Univar Reviews | Glassdoor

Univar Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
341 reviews

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2.3
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Stephen D. Newlin
43 Ratings

341 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The upper management doesn't really know what they're doing (in 18 reviews)

  • Need to be more customer service oriented (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Univar - Good Company"

    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 Univar full-time

    Pros

    Solid company to work for.

    Cons

    Continuous change in strategy hurts long term success.


  2. "Buyer"

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

    Pros

    Okay pay - need more incentives.

    Cons

    Lack of management support for planning team.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Malfeasance USA"

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

    I worked at Univar full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers were great!
     The wage is also great but not worth the risks taken , micromanagement and false promises.
    Excellent training program for new hires, too bad management doesn't follow through with much of the safety they preach.
    Benefits are good.

    Cons

    Truth of the matter for anyone considering a position...
    Management tells you that you are part of the team but treat you like you wont last a week .
     Basic PPE given but never received a physical or fitted with a respirator but expected to work with HazMat products! Technically until you are cleared for work and a respirator; you can't work in the facility but that doesn't stop management from having you perform any and all hazardous job functions. No idea when or if I was ever going to actually receive a physical and/or be fitted with the necessary respiratory PPE needed for certain high risk products. When I inquired - was repeatedly told either they didnt know or within a month.
    BACKWARDS! Standard SOP: Physical, Drug Screen then employment.
    During training, you are told that company paid prescription safety glasses and safety shoes provided but never provided even though they are essential for doing the job safely and efficiently .
     I ended my employment due to the fact I didnt receive the additional PPE needed to safely perform the job but was still expected to perform those hazardous duties.
    They never made me feel that I was part of a long term career while working there unlike what was implied during the interview.
    Left a stable job to work for Univar under the false pretense that I was going to be part of the Univar team only to be treated as a temporary employee i.e. 3.5 weeks into the job and still no physical , no respirator and none of the additional PPE I asked for and when I inquired to the Plant Manager as to when I would get what was needed, his reply " I don't know if I love you yet"? WHAT???
      After 3.5 weeks I realized it was nothing more than an exercise in how far management can push you into performing potentially dangerous duties without the proper tools needed to safely do the job and how many blatantly false promises they can tell you before you actually say something. Once you voice your concerns, you aquire an expiration date so to speak... Read between the lines.
    Univar Motto: " If you need something, we will provide it- we make safety our first priority." I just didnt see it....AT ALL!!!
    Plant Manager hides in his office and is unapproachable. When you actually converse with him, he smiles,tells you what you want to hear, answers with a blatant lie and goes back to his office-to do______?????????

    Advice to Management

    The current management team should be fired and replaced with management that cares about the employees , their safety / well being and nurtures long term success instead of the current team that spends their time thinking about themselves and how they look to corporate.


  4. "The worst experience of my life"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Univar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pay 19.23 per hour, no formal training can do whatever you want.

    Cons

    No benefits, worst employer ever, managers do what they want to whom they want when they want,

    Advice to Management

    Get educated managers, just because they have 12 years on the job does not make them a manager, it makes them a subject matter expert, that's it. They are taking trips ,paid for by your company with contractors and firing the permanent people in front of the world to see, this is not a company is a good old boys or girls club.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "lab"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Univar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some of the people you work with are great

    Cons

    Managers go against policy you get the blame, then you get fired

    Advice to Management

    fire all management start over


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Account Manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Competitive Salary and compensation is about the only thing I can think of, but even that isn't worth it when you don't get support to grow your territory.

    Cons

    Internal systems and processes are non-existent or broken, supply plans don't support territories for growth. Upper management is clueless and has a bunch of clueless yes men/women working for them.

    Advice to Management

    Mantra seems to be don't fix anything, just put out the today's fire and keep selling and maybe no one will notice, not the best way to retain customers for the long haul.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "I get that you're trying....."

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

    I have been working at Univar full-time

    Pros

    People, on the job experience, what to and what not to do. You learn something new all of the time, that is one huge pro that I really enjoy.

    Cons

    I understand that the upper echelon are trying to turn a sinking ship so to speak, but Univar will always be hypothetically sinking for a myriad of reasons unless they start making some real changes and not just to price:

    1. Still hearing, "back in the ChemCentral days". It's still a Univar vs former ChemCentral employee's (to some). This needs to stop. It's been years, all of the new employees have no idea who or what ChemCentral is, nor do we care how many people you used to have in the office, took you to run it, etc.. Get on board with Salesforce, use MMQ, read/along with responding to your emails. It's called managing your time effectively.

    2. Using the phrase, "This is how it's always been done" - Really? Thank goodness the Wright brothers, Mr. Ford, Thomas Edison...well you get the picture. Open your mind, be open to new ideas and not just open to them when other people are in the room or within ear shot. Embrace change, not just for the sake of change but to improve processes.

    3. 'We really need to improve...... '- followed up with the response,, 'There is already a Six Sigma Project going for this'. Ahh excellent. Thank you for cutting me off, would you like to hear the rest of what I have to say or perhaps putting me in touch with the project leader? I may have something to contribute. Again, be open minded. I may do this work every day, I could be doing it completely different than someone on the east coast or mid-south. Project leaders need to pool at least 1 person from each region (preferably each district) from the job title who actually touches and/or processes what the leader is trying to improve upon. Good data has to be pulled, not just certain sections and then we have to force ALL locations to do it that way. This is when workarounds are created and then pretty soon people are so frustrated they go back to the old version anyway.

    4. The awards, great idea but I have a question (obviously rhetorical). If we have black belt or PMP project leaders (regardless if those leaders are Univar employees or contractors), isn't their entire job function to find a way to better processes and save money? That would be like providing a driver an award for turning on his blinker to make a turn, giving an award to a CSR for entering an order properly or awarding someone in Payables for authorizing payment on time. It just does not make sense. Why are we giving them an award?

    5. The strong arming has to stop from the top. Yep, the top 2-3ish have the reputation for hair trigger tempers, chair throwing, and 'it's my way or the highway' style of leadership. That type of leadership will only get you so far before the great people leave and you are left with a company that is barely limping along. Inspire loyalty, don't try to drive it out of people by intimidation.

    6. One Univar, I do believe this can happen. I WANT it to happen. But in order for it to happen YOU (upper echelon) have to hold each branch (especially operations) to task. Univar HAS to operate like each branch is ISO, each branch NEEDS to be HELD ACCOUNTABLE for not conforming to these standards. I was on a call where someone in management actually said, "I put the quality training 3rd because it wasn't as important". In order for us to be ONE UNIVAR we have to OPERATE as One Univar. Why have a quality standard if we don't follow it? Why am I even training on CASES if quality is 3rd? Our quality is laughable. We need more QC's, and we sure as heck either need more Regional Quality Managers or more point people to get answers. I'm still waiting after 6 months and so is the customer. Have I followed up you ask? Yes I have many times, by phone and email. Bottom line, we need to back up this portion of our 'value added service'.

    7. Attention Board, CEO, Presidents and VP's. Do you really want to know what's broken with Univar? Assemble a panel from all over this company, each and every district. Do NOT let the local management choose the employees as they will send the yes men and women, people that will never rock the boat and who will tell you what you want to hear. I really don't want to hear, 'But we sent out the survey and only 15% responded'. That's because all of the surveys were crap and it seems this one was too. Do you want real results? Real thoughts? Real feelings? Show the employees of Univar that you mean business. Select, 3-6 employees from each district with different job descriptions. Fly them somewhere......maybe over two days, doing it the old fashioned way, poll them using paper. It's all blind......test them....

    Advice to Management

    Please stop saying there isn't money. We know there is, it's the worse kept secret in Univar. A co-worker was sent an email by mistake authorizing a bonus to be paid. The $300 EIP that was taken away from us, let's just say this bonus could have covered a lot of employees $300 next year.

    You have taken quite a lot, asked for a lot in return. It's getting harder to keep the chin up and take it on the nose. But like I titled this post, I get what you are trying to do. Just keep in mind, they didn't turn the Titanic fast enough. Please don't make Univar into the next metaphoric Titanic.

  8. "Vendor Contact Specialists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vendor Contact Specialist in Redmond, WA
    Former Employee - Vendor Contact Specialist in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Univar full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing people to work with.
    Work load was good.

    Cons

    Can be chaotic at times when colleagues quit which then leads to staff shortage.

    Advice to Management

    Probably need more staffs in the AP department especially the VCCs.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Sales manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Good people and good product lines. Bring back the fundamentals like Growth, market leadership and continuous improvement. Customers and suppliers need the old Univar back!

    Cons

    Management has no clue! CEO and upper management are lost. They keep changing compensation plans and all the best people are leaving. CEO is all about himself and will be gone in less than a year! No talent in US management had to bring in management from Europe. All they did in Europe was cut expenses and have not grown share in years.
    Manage board let all the best upper management go and again have no idea what to do.

    Advice to Management

    Bring back management that knows the business like former US president from 2002 to 2007 and firmer Industrial relations. That when the company was fun and growing!


  10. "Customer Service Representative 1"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I like the atmosphere and co workers, I am still trying to figure out how much the company cares about its employees. Everyone seems like they have been around quite a while and like working here. Of course things could always be done to make employees feel more appreciated. Free soda, water and snacks daily, cookouts on a regular basis, when a rep comes they usually bring food.

    My manager is great, he hired me on knowing I had a baby on the way within 2 months of being hired. He cares about us and takes the time to train and teach me. The atmosphere in the office is nice and we all get along well.

    Cons

    I think the benefits are fair in price. Stock buying plan is a joke basically stick money in an account for 6 months then the company buys it on the employee behalf for 5% less. I think that is a joke because you dont earn interest while the money sits, and/or they may buy when it is high value and you get less. I do have 10 shares i bought on my own they are doing well.

    I think I agreed to a lower salary and accepted the first offer when I should have rebutted with a higher number (that's my fault) but there is opportunity and movement within the company so I can make up for it later.


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