Glassdoor is your free inside look at Reynolds American reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Reynolds American CEO Daniel M. Delen. All reviews posted anonymously by Reynolds American employees.
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Current Employee – been working at Reynolds American full-time for more than 7 years
Pros – There are few companies that offer what RJRT offers today, especially for recent college grads. You get a fully paid car, insurance, maintenance and fuel (even for personal driving). In addition, they cover your internet and cell phone bill while providing you with a laptop. The benefits include excellent health insurance, dental and 401K. Vacation time builds after a few years from 2-4 weeks.
The pay is fairly decent for a new employee and climbs relatively fast based on your rating. You are pretty much guaranteed an annual salary and bonus increase unless you are basically inept. A new employee can expect to clear about 45-50K (give or take) without the expense of a car and gas, plus the random compensation of things listed above. After being with the company for about 5 years with no promotion, you can expect around 65-70K. Not bad. You receive a new Ford Fusion or Ford Escape every 3 years or 90K miles.
This is a great company to build your resume and then move on. The sales training and skills you learn are outstanding and prepare you for almost any other career in sales, marketing, etc. When you are prepared to move on, most companies recognize that you are well trained and you are highly sought after.
I must say, having worked for several fortune 500 companies, this company knows how to show employees a good time for their hard work. When you are traveling for business trips and training workshops, you receive nice meals, lodging, and plenty of drinks and entertainment.
Most of the territory manager (entry level position) sales force are good, hard working people whom you are happy to call your peers. They come from all different ages and backgrounds, and each has something to offer you in the area of development and most are willing to help. There is a good feeling of camaraderie with most teams. You are also largely left alone and not micromanaged. If you are seeking a promotion, then this puts you under the microscope.
The workload is realistic (almost easy) for about 7-8 months out of the year and ballistic for the other 4-5. There is no definite season for these times due to random price changes, tax increases, brand launches and strategy implementation.
Cons – This is a decent company, but it is not without its faults and it could be much better. For starters, initial training is something left to be desired. There is much to learn, especially in the first 6-12 months, and there is not much in the way of structured training. These include a complex (and inefficient) computer program, steps of a basic call, an ever changing pricing structure, brands and merchandising, certifications, administrative duties, etc. Much of this is left to your peers to train you. On the plus side, management does provide you with ample time to learn these things before holding you accountable for your performance.
Most of the senior management that I have dealt with are actually competent people, but most of them are slaves to foolish corporate strategies. Once you have been around long enough to learn the business, you can start to see what will work and what is a bad idea. Half of management seems to have lost touch in this area. The other half forces a smile as they attempt to convince everyone how awesome the new (bad) ideas will be even when they know that we will soon be falling flat on our faces and scrambling to undo 3 months of pointless hard work in 80-120 outlets.
I gave the CEO a thumbs down because while he is EXTREMELY intelligent, he and his counterparts are out of touch with what can be realistically achieved in the field to achieve sales growth and market share. The old CEO had the corporate strategy of "simple, bold, and focused" and we saw legitimate growth in the company for the first time in decades in this dieing industry due to smart and efficient decisions. When the new CEO took the reigns it was back to business as usual. This includes spinning our wheels while trying to implicate too many ideas at the same time which spreads our time in the field too thin. Much of this is spawns from following our competition (Philip Morris) around like puppy dogs, even when they are slowly dooming themselves to bankruptcy in the name of minimal market share gain.
Be informed that we are known throughout the industry as the "whiny" company. Prepare yourself to put up a giant fuss over pennies or a product facing with all of your customers. There are 3 big players in this industry: Altria (Philip Morris), RJRT, and Lorillard. Altria is the king of the market, so they set many of the trends, they are very demanding, and they can get away with whatever they want because the industry needs them. Lorillard is in third place with mostly stagnant business having only one winning brand (Newport), and they are happy just being included in a business strategy. RJRT is stuck in the middle at a distant number two fighting tooth and nail for things that matter very little, and we end up making most large accounts so frustrated that they refuse to work with us.
Promotion and company advancement are very possible, but not without jumping through multiple hoops and being charged with double standards. The company wants you to be an innovator and share new ideas and thoughts, but only if they coincide with whatever the corporate strategy happens to be at the time. Also, be prepared to be relocate and not end up where you ultimately wish to be. The good locations are often occupied by employees who want to remain where they are, so not much opens up except areas that are in the less desirable places in the country. The most you can realistically hope for is to be somewhat close to a desired atmosphere or your family. This is fine for an adventurous young graduate, but not for many others. On the plus side, the company does pay for you to move and provides you with a relocation bonus, even when you start. Upon your first promotion, they do the former plus cover any expenses of selling a house or breaking a lease.
The bonus structure enrages most of the employees as well. For instance, corporate strategy for the past 4 years has been to kill off certain brands which are no longer seen as having growth potential. This means that we no longer promote them or provide these brands with any level of discounting. Fine, agreed. However, when these brands lose sales and market share (as they are intended to do) then our bonuses reflect on those losses and employees lose bonus money for performing what we were instructed to do.
All in all, I would recommend this company to just about anyone looking to build their resume. If you are fine posting up anywhere to start over and grow your salary, you will also be happy. However, be prepared to relocate to an undesirable location, scratch your head at your monthly assignments, smile and nod, and be randomly disappointed with your bonus.
content with the job at the moment because of the scarcity of other opportunities, and I have it good here overall, but a few changes would make all the difference.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
2012-09-27 21:12 PDT
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