CWD ("Create What's Different") Employee Reviews

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Warning: This Company is Not What it Seems
Anonymous (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON11 February 2019
Stay far away from this company! If the interview process doesnt give you a red flag, take it from someone who stayed for a few years that this job sucked the life out of me and some of the people around me. Guaranteed if you ask people at this company if they are truly happy with they're positions, they would say no and that they are just waiting for a different opportunity so they can leave. People only stay here because the market is tough and there isnt many other options in the Niagara Region that is in the consumer electronics market.
Tips for Management:
1. Your employees are adults.
2. The role of management isnt to control people, it's to grow great teams. (This is where things go wrong here)

This job may be good for shortterm, but this is not a place you stay.
Pros
50% off products
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Awful Time
Anonymous (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON27 December 2018
I worked here over a year ago for only a few months and eventually left due to the unreasonable expectations and overall environment of this company. After going through a long interview process taking weeks of my time (which in my opinion is highly unnecessary), I should have known from this alone that this would be a mistake. I finally accepted the offer given as support for one of the departments however there is not much you can do as a small entry level position.
Note to future prospects: Do your research on the brands that this company owns!! Aside from Fluance, which does well for itself, the rest of the brands are getting left in the dust in terms of their competition. Not to mention the reviews and customer complaints that come from some of the others (Defender and Levana).
Be warned that the positions you may be applying for are not what they seem.
Pros
N/a
Cons
That I wasted my time
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Not for Most
Anonymous (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON4 December 2018
This company is unlike any that I know, and not in a good way. I am also very perplexed as to who the people are here that have been giving such high reviews.
To break it down for you, this company is run by a family, with two disagreeing brothers as the managing directors. That right there is a major issue for why things are difficult. They rarely agree on issues that they should clearly be aligned with.
One brother, is completely set in his ways and old fashioned, refuses to allow staff (who are incredibly skilled to do the work they are hired to do), to improve and create content that would benefit the brands. He would rather people follow suit to exactly what he wants, and anyone who challenges a new way/modern thinking in terms of "less is more", is quickly terminated. His respect for his employees is shown in his own punctuality with meetings, and the higher than thou attitude that is reflected in communication between team members. Having to report to him requires lengthy and time wasting write-ups or agendas, and going over every detail as to why something didnt work.
As for the other brother, he is more up to speed and eager to create change, however his overall micromanaging, incredibly high expectations, contradictions and constant comparing to other companies creates a less than ideal work environment. Being challenged and having high goals is necessary for any person and business, but constantly being made to feel as though nothing is "perfect" and in turn feeling guilty is incredibly unhealthy.
There is a problem with some departments being understaffed,
  more... which leads to people taking on elements of other positions (without pay increase) to cover all bases, which again in turn can become stressful and unfair. Constantly being watched either by the cameras in every corner of the buildings, or the monitoring of what is on your computer screen, gets tiring very quickly.
There are some great products coming out of this company, however some become irrelevant and behind the times in technology, within a few short months compared to the competition. This is largely due to the fact that there is some sort of disconnect with product release dates, which are never met and often weeks or months past original times. This would be understandable once and while, but having this happen with every single product is concerning.
The people who work here are some of the greatest people out there, but the job and the environment itself is not one for most people.
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Pros
People
Cons
Read above
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3.0
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Fast paced environment with lots of opportunity!
Current Employee (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON26 September 2018
Pros:
- Great Location in Niagara Falls, very easy and quick commute.

- Stable company with lots of great products being sold in major retail stores

- Education funds available to all employees for advancement.

- Company RRSP matching.

- Great bunch of co workers to collaborate with.

Cons:
- Working Hours are 8:15am-5:00pm

- Company will not entertain the thought of flex hours for some departments.

- Always seems that we're short on the right people to get things done.
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4.0
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Great opportunity for advancement
Research and Development (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON21 September 2018
Great opportunity for young people to kick start their careers. Very stable company with many percs such as: fitness incentive/reimbursement, team lunches and corporate activities.

Fast growth and competitive pay (for Niagara) with tons of growth potential as a company.

The office space isn't the prettiest but the company does well with what it is given.
Pros
Engaging team member activities & great people
Cons
Recruitment efforts & human capital
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2.0
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Good place to work if valued. Unrealistic expectations overall.
Accounting (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON21 September 2018
Very unstable company when it comes to turn over and shifting of responsibilities. Managers are open and genuinely care about the performance of employees.

The two owners of the company have very little trust in the employees they hired to do jobs

Work hours are bad and lunches are unpaid (8-5)

Compensation is extremely poor and does not keep up with inflation and job performance.

If you do your job well and the company owners see value in you, it's a good sign. If they don't, your life will be miserable and will feel undervalued.

The company is usually behind in products and innovation. Which causes market penetration to be hard. Company preaches on innovation but just buys directly from China.

Company needs to practice the Dale Carnegie principles they preach.

We are all human, we have feelings and families to support.
Just because the owners are unmarried and no children do not mean they can turn their back on the cumbersome expectations they put on their employees.
Pros
Education Fund, Good Managers
Cons
Poor pay, long hours, unrealistic goals
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4.0
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Growth Oriented Company
Management (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON21 September 2018
Pros::

1. Investment on employees - Everyone get funds to cover education/training anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.
2. Strong and Stable financially - Products are sold in all mass retail stores : BestBuy, Costco, Walmart, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby etc.
3. Opportunity of Growth - Employees can receive multiple promotions within few years, it's great to see employees jumping up the corporate ladder much faster in this company than other similar companies.
4. Great co-workers - They conduct multiple interviews to ensure every new employee is a good fit. They will let go a very poor performer. The end result is that you get to work with awesome group of people.
5. Region - You can live anywhere in St. Catherine or Niagara Falls and it won't take more than 10 minutes to drive to office. Peaceful region.
6. Job Security - As long as employees are performing and co-operating there are no surprise terminations. With Performance Review that company have in place, it is much easier for employees to understand the possibility of termination much before it actually happens.

Cons::

1. Compensation - Low to Average range compensation. However, if you are great in your job you may get raise and promotion quite fast (1-2 years).
2. Extra Hours - Many salaried employees need to put in extra hours to cover up for open/vacant positions. No overtime payment for salaried employees.
3. Employee Shortage- There is always shortage of employee because of location. Sometimes one person is doing 2 people job hurts performance and work/life balance.
4. Minimalist office space
  more... - No carpet floor or fancy vending machines; More like a warehouse feeling
5. Aggressive company - Management is very passionate about business, and that translates to higher expectations from employees with aggressive approach from management to hold employees accountable. People with low ego and high performance tend to last longer.
6. Bonuses - Some departments will never receive the bonus even though it may make up to 20% of their salary. So, if you have bonus line item in your offer letter, please ask your hiring manager in more detail. There are chances you will never see bonus during your tenure.

Advice for Management::

1. Change the vision from "We believe all people should be empowered." to "We believe all people should feel empowered." The difference in "be" and "feel" is huge. It requires less judgement from our side, and asking question to the people for empowering them.
2. Move to Toronto area. Please open satellite office asap to accommodate growth and employee shortage. At this point, the only reason that is stopping growth is human resource, so it is very easy decision if you want exponential growth.
3. Remote Working - Please make your work environment more flexible (similar to other tech companies) by allowing flexible remote working for some departments.
4. Time Management - Managers need to hold themselves accountable for starting meetings on time. Many a times the meeting starts 5-10 minutes later than scheduled time, and sometimes it takes much longer than required. Need more focused meetings to boost productivity.
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5.0
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Sky is the limit, fantastic experience, great local company
Product Expert (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON21 September 2018
Few companies will make the effort to create positions based on changing job responsibilities. After a few years, starting at an entry level position, I'm working on things that I could have never seen coming looking back.

The company is always changing based on employee feedback and has made leaps and bounds in the time I've been here. We make great, fun products and have passionate teams behind every decision and new initiative. There is truly nothing like it.
Pros
Health initiatives, direct feedback with owners, great team and company events and meals, recognition for a job well done
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Unprofessional
Anonymous (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON31 May 2018
A lot of things aren't handled professionally. Takes long before we begin to see results. It is a company that is still growing/learning and thus, lots of mistakes are being made, sometimes with good intentions but the effects are usually detrimental to the organization as a whole.
Pros
Free lunch
Cons
Misleading
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2.0
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Unforgettable - but not in a good way.
Marketing dept (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON28 May 2018
I worked here a few years ago. The environment was very competitive and untrustworthy - advancement came at a cost. They like to see you working long hours and late/overtime - If you don’t, they notice. Everything is tracked and staff is closely monitored - Very big-brotherish. I guess that makes sense since it’s a security company - but no trust and no freedom is uncomfortable when you’re an adult. The pay was also pretty terrible and when I was there and staff turnover was (and still seems to be) very high.

As I mentioned, it’s been a while since I was there - so it could have changed since.
Pros
Neat products, lots of experience opportunity
Cons
No trust, poor pay, long hours
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Beware...Avoid the Trap!!
General (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON15 February 2018
Unless you enjoy being micromanaged to the absolute extreme, having everything you do be monitored, and having no freedom then this is the perfect job!
Things seem great with room for lots of potential and growth at the beginning, but like many people have also expressed - if you don't do EXACTLY what they want and become their puppet - you will be shown the door.
Its too bad because if the managing directors would just actually agree on something and loosen their grip with every little aspect then this would be a great place in Niagara.
They say they are always transparent but there is so many issues at this place I don't even know how they would fix it, and if they tried it would take months and months to see anything be done. (Not happening)
Do yourself a favour...keep looking and something better will come your way.
Pros
Benefits, Coworkers
Cons
Hours, Management
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5.0
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Great place to work
Operations Assistant (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON9 February 2017
I worked here on contract for a few months, the people there were nothing but kind. Whether they were in your department or not, everyone made you feel welcomed.
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horrible place to work
Email Support Representative (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON19 October 2016
very picky personally!! it don't matter how well you work or how hard you work it doesn't mean anything there. I do not recommend working for this company.
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5.0
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Fun place to work with great people
Senior Accountant (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON15 July 2016
Fun place to work with great people. Good work ethic policies , very good profits and reinvestment.

The buildings are clean and well cared for and equipment is well above average.

The main software package is NetSuite a very strong system, easy to learn with easy analyse.
Pros
Scheduled monthly events for employees and family
Cons
Some problems with advancement oportunities
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2.0
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Stressful, long, and not worth it
Prefer not to say or ill be next (Former Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON6 June 2016
The company boasts about work life balance, however this happens rarely. You are expected to work nights, weekends, and overtime, they don't "say it" but it gets hit home in your "huddles" and "one on ones"

The focus is always what you are doing wrong and never what you are doing well. Managers in this company do not train on anything, its expected for you to know or self learn without any guidance.

BODs are difficult to deal with. Coworkers are friendly however also stressed to the max. Company fires people and never replaces them. Claims the company is doing less with more but that is at the sacrifice of all the other employees. Tasks just get piled on to other team members until they either quit or get fired for not meeting deadlines, or not being a good fit.

Its sink or swim in this company and not many make it to shore.
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5.0
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Very nice workplace that provides its employees with amazing experience
Operations assistant (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON21 October 2015
Had an amazing experience working there. CWD is a good team that gave me a lot of opportunities for my future career. I learnt a lot about organization, its culture and operations.
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4.0
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Good company getting better
Anonoymous (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls1 October 2015
CWD started out very small (5-10 employees) and as it grew there were the usual company growing pains. The rapid growth to 100 employees hit upper management hard and they had to learn to deal with managing a much larger company. During this time period (2012-2014) there was a lot of turnaround but lessons were definitely learned. From 2014 to present, upper management have applied principles to keep people interested in the company and encourage a stable environment. Business features such as themed company lunches, team events, salary commensurate with geographical location, KCJ fund for higher education training, good benefits, a focus on people development and better management have all contributed to a great place to work. There is also a good work/life balance. Keep in mind CWD is not an easy place to work because you must possess intelligence, business and people skills, drive and passion but if you do your job well and you have a passion for what you do, you will go places here.
Pros
Themed events, great people, good salaries, good benefits, people development, good work/life balance
Cons
Difficult to advance, processes need improvement, yearly salary increases barely keep up with inflation
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Fun place to work
Customer Experience Representative (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls, ON30 September 2015
Everyone that works here are great people! There is a positive attitude here which is a nice refreshing change in the workplace.

They try to have a corporate lunch each month and there are always team events every quarter. Who doesn't love free lunch!

With the company working out policies and procedures as they go, there are a lot of rolling changes, so if you do not like change, this place is not for you.

Most direct supervisors are very friendly, outgoing and open minded. They are constantly asking for feedback to improve how things are run and have come a long way in making changes for the better.

There are lots of opportunities for advancement into other departments which is nice to know that you aren't "Stuck" in the same role that you started in.

I don't have much negative to say other than it would be nice to make a bit more $ an hour, but in Niagara you can't expect much. I truly like coming to work everyday and being part of the team here.
Pros
Benefits, Free lunches, Good Vibe
Cons
better compensation would be nice.
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4.0
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Great Place to Work
Marketing (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls28 September 2015
I am currently employed at CWD and have been for several years.

The most enjoyable part of being at CWD is working alongside my peers. Most of us have similar interests and are within the same age group and collaborate really well with eachother

Some things I've noticed in my time at CWD:

-Those with egos tend to last a very short time at CWD. Also, If you can't take criticism well or tend to take things personally, then it's very likely this might not be the right fit for you. Requiring approval on almost every task requires you to swallow your pride and be willing to compromise.

-BOD is making a great effort to improve corporate culture. We now have corporate lunches almost monthly, education funds in place, and encouragement to bond with peers. When I first started, much of this was not present

-Moderately high turnover rate with little explanation often makes things stressful. Trust of employees often seems in question and adds to this stress. Employee morale is still quite low in some departments.

-Like any job, your experience will highly depend on who you report to and who you work with. Some people speak negatively about "micro-management" , however I can't really say it's been that bad. Almost everything requires approval, however you are given the freedom to experiment and try things. Managing Director however has final say which I don't think is outrageous.
Pros
-BOD is making a great effort to improve corporate culture.
Cons
Trust in the employees you hired
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A Great Place to work - check your ego at the door
APM (Current Employee) –  Niagara Falls28 September 2015
CWD is a place where doing things better is always encouraged. There is opportunity and you can grow into other positions as they prefer to hire from within. If you have the required skills you can likely land one of the postings you are qualified for. Even better, for those that have accepted a position and work hard to improve, grow and adapt to their role can move up. As mentioned there are many opportunities. It is a place that I have found you can work without a great amount of stress. Work/Life balance is monitored to ensure you are not working late. Management is open and understanding however they wouldn't be managers if they didn't hold you accountable. If you have done everything you can ( and can show it ) they are there to support you and get you to the next stage of your process/problem.

The company is SOP driven and you can learn your role from tribal knowledge as well as from the SOP documentation.

To speak briefly about the turn around the company faced last year I can tell you that the team that is currently present and driving the company is solid. Every company experiences growth where those that can adapt continue forward and those that can't must move on.

If you enjoy tech products and working towards making them successful in all areas of business and if you enjoy working with a team and sharing in the success this is a place for you.
Pros
Benefits, Work/Life balance, Successful and Diversified Business, Niagara Local
Cons
Autonomy
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Overall rating

3.4
Based on 51 reviews
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