible to determine how much we would be receiving on each pay check. The goals being set for us were increasingly challenging to meet and as management attempted to synchronize the goal system it dramatically altered the individual employees pay

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America Response

    Dec 1, 2016 – Content Marketing Manager

    Thank you so much for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the company atmosphere. As we go through certain changes, we rely heavily on employee feedback to see what works and what doesn't, so we... More


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