Southern Wine & Spirits Employee Reviews

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Fun company with excellent training, compensation and benefits.
NYC Combo Off-Premise Sales Representative (Former Employee) –  Syosset, NYAugust 29, 2015
Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc. (SWS) is the largest privately held distributor of distilled spirits, wine, beer, and nonalcoholic beverages in the USA. Working for the largest distributor makes the job more fun because people respect the name.

SWS strives to offer superior quality products and service through continuous improvement in all aspects of its’ business based on a dedication to employee development and resulting in a continued commitment towards maximizing customer satisfaction while generating profits. SWS provides all of the tools and training needed to be successful in business and in life.
Pros
The company is a fun company to work for with excellent training, compensation and benefits if you are in sales and in the field.
Cons
Management leaves a lot to be desired, pressure to do more with less, disrupts Job Work/Life Balance requiring 6 or 7 day work to keep up.
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Laid back yet Efficient
Lumper (Former Employee) –  Eureka, CAAugust 23, 2015
3 day work week, fair pay at all levels of the company, earned how to use a hand truck. Easy to work with. Decent work environment.
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The pay scale,benefits,pension and job expectations of this company were fair and made hard work worthwhile.
Warehouse Worker/Delivery Driver (Former Employee) –  Machesney Park, ILAugust 21, 2015
Southern Wine and Spirits honored the successor clause of the five year Union contract that was in place after purchasing Paramount Distributing Co. During that period a large distribution center had been built in Chicago, Illinois and the operation was moved to the new facility. The distance of the commute and lack of assurance of a full- time position was the only reason to seek employment elsewhere.
Pros
Union payscale, benefits, pension and job security
Cons
Moving of the operation ending my career with Southern Wine and Spirits
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No great vision
Point of Sale Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAAugust 17, 2015
Typical sales expectations, little room for advancement. The vast majority of positions are low pay with little regard by management as to employee advancement.
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Should have been a driver
Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Syosset, New YorkAugust 17, 2015
Great job if you happen to be a union driver. Management dislikes the fact that the drivers are unionized. They don't like having to pay union scale. Drivers get away with just about everything. Middle management ends up getting the brunt of corporate ire. We were blamed for every driver misdeed. Transportation manager unable to think his way out of a square room with one door. Very vindictive culture. Always had to cover my butt because another manager or supervisor WILL stab you in the back to make himself look good. Great pay for the drivers. Some made six figures. OT was guaranteed. They could work half a day and still get paid for a full day. And you wonder why liquor costs so much.
Pros
Pay, time off, good benefits, union shop
Cons
Union shop, clueless management, poor working conditions
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Productive, fun, and high paced
Promotions Specialist (Current Employee) –  Albuquerque, NMAugust 10, 2015
I very much enjoy doing promotional work for Altitude Entertainment Group/SWS. Managers and sales representatives are very helpful and friendly. Always a fun environment!
Pros
Easy work & fun
Cons
Scarces hours
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Good place to start a career
Merchandiser (Former Employee) –  Champaign, ILAugust 10, 2015
If I could have managed to continue working for Southern I would have without question. I relocated to a different state where I was no longer able to work for them.
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Great company, pay on the light side
Broad Market Sales & Merchandising (Current Employee) –  Rohnert Park, CAAugust 9, 2015
Great company, great products. Management is distant for the most part. Pay is alright for entry level however, pay barely increases as you are promoted.
Pros
Nights, Weekends and holidays off
Cons
Minimal pay
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Fun, exciting place to work with room to advance
Sales Representative (Former Employee) –  Bolingbrook, ILAugust 5, 2015
Very fun, fast paced environment. Would work 16+ hour days which took away from life at home. Benefits and salary were great. First manger was fantastic and very helpful. Once my promotion had started management fell to the wayside and extremely long work days made any personal life impossible.
Pros
Benefits, Salary, Friendly Coworkers
Cons
Bad management, long work hours
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Productive fun workplace with Alcohol
Consumer Educator (Former Employee) –  Tonawanda, NYJuly 23, 2015
My position at Southern Wine and Spirit allowed me to refine my on-site sales skills. I also learned how impactful sample marketing is and the importance of branding and positioning.
Pros
wine tasting classes, industry knowledge, compensation, free samples
Cons
health care, location, travel
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Great company to work for
Merchandiser (Current Employee) –  Las Vegas, NVJuly 19, 2015
I begin my day reading my emails so I can figure out the way I will be running my route I average about 19 stops on any given day. I drive to my first store make a list of product I will need from the back stock then check in with store receiver's I will fill the coolers and shelves with back stock, check with managers for any special instructions then check out with receiver. I repeat these steps for every location I walk into in a 10hr period.

I learned:
Time Management, Customer Service, Patience, Team Leadership, and Communication with my co-workers.

Hardest part of the job would be patience

The best thing about the job would have to be the relationships I build with customers and co-workers
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A decent job for civilians if you can get over the cliques and lack of communication.
Inventory Control Specialist/Cycle Counter (Former Employee) –  Shakopee, MNJuly 16, 2015
A typical day would involve operation forklift and/or order picker to move product or reach high areas to get an accurate count of product. I learned to use the WM System and was trained on the job for all equipment use. The management is very friendly, but there are some that are only that way in front of you. The same goes with coworkers. There are a couple coworkers that would harass you since you are not in their clique. You are looked down upon by some of the union members. The most difficult part of the job was just dealing with some of the coworkers. I learned a lot and do not regret accepting my position with Southern Wine and Spirits. I think that the HR department needs some work though. Having submitted multiple complaints, only to be told that I am using my disability as an excuse to feel that I was harassed. Then to turn around to be reported and disciplined for something I had nothing to do with. Because I was not "okay" with some of the coworkers. I have never had an issue with a coworker before. I lost my position just a couple weeks after my child was born and was forced to take on all labor costs. If you can ignore how some of the management does things and somehow become part of the union clique, then you will enjoy this job.
Pros
Free lunches, possible product discounts
Cons
HR Department, lack of communication
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Enjoyed my time at Southern & fellow workers and management
sales consultant (Former Employee) –  Orlando, Fl.July 15, 2015
Southern Wine & Spirits was a great company to work with. They let you run your territory as your own business (providing your percentages were in the +'s) They also provided constant training to keep up with the times, including computer and sales training. All employees were like family, we were always there to help one another. Management was great as long as you did your job and always showed their appreciation. The part i liked best was dealing directly with the customers.
Pros
great benefits
Cons
a few to many meetings, i did not like being off the street to much
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Supportive management, great team to work with - wonderful colleagues
On Premise Sales Representative (Former Employee) –  Southern NH TerritoryJuly 14, 2015
Each week I created own schedule with specific goals in mind to be met by end of each day. I treated my job as if it were my own business and believe that is how I was able to be consistantly successful.

A typical day could consist of any or all of the following:
use of Pro- Diver, a tool I would utilize for pulling reports on account purchases and volume to strategize meeting assigned goals and programming. Also daily account appointments- about 8-10 per day, with or without suppliers. Wine and or spirit tasting/sampling with customers, staff education trainings on products and general wine or spirit knowledge, creating graphics for wine and or spirit features and menu writing. Also created information sheets with drink recipes and generic feature cards in order to more quickly gain new placements with accounts.

Other responsibilities included participating in wine and or spirit tastings for public and privately held events as well as conducting wine and spirit dinners.

The management at Southern Wine & Spirits was supportive and also consistent with positive reinforcement. I also felt that they helped encourage positive life to work balance.

My experience with co-workers was extremely positive. We were a very close knit team that worked together and shared ideas, successes and suggestions so that everyone was in turn successful.

Reflecting back I would say that the most difficult part of this job was being consistent with revisiting all the goals and programs that were on the table so that none would fall the cracks. It was very easy to get wrapped up  more... in day to day responsibilities and lose sight of the bigger picture. The take away was that I had to learn to set aside time each day and week to evaluate my direction and question myself to see if I was still on track.

I found the daily interactions with accounts to be fun and exciting, as there was always something new to share. I also really enjoyed developing the relationships I had with my buyers and appreciated the challenges that would periodically arise with "special" personalities.  less
Pros
Set your own schedule, being outside interracting with accounts on a daily basis
Cons
Could sometimes be a very tiring schedule with many late nights and activities
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Great for new Sales Reps
Key Account On-premise Representative (Current Employee) –  Northern VaJuly 7, 2015
If you are a new rep looking to get some experience under your belt then this might work for you. Plenty of room for self growth but no real long term advancement.
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fun place to work.
On & off premise sales & marketing of fine spirits (Current Employee) –  Sandy, UTahJuly 6, 2015
routing, driving, selling spirits to restaurants and night clubs along the wasatch front. including promo event marketing and dealing with decision makers on a daily basis. Selling booze in Utah is challenging to say the least. ;)
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Convivial
Portfolio Manager (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJuly 6, 2015
SWS is a great company to work for. The management is efficient and reliable. The spirit is competitive and motivating.
Pros
very social
Cons
late nights
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Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Supervisor (Former Employee) –  Columbia, SCJune 24, 2015
An typical day would have to be ensured that all orders, cases were processed correctly and promptly. Manage employees that work in full cases area of the warehouse. Safeguards warehouse operations and contents by establishing and monitoring security procedures and protocols. Co-workers are helpful while working as one team. The most enjoyable about the job would have to be learning about the business and room for advancement.
Pros
Being able to do a lot of over time and work life balance
Cons
Long hours
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Fast paced, high stressed yet rewarding position
Chain District Manager (Current Employee) –  CerritosJune 16, 2015
With strong negotiating, sales, and time management skills I have been able to succeed over the past few years both managing a territory as well as a diverse team.
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Sales Consultant
Sales Consultant (Former Employee) –  FloridaJune 15, 2015
A good company to work for as long as the head-hunter mentality is a dominant personality trait. Good benefits, decent pay.
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Overall rating

3.8
Based on 202 reviews
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