Southern Wine & Spirits of America "upper management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Southern Wine & Spirits of America Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Dec 14, 2017

To filter reviews, or .

3.2
53%
Recommend to a Friend
73%
Approve of CEO
Southern Wine & Spirits of America CEO Harvey R. Chaplin
Harvey R. Chaplin
171 Ratings
Pros
  • "Met some great people & life long friends(in 23 reviews)

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

Cons
  • "Upper management treats you like a number(in 21 reviews)

  • "Long hours can be hard and getting up early can be a bummer(in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "upper management"

Return to all Reviews
  1. "Great Comapny"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Wine & Spirits of America

    Pros

    Great People and work environment

    Cons

    Upper management is to busy at times. Company is going through some restructuring

    Advice to Management

    yes

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2014-05-13
  2. "Stay Away If You Can"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chain Sales Merchandiser 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Learn quickly to overcome rejection.

    Cons

    Terrible room for advancement. All the great positions are held for years. Early hours. Very little recognition. Upper management treats you like a number. Not an individual.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2017-12-15
  3. Helpful (3)

    "Open..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Delivery Driver in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The Union pay and its benefits ..New trucks , new warehouse.. Nothing else to say ... Nothing good...to say... If it wasn't for the union they probably would try to pay us $10 an hour.

    Cons

    Off day deliveries! The routing sucks! Florida should not be touching Minnesota routes! Should be done in house here in Minnesota! Upper management! Not in touch with reality!

    Advice to Management

    Get out in the streets with the drivers and see how it really works!

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2016-05-27
  4. "sales Representataive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America

    Pros

    the benefits were good. Good vacation time.

    Cons

    upper management didn't care about its employees,

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2016-04-10
  5. Helpful (7)

    "Take a pass on this company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Representative 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers. That's it, but I need 20 word minimum. Great co workers in the states I've worked in with this company

    Cons

    Subpar pay as much as 20% less than competitors. Subpar 401(k) contribution at 2%. Subpar health benefits costing money out of pocket more than average. Managers do not trust their teams to do work so for every account you visit there must be multitudes of documentation. Management of this company can only be described as 'lunacy' at a level I never knew existed. Upper management takes no accountability yet reaps... all the rewards. Subpar compensation for car usage; I averaged 35,000 to 45,000 miles a year which is much higher than the average American at 15k. At that rate I will need a new car in four years or less, but still owe on a five-year loan because of the subpar pay and the car will be worthless causing a roll over loan. If there is any compensation you have to pay out-of-pocket and expense back to the company sometimes they deny claims to pocket the cash back into Southern wine and spirits. The company resembles a leech off of their reps bank account. Everything comes out of the reps pocket and expensed back. They are now getting rid of corporate phones to save money and giving a very small stipend to use your phone and your data. Management will cap your incentive pay (which is taxed at 37.5%) if you do go above and beyond. They claim the supplier who put out the incentive will never pay X amount. 10 to 15% of programs do not pay money. They also create a minimum goal so that if you don't hit that number you get paid nothing. Goals are primarily unachievable and creates even more mistrust between management and employees. Management tend to 'skim off the top' by not giving incentive recaps on your monthly or quarterly goals. That way you have no proof that they withheld or moved the money around and they would hate to see that getting into the suppliers hands. If you do bring it up you will be belittled and chastised and possibly verbally abused for the "gross overstep" you have committed. I have never seen such low morale and high turnover rate within a company in my working life. I've seen it as high as 30% in a year. There is no training to speak of... they have a class that you take somewhere between six months and 12 months after your 90 day is over. Other than that you will go with your immediate manager to accounts and learn the tricks of the trade, and reporting system. After that your left to your own devices and expected within 30 days to produce positive results for the company and the suppliers. Suppliers and Southern wine and spirits do not care about state laws and will require you to work in gray areas of the law hiding behind a thin veil of 'semantics' as a way of getting around it to show results. They also do not care about family life or anything outside of the company that may benefit you personally. going back to school is frowned upon due to the 50+ hours you will be working for a 40 hour a week salary. Very few holidays to take off due to the fact that liquor sells more during these times... OND is it phrase you will learn to hate. These 3 months are also black out dates for vacation. OND is where the company requires you to work Saturdays on top of more hours to get stuff done for the holidays. Always with an excuse of "that's how the business works". Upper management is comprised of a network of nepotism and good old boys that look out for each other and keep reps at arms length from each other by dividing and conquering. blaming one team in one area for the problems of the other team in another area. they are masters of manipulation and miss trust and rule with an iron fist and as always a closed-door policy with no leadership roles and no to very few advancement opportunities. 95% of Southern wine and spirits is comprised of "entry-level employees" even if you've been working at that job for 17 years with a wealth of knowledge. If you do happen to break into middle-management you can expect to have zero personal life emails that come in at all times of the day, and a corporate bone shattering zealot mentality. My advice? Pass on this job. I have been looking for other employment as well but getting time off is next to impossible.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Learn to advance the right people, learn that your employees are your most valuable asset, learn from your mistakes that you are making currently, and please do not give a generic response asking for my personal information in an email so I may be fired because of your closed door policies.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2016-01-28
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Sales - 5 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Meet great people Great benefits- education, medical, dental Free booze? Ha!

    Cons

    Poor management training Long hours No work/life balance Encouraged to trick customers into buying what they don't want Good old boy network No reimbursement for expenses, car or phone Harassment from middle management Threats of HR or write ups in order to achieve goals No acknowledgement from upper management Blame game if and when anything goes wrong Wacky pay structure that can't be explained by the people... that designed it

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Have a REAL town hall meeting where your entry level employees can actually tell you what's happening on the streets. Treat your employees with the respect they deserve or you'll keep burning through money training inadequate replacements.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2015-08-01
  7. "Pushed out after 12 years"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Orlando, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Somehow the company has been still in business sense 1969..I guess because they still have some of the best brands in the market.Great local Managers but with no power.They keep good air condition in the office.They have great leftovers after lunch in the break room.They don't jump up and down if you come in to use the copy machine.After 12 years I'm now having trouble thinking of some Pros........ If you do go to... work for them just enjoy the time they will give you there to work..

    Show More

    Cons

    Don't appreciate your hard work...All the Hours that you put in for the company.They love to cut bonuses from you.The free trips that you work hard for ,go to upper management..You are like an outside contractor ,all expenses are on you..They use to say the sky is your limit on what money you could make,but they really don't want you to make over what they want you to make.They have great suppliers , they just... demand too much.. And the company bends over to keep them happy..

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    You say at every meeting ,if it wouldn't be for the great sales team we have the company wouldn't be here today..Well how about showing the sales team you do appreciate them..

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2015-07-30
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Southern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    District Manager in Union City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Wine & Spirits of America

    Pros

    Your immediate coworkers help you get through each day because you all endure the same hardships. They are the reasons you stay as long as you do.

    Cons

    upper management doesn't really have a grasp on what happens on the ground level and are unappreciative and disengaged. thanks is rarely given, and when you do hear anything its generally to criticize. Morale is low and its created an environment of general distrust and unhappiness.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2015-06-29
  9. Helpful (2)

    "Worst Job I Ever Had!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Administrator in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Health, dental, and vision benefits. Pay was decent.

    Cons

    Terrible raises. I had four people that I supported while others had one or two. Yet, I wasn't given a raise last year! The performance reviews are done backwards. The people you support give input into your review and the review is done by someone else who doesn't understand your job and has no clue about the industry. Constant change, never stable. The job isn't an admin assistant, it's more like a sales analyst... position without the pay. Hardly any time off around Christmas and New Year's. Nobody was happy there and there is high turnover. Treated like second class citizens by upper management who hide in their locked section of the building while having lunch delivered to them every day.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Check out what the managers below you are doing or not doing. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Get rid of the dedicated parking spaces for upper management. Quit spending so much on lunch for meetings! You all put your pants on the same way as everyone else, so don't act as if you're Gods.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2015-01-24
  10. Helpful (14)

    "Beautiful Disaster"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - On Premise Sales Consultant in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Southern Wine & Spirits of America full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you have a genuine passion for well-crafted wine and spirits, great food from top-tier restaurants, and drinking wine at 8am on a Friday morning, you might just like working here. They provide substantial training and offer decent benefits, as well as paid holidays and a fair amount of vacation (2 weeks per year). You'll have the opportunity to work with some great restaurants, utilizing your monthly expense... account to help expand your business by showing your support (lunches, dinners, happy hour, etc). You will also receive a monthly car allowance to help offset gas and vehicle depreciation. Considering the miles you will most likely be driving, this helps. With a summary like that, how could you not be intrigued?

    Show More

    Cons

    Let me tell you why you should not be intrigued, and move on to another job posting. Lower and middle management are pretty good. Direct superiors are respectful, knowledgeable (well, mostly), and willing to help where they can. Their superiors try their best to provide leadership and act as a positive barrier to upper management, which is where the real cluster #### is. If you've read it once, you'll read it... again...Southern is an "Old Boys Club," run by egotistical, power-tripping "suits" who couldn't be further from understanding what's actually happening with your accounts, let alone the market. Whether or not you hit your goals, which they set every month, doesn't matter. If, at the end of each and every month, you sell whatever "emergency" they need sold, because they (as upper management) promised too much to the suppliers (a very common occurrence), you'll be golden. However, the emergencies are often cases of not-so-great wine, placements of some crappy flavored bourbon, or something else that your accounts wont want, and you will have to "buy it in" in order to get them to take it. Meanwhile, you're not making any money on it, as there is usually no incentive attached to selling it, and the time it takes you to make these sales happen continually degrades your opportunity to develop and maintain relationships, as you're always asking for favors. Sound like fun? Let me continue... There are CONSTANT out-of-stock issues with every day items. Every day items include wines on glass pour lists, spirits on cocktail menus, and popular, every day brands that people like. The reason this happens is because the main warehouse is too small to house all of the brands that SWS carries, so cases of wine or liquor will literally sit in a container right outside of the warehouse for (sometimes) weeks on end. When you have a customer who uses a particular product consistently, they will not be happy when you tell them they can't have it for a few weeks, especially after you sold it to them. Also, if the product does happen to come in, but your account has already had its delivery for the week (most get one delivery per week), guess who gets to load up 1-15 cases of wine and booze into your car and hand deliver? You guessed it! Be ready to do this 2-3 times per week and have a customary "I'm sorry" speech prepared for your buyers. This is a very large portion of the position. The pay structure has been broken up for different markets. SWS has a base plus commission structure. $28K plus 2% commission on sales from the brands in your book. Sounds pretty good if you're selling $1.2 million annually, as well as receiving incentive money from suppliers. However, if you happen to have a territory in the metropolitan area (Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland), be ready to "share" your sales with 2 other reps in your accounts. The Diageo brands (Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Bushmills, etc) have their own sales force within the company who will try to take your business from under your nose. No one really likes them. The rest of the portfolio is divided between you and another rep who mirror each other in all accounts. With stiff competition coming from other distributors, as well as the competition coming from your own coworkers, you're very lucky to be hitting $800k-1 million per year...in a MAJOR MARKET. If you happen to receive a territory outside of that area, you'll still have a Diageo rep in SOME accounts (not nearly as many), but you'll also have the entire rest of the portfolio to sell and make money off of. $1-1.3 million annually is very attainable. If you're dead set on working here, go for full book. I could go on, but I will spare them some dignity. TL;DR: The downsides outweigh the upsides. Go sell software.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Improve the culture of the company. Give people more incentive to want to do well in their job and market share will improve. Invest more in infrastructure and make sure all management is on the same page with direction.

    Southern Wine & Spirits of America2014-11-14
Found 21 reviews