Zep Reviews | Glassdoor

Zep Reviews

Updated August 22, 2017
127 reviews

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2.4
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Zep Chairman, President, and CEO John K. Morgan
John K. Morgan
45 Ratings

127 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great products practically sell themselves (in 12 reviews)

  • Great people with friendly attitudes and helpful dispostions (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Now that New Mountain Capital has taken over, they are attempting to "flip" the company in an 18-month period (in 5 reviews)

  • Mid-management lives in constant fear of upper management, will not stand up to outrageous demands of sales reps and tends to micro-manage (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Good starting place to gain experience in the difficult world of sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales in Breinigsville, PA
    Current Employee - Inside Sales in Breinigsville, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zep full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Co-workers are fun, everyone works as a team. Generous commission % at the highest level. Given a book of accounts to call on, that are protected as long as they purchase every 6 months.

    Cons

    No immediate supervisor, impossible to achieve growth goals that increase every month - expected to double or triple a customer's monthly purchase every month - avg sale is $150. Lack of any real health benefits, told it was a salaried job but have to punch a timeclock and get paid by the hour.

    Advice to Management

    Hire immediate supervisors, formulate a better strategy to compensate sales reps, understand that your average mom and pop auto shop does not need to buy 4 gallons of hand soap every month.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "They are moving towards eliminating sales reps altogether."

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

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

    Pros

    You are your own boss. I technically had 5. The last one, hadn't made contact in a year and a half.

    Cons

    Totally unorganized. Getting anything done except placing orders is impossible. Plus, I think they are moving towards eliminating their sales force to local distributors.

    Advice to Management

    Train your sales force. Don't just send them out with a three day course of sales 101.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Working under the Sword of Damocles"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The products sold are of good quality and have consumer appeal.

    Cons

    Human beings and their lives are mere commodities to be bought and sold by a soulless upper management. I lost count years ago of the constant layoffs. This company will layoff staff from the top to the bottom, often in waves. It then begins the rehiring process sometimes within a week of the layoffs. The turn around at this company is beyond staggering. When working for Zep, your every waking hour involves wondering when your pink slip is coming. How much more successful could this company be if upper management had even a tiny molecule of respect and empathy for its work force. This company sells cleaners, and in kind, it performs a "cleansing" of its workforce every six months or so.

    And everyone is expendable. The ownership and upper management at Zep has changed hands as many times as the position of Plant Manager. Every change brings about a complete disruption of this company's business plan, products, ideas and even the corporate culture. And of course, every change in this regard brings about ... you guessed it ... the next round of layoffs/rehirings. Ah, a new round of "cleansing." The mighty sword gleaming above your head.

    And each time the ownership/management changes, both management and company are degraded still further. There was a time when the owners/managers of Zep and the various companies it has swallowed up were top quality people with vision, brilliance, insight and most importantly, character. It was a fine place to work with loyal, long-term employees that built this business into the powerhouse that new ownership/management is fumbling so hard to destroy.

    Advice to Management

    Are you commodities? You're not? You sure? Well, guess what, neither is that line worker out there. When your staff is treated as a commodity, you wont be selling the commodities that you manufacture for long.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Disorganization"

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

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

    Pros

    not a bad place to work in the beginning

    Cons

    unrealistic goals on all level of accounts receivable making the group more collectors than account managers
    Cliquish management


  5. "Structure has spiraled downhill for last ten years!"

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

    I have been working at Zep full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Spend very little time actually working as some business built years ago has maintained loyalty. Provides supplemental income.

    Cons

    Couldn't possibly survive on just this income. Benefits for sales reps are very basic. There is no teamwork or comraderie. Usually feel like the company is working against you.

    Advice to Management

    They should look back at how things were run when Harry Mazur was in charge. Everyone loved working for Zep then.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "This company uses very antiquated processes and technology."

    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 Zep full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The only PRO is that their company offices are all small, old-fashioned work environments where co-workers and management are very personable among each other.

    Cons

    The downside of working for ZEP is that unless you relocate to their Corp Headquarters in Atlanta, it will be very difficult to advance within the company. The regional offices are stagnant and the company does not invest in training employees outside of Atlanta --they simply learn as they go. Also the aged infrastructure has too many Execs and not enough middle-management to cover the accountability of day-to-day operations and performance. Most departments are '1 man shows' with behind-the-times software and technology. Therefore, employees often become frustrated after their 1st year once realizing that there is no guidance/mentorship available for individual development. There is no employee rewards or recognition for performance other than sales reps meeting quotas so employee morale is typically high.

    Advice to Management

    1 - ZEP should consider hiring more mid-level managers who will motivate, take interest, and engage with the employees. Good managers know that happy people make productive people. Placing effective managers who can identify strengths accordingly will make a great impact...there were lots of employees in position strictly because of their tenure. Skills definitely not a factor at most locations.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Would never recommend to anyone. Bonus plan is unsustainable, setup for failure no matter how good you are at your job."

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

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with, friendly environment. Flexible working hours, can take half hour lunch and leave at 4:30 or take hour and leave at 5. Can arrive as late as 8:30 and leave at 5 or 5:30 depending on lunch arrangement

    Cons

    Don't even know where to start they're countless;

    Slim to no advancement opportunities (they consider moving to outside sales a promotion)

    Bonus plan is a joke. It's a fancy pyramid scheme with capped earnings each month. Grow your accounts and achieve 100% quota then following year your responsible for growing the number again on top of what you grew the previous year completely unsustainable model. They will tell you commissions are uncapped which they technically are but don't fall for this, as it is only for the quarterly which 1% - 50% growth nets you 1% commission on sales (100% nets you 2.5% which is very few and far between).

    They tell you you're salary but you are paid hourly as a non-exempt employee. Meaning when the building closes you don't get paid, and your must accrue your vacation and sick times.

    Rules change constantly; can't do this, can't do that, have to do it this way now.

    Management is a joke

    Constant scrutiny on work, manager sitting with people listening to calls, etc

    Advice to Management

    Grow up.
    Focus on sales instead of pointless metrics and everything that doesn't have to do with sales.
    Change bonus plan so people can actually make money.

  8. "Dysfunctional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is a competent, self-motivated marketing team. If you're in that department, I think you can find better opportunities than others might find. Because of that group, you can feel a sense of pride in the products sold.

    Cons

    The top level executive teams suffers from a few dysfunctional leaders. Not all of them are bad, just a few. If you go to work at Zep, I hope you get to work for one of the few principled leaders there, or you could end up on the chopping block.

    Advice to Management

    Remove those few dysfunctional top level executives and replace them with principled leadership.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Not the same Zep"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Zep full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great brands, long legacy of great products. Various locations, great company for those who wan tto wear several hats and learn a broad variety of skills

    Cons

    Recently purchased by private equity and things are changing QUICKLY. Not quite sure what's happenign day to day or what the company will look like 6 months from now.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "sold company to unethical group"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zep full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people, who all now have their resumes on the street.

    Cons

    New management. CEO was banned by SEC for five years to be an officer in a public company for unethical behavior. So he ends up at private company after buy-out, Zep.

    Advice to Management

    quit now


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