The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) Reviews | Glassdoor

The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
131 reviews

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2.6
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Rich Johnson
73 Ratings

131 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • In the wintertime, if the weather is bad (snow, sleet, freezing rain) we'll get a two-hour delay, or we'll be able to work from home (in 8 reviews)

  • great benefits that can't compare to any other company (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Management is into micro management (in 23 reviews)

  • It took a long time before upper management responded to any review (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Protected territory, customer support, tools to be effective in the field, on going training provided, thorough CRM system to track progress and history of clients.

    Cons

    Pay system needs updated to award strong performance by people in the field. Less bonus structure, more salary and commission.

    Advice to Management

    Keep refining the systems and specifically the pay system for the benefit of everyone in the organization.

    The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) Response

    Sep 22, 2017

    Your feedback is appreciated! Thank you for the positive remarks on our territories, tools, and training. We believe it is vital to arm our sales people with all the information necessary in order to... More


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Wear your life vest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jersey City, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Jersey City, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful corporate offices, Well branded since 1913.

    Cons

    Company has jammed Account Excutives with so much non selling products, services and labor intensive tasks that our selling week is down to three days, and often down to two selling days. Which is why revenues are falling for the past three years nationwide.

    Advice to Management

    Let your account managers sell full time five days per week and you will see revenue begin to grow, take away all non selling tasks, go back to the basics. We are not construction industry professionals, we are advertising professionals. Our customers need us to help them grow their business, not help them design and build a high rise.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "If you want to be treated like dirt and micro managed to death, this is the place! Glad to be gone!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, although starting 2013 you must pay a lot more for them.

    Cons

    They lie to you to get you hired, telling you how much growth the territory has in it; totally ignoring the reality of the construction market. The paperwork is unbelievable, yet you are expected to put in a full 8 hour day in the field with unrealistic expectations. This is the only place I know of where Account Managers who end in the top 1/2 of the company get reviews that say 'Unacceptable". And then there is the constant job threats because you can not live up to projections that only the top 15% of territories can live up to. This is a C+ product trying to make itself have the image of an A+ product.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micro managing everything possible; stop giving us more and more paperwork to justify your jobs. Stop lying to the team about how secure the company is and the growth potential the territories have.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "One very concerned employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The only good thing about our company is the 401K Its a shame I cant think of anything else at this time.

    Cons

    We are a sinking ship that has almost sunk. The upper management is closed minded and does not want to hear what the salesforce has to say. They are taking a once great company and totatly destroying it HELP US PLEASE SOON VERY SOON

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse. The Blue Book is not what it use to be. Help save our company or SELL US TO SOMEONE WHO CARES FAST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


  5. Helpful (6)

    "The Blue Book's value proposition is lacking.....not the sales team's activity."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Blue Book has done a tremendous job over the years maintaining the database of over 1 million businesses that are active in commercial construction, which is the fundamental asset of the company. Creation of BBBid, which allows general contractors and other buyers of construction services to readily review, access and communicate with this database, was a business innovation that set the Blue Book apart from any other construction resource. The technical support for these general contractors and others within BBBid continues to be outstanding, as is our customer service group. The BBBid plan room and the I Group are also a real asset to the project communication value of the Blue Book. Also, BPMSelect fundamentally is a terrific product, but does not seem to have achieved the results it should be due. Also, Vu 360 is a very good addition to the BBBid family of products. It should also be noted that the ProView “product” shows a lot of promise, as long as the Blue Book can continue to drive traffic to its website. Compensation and benefits at the Blue Book in the 6 years I’ve been with the Blue Book has been very competitive and fair. Vacation and personal time is one serious shortcoming.

    Cons

    In my opinion, BBBid has lost its value for many reasons, but fundamentally its value has been most significantly impacted because the GC’s have been allowed to abuse and overuse the vendor wizard search, resulting in most non-customers receiving for FREE nearly everything our paying customers receive. BBBid for many GC’s is simply a way to provide a free lead to essentially every business in the Blue Book’s prominent database in order to win at competitive bidding. I often see GC’s invite up to 90 different contractors for every trade via the vendor wizard. Paying customers are also provided “leads” which are assumed to be both public and private and of similar value as those from reputable lead services, but the leads are but a small portion that are actually available. And, they are often misdirected to incorrect classifications. Also we recently have added terms like “player’s list” and “awarded” projects that seem to suggest that we have the actual bidder’s list and the awarded GC’s for the projects, which simply is not the same as is provided by a reputable lead service. The opportunities we provide as a result of “leads” and BBBid has lost much of its value.
    Much of The Blue Book’s business model is based upon the calendar year of the printed publication. All of the online features are billed as though they are connected to the printed (mostly obsolete) directory. The best features of the online Blue Book, including BBBid are provided immediately for customers who don’t even begin to pay for the benefit they receive for many months. The Blue Book’s model is still based primarily on a two year non-cancellable contract, which today is obsolete. Most lead services today are offering shorter or month to month enrollments. No one else in this industry encourages a two year, non-cancellable, contract.
    In the past few years, the management has attempted to introduce many new products that have little value. Products such as BBSupply, ProQual, MyQual, Project Link/Source, etc. are used by very few in the industry
    In my opinion, most of the recent emphasis has been trying to give The Blue Book the ability to have bragging rights, like “the largest and most active construction network, from “design thru post construction”, and now we serve “the entire continental United States”. For example, The Blue Book added additional states to the network years ago and to this day still do not have account managers or any other employees there and have no one reaching out to the general contractors or facility managers. We say we actively serve the design community and yet our only product, BPMSelect, which was designed “for the architects….by architects”, is used very little.
    I work in a market/state that was added after BBBid was created, so the construction community does not have the long history of knowing the Blue Book as much as a resource, but more as a lead service. I’ve been able to maintain an income over $80K since I joined the Blue Book and am a past Presidents Club winner. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to be helpful to the entire management team, calling attention to areas that are either not working well, are truly a waste of time. I try make positive suggestions. I’ve not seen ONE manager at any level truly interested in making changes or speaking honestly about the currently misdirected energy and efforts. All I’ve seen is a push to micro-manage the sales team and create more wasted time and energy on issues that really do not help increase sales. I, like many others, am developing my exit plan for the near future.
    And, the most amazing of my observations is the fact that during the same time that The Blue Book’s powerful BBBid system was losing its effectiveness, the management team increased the cost to enroll by 78%. Now there’s a case study for a major university to tackle. Even the crazy idea to limit the number of general contractors the sales team could work with last year was amazing. The GC’s are the drivers of BBBid and the leadership actually decided it was better that we limit the number we can see to earn commission. I’d like to have been a fly on the wall to see who was in the room when that was decided. It’s because the culture of the company that ideas are not to be challenged. The current strategy seems to be to simply demand and monitor the sales team to do more, better and faster. And, what about our prospect leads, such as the “greater than five views”…..that used to be a great working tool, but in my mind has absolutely no accuracy or value today.
    The reality is that the pressure on the sales team will always be an inverse relationship to the company’s products value. The lower the value of the product, the more pressure there will be on the sales team to grow the business.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to recognize that the value proposition the sales team delivers no longer meets prospective customer expectations.. Our premier product, BBBid has lost it innovative edge and is totally unused or misused because of it. To say we provide leads to our customers is barely honest. Blue Book customers expect to get more for their investment. Management has to consider that low sales results are due entirely to poor sales activity. Management seem to have actvity confused with results. Demanding more and monitoring more is only driving good account managers from the business. Sales managers need to be more focused on creativity, training, encouragement and support as opposed to their current routines of trying to keep all of the boxes filled and checked on all on the new activity reports.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Proceed at your own risk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great 401k, 100 year old brand name.

    Cons

    First of all I hate to say it but to agree with all my colleagues who posted reviews prior to February 7, 2013 most of them hit the nail right on the head. The only reason I state before Feb 7 is that at the end of January all the AE's where asked by the company to write mandatory "Brag" testimonials about how great the company is, we were told to keep it positive and the testimonials will be used to help recruit account managers, failure to comply was not acceptable. I suspect all the reviews dated Feb 7, and 8, were posted by management from our "Brag" testimoniels. What are the odds that all of a sudden in a two day span ten great reviews would be posted. This is a dispicable effort by The Blue Book to control the ratings on Glassdoor.com talk about micro management. Sadly this is a company that has seen its heyday and because of bad management will not recover from this death spiral. Ask yourself would you want to work for a company that wants to control every minute aspect of your work day, shrinks your vacation time over a 15 year period, forces you to lie on your intinerary by making you fill in fake appointments for the entire first quarter, and demands that you write an embelished brag letter about how wonderful they are. If nutty, ridiculous, juvenille, absurd, ludicrous, dishonest, controlling come to your mind then welcome to The Blue Book.

    Advice to Management

    We sell advertising stop getting in our way we are the lifeblood of this company and keep you employed, our income is commission based, we need more time in front of our customers and less time in front of you.


  7. Helpful (8)

    "Do not believe the positive reviews! Sales force was bullied into writing them!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Account Manager
    Former Employee - Sales Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The 401K was good, medical went downhill starting in 2013, but still is decent. There is not enough money to overcome the negatives.

    Cons

    ALL THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS ARE CORRECT. End of January the VP found out about Glassdoor; he had the Managers bully the employees into writing reviews about how great it was to work for The Blue Book. Do we dare tell the truth??? NO, we still needed our jobs until we got out. In an email dated January 31, 2013 the President attached a letter stating that if we get a new hire to sign on and stay 6 months, we will get a $6,000 referral bonus! There is the motive to refer new prospective hires! Who does that? Desperate companies that treat people like dirt and need new bodies. Everyone who has not left is looking for a place to go. They just can not tell you. Your'e happiest day will be the day you leave, I know mine was! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the false advertising about how great you are. All the positive reviews you put on here starting the end of January just show how manipulative you are. The business is going down, competition is everywhere doing a better job. You have lost all your best people; so learn from that and get back to basics; but you will never listen.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "There's a reason all of these sales positions are open... it's not expansion it's dis-satisfaction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great 401k. Former owner cared about people. The majority of the people who work there are saddened to see the culture of this, once great place to work, deteriorate so quickly and will honestly admit it out of earshot of current management.

    Cons

    AMAZING! I am seeing this sudden influx, (look at the dates), of great reviews which coincides with upper management becoming aware of this website and mandating that sales people write reviews stating what they like about their job, (forget painting the entire picture, let's just talk about the perceived good stuff...) Coincidence? I think not. Just an example of the lack of integrity prevailant in the current management culture.

    Long term, highly successful sales professionals are exiting so fast they had to triple the recruitment bonus! Why are they leaving? Because of inadequate compensation and the fact that the culture of this company has turned 180 degrees in the past couple of years. Distrust, micro-management, fear and intimidation are the components of the current culture.

    You will be frustrated by the lack of communication, product rollouts without proper testing and antiquated operations methods. A tremendous amount of non-selling activity is required and there is absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY FROM UPPER MANAGEMENT OR THE OPERATIONS SIDE while sales has quickly become the red headed step child that has been put under the microscope.

    Other frustrations include an inaccurate data base, a huge amount of salesperson incurred expenses that seem to increase each year as you are supplied with less and less from corporate (you provide the computer, internet, cell phone, vehicle, most gas & maintenance, and all printing) and are meagerly compensated for these expenses. In addition to this, you will experience a healthy percentage of product failure in the field for no apparent reason and will not receive any credible explanations.

    Vacation time is eroding and being replaced with mandated poorly performed training. I swear, if our presentations and demonstrations were as poortly planned and executed as the ones we have had to suffer through the past couple of years we deserved to be fired!

    Advice to Management

    While your vision is appreciated, the ability to communicate and implement is sorely lacking.

    LISTEN to the people you have entrusted to represent this company to the industry, THE SALES FORCE. Perhaps you have become too insulated by people who are afraid to tell you about the real problems that the field is experiencing because it will reflect poorly on certain operational departments.

    Be ready to challenge each other - talk about REAL PROBLEMS that are impacting this comany's success like product failures in the field and with the internal sos and bb-bid systems. Figure out what the solutions are. (Hint - counting hashmarks on itinerarys aint fixin nothin)

    Leading by being great at certain things is not enough. MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION ARE SECOND NATURE TO MOST GREAT LEADERS. Honesty and integrity can go a long way. Get some real help learning how to manage sales people. Take some AMA courses and learn about different personality types... an artist cannot be graded scientifically anymore than a square peg can be forced into a round hole.

    True sales professionals are insulted by micro-management because it reflects distrust. They do not appreciate being forced to do non-selling activities. Let them do what they do best, sell, not DATA ENTRY. Most want to be graded and compensated based on results not activity. It seems to me the company was much more successful when sales was managed that way a few years ago.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Last one to leave, turn off the lights."

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

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time

    Pros

    There is a great 401K match, decent yet crazy expensive benefits, and great people to work with.

    Cons

    Micro management runs rampant as does the culture of passing the buck- you can point out areas of opportunity at every turn and yet nothing will ever be done about it, it's always business as usual. The salary is paltry and not enough to live on which is why you see either very young people who took one of the few jobs offered to them in the toughest economy since the 20's or you see older folks who have a pension to live off of and are doing this to make extra money or to keep themselves busy. You'll find this place will never be a career, it's a stepping stone to bigger and better or it's a second "job", which is a shame because this could be a great place to spend many years at if only you were paid enough to eat. And it's not like the company is bleeding money at all, they're constantly sending people here, offering competitions there, buying useless new equipment for departments. If only they invested that money in their people and trusted those people to drive the company forward they wouldn't have all of the open positions that they do.

    Advice to Management

    Knock off the kitschy business of promoting us as an "open door, everyone is valued" company and start getting your hands dirty. Spend the money to fix the products so they do exactly what they say they will every single time you use them, pay your employees enough to live and not just scrape by or have to work multiple jobs, and train your staff the way they should be trained. You have a great concept that's being poorly executed in recent years, and it shows. Stop accepting mediocre and hold the decisions you make to the same standards you want to hold your employees to.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "What a joke."

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

    I have been working at The Blue Book Network® (Contractors Register) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    401k . 3 weeks off in dec.

    Cons

    Micro management to death. Having to lie to customers to make the sale. Having new customers hate you after they start using.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employee.


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