CustomInk Reviews

Updated 15 September 2014
Updated 15 September 2014
32 Reviews
4.2
32 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
CustomInk Chairman, President, CEO, and Co-Founder Marc Katz
Marc Katz
28 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate
    Former Employee - Fulfillment Associate

    I worked at CustomInk full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There is always room for new team members, a very fair place. Golden rule is key.

    Cons

    Work demands are high but the rewards are good.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great, Innovative Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CustomInk as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Google-like creative and hardworking atmosphere. Free food, t-shirts, other benefits like onsite gym, doc, company picnic, holiday party. Going above and beyond is recognized. Great, new location in the middle of Mosaic. Friendly coworkers and culture.

    Cons

    Pay is okay. Not sure about job outlook.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company is growing quickly and is offering great opportunities. Don't forget those at the bottom of the totem pole.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Looks good on the outside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Expert Production Artist  in  Fairfax, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Expert Production Artist in Fairfax, VA (US)

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time

    Pros

    Customink has an unrivaled benefits package. The facilities are very nice and well maintained. Every week the company provides a free lunch for everyone, and there are a myriad of little perks that the Team Development department organizes.

    Cons

    The pay is not very good to begin with considering the specificity of the job position, and there are no time-based raises or cost of living adjustments. Upward mobility is not very good, and positions to which an order operations employee can aspire are becoming fewer and farther between. Becoming a "Lead" or an "AM" is not terribly difficult, but does not result in a significant change in compensation. The pay gained from the Lead promotion is the same as the differential from working a regular weekend shift. Advancement past AM is unlikely. Customink seems oriented toward cultivating a "dazzling" atmosphere and creating pod people, if anyone is familiar with management terminology. Through internal branding and small perks, the company is able to pay less across the board by creating employees with a rabid loyalty; employees who often have never held any other position. Company Surveys are taken fairly often for employees to leave feedback about Customink processes, but these surveys are NOT confidential, and you will be interrogated about every answer. If no successful argument can be made against your criticism, the idea will be "looked at" indefinitely.
    Pay for order ops employees is set up like a digital factory. Your base pay is barely enough to survive, and the performance based pay you recieve on top of that depends on two factors: "Productivity" - the quantity of orders you can complete daily, and "Quality of Work" - the number of "MODs" recorded on you. The MOD system is basically a big game of tattle. It is a requirement of your job that you "record feedback" whenever you see a mistake in an order, thereby slowing your own productivity and taking money from the pocket of a fellow employee. This of course breeds resentment and irritation in the workplace, which is swept under the rug like everything else.
    Order Ops employees are "offered" the "opportunity" to undergo interdepartmental training. While this generally is a good thing to understand the processes of neighboring departments, it leads to a very undesirable side-effect: Customink then assigns people on a day-to-day basis to do work in other departments according to where the bulk of orders are in the assembly line. In this way, they are able to keep a fluid workforce and hire fewer employees to do more work. This is most evident in the two annual "busy seasons". Customink will brag about the 25 days per year of vacation, which is indeed wonderful, except you can only take this vacation during "off-season". The result is that all 1000-ish employees clamor to use up their time off (since only 5 days roll over) which causes a backup in the assembly line. Then the company assigns MANDATORY overtime.
    Undoubtedly someone from upper management will be along shortly to provide counter-examples, and they might even be true. But if you are considering a position here, I would urge you to keep an open mind and look past the initial "WOW factor" of the free snacks and the million dollar patio. Keep an eye on the way you're being treated and the way others are being treated, and decide if that seems right to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To the upper management: Your mid-level management is hiding problems from you. Harassment complaints and job dissatisfaction are swept under the rug so that they can tell you everything is fine and dandy. But without your workforce, Customink can't continue to operate, and eventually people will grow backbones and unionize or mass-quit. Operating a business is about more than just making money. There are much easier ways to make money than to print custom t-shirts. The challenge is to create a system that is able to support itself yes, but also creates happiness and positivity in the lives of it's employees and in the community.

    To the mid-level management: Read about Chairman Mao and the Great Leap Forward. What you're doing now is exactly what mid-level supervisors did then, and the result won't be any better. As a mid-level manager your job is to advocate for your employees and keep them happy and healthy while inspiring them to perform at a level that is pleasing to upper-management. Leadership isn't about forcing the production of a desired product to show off to upper management; it's about forming a bond with your team and LEADING them. Show a good example. Be on their side. Fight on their behalf for things like cost of living and a system of pay that isn't based on back-biting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Amazing Company, Bumpy Growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Satisfaction Assurance  in  Reno, NV (US)
    Former Employee - Satisfaction Assurance in Reno, NV (US)

    I worked at CustomInk full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    There is plenty of office camaraderie and fantastic benefits!

    Cons

    Busy season can last far longer than expected and become unwieldy, and customers can be dizzying in their demands as the company is known for being particularly flexible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When I worked there, there were sudden, jarring changes in management which made communication difficult and ultimately led to my leaving the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awesome company and people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales/Service Representative  in  Reno, NV (US)
    Current Employee - Sales/Service Representative in Reno, NV (US)

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Best place I've ever worked

    Cons

    Cant think of any cons

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    One raise in nearly three years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Expert Production Artist  in  Fairfax, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Expert Production Artist in Fairfax, VA (US)

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I love my coworkers. I've met some of the nicest, most worthwhile people at this job and it is possible to have a legitimately good time at work.

    Also, I'm very pleased with the benefits package I receive. My health insurance is great and there are a lot of nice little perks, like a meal provided by the company on Thursdays and a frozen yogurt machine on-site at Fairfax.

    Cons

    In Order Operations, a significant portion of your work is tied directly to performance. If you aren't able to meet your quotas, your pay will not be what you expect. And it's not as though each order you handle is the same with the same degree of work required. While one order might take 5 minutes, the next might take a few hours. In EPA, the values of the various order difficulties are staggered so it's certainly better than them being of equal value but it's still problematic.

    Additionally, there is no system set up for annual raises, at least not based on company loyalty or seniority. Instead, there are Stride Increases, which are only available annually and are based on performance and accuracy. These increases can be particularly difficult to achieve and are barely in keeping with inflation.

    Recently, the company had it's first $1 million dollar day. To celebrate, we're there bonuses? No. Instead, the CEO went around and handed out Hershey's bars with a little printed note thanking us for helping to achieve that milestone. I found it to be insulting and patronizing.

    CustomInk is a company that is doing incredibly well in a short period. They are not passing that success onto their employees, at least not in my department.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    CustomInk is a great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Service Representative  in  Fairfax, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales Service Representative in Fairfax, VA (US)

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Benefits and perks of working for the company. Lots of fun events.

    Cons

    Pay, cost of living is more than pay. Management isn't very organized and doesn't communicate very well in sales service. Not a lot of support for growing within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Getting Over Growing Pains

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Office culture is casual, but sometimes deceptively so. You may wear flip flops to work but you're also expected to know your stuff and kick butt.

    - Cultural traditions are prized, but never out-of-bounds for a reality check. As a result the culture has stayed pretty similar over the course of my time (from 200 employees to 1000+) or improved.

    - 99.9% of people genuinely enjoy coming to the office. It's reflected in how people treat each other, and the dedication they put into their work.

    - Compensation in ops roles is great if you're a recent grad (almost too good to leave), but level out over time.

    - A truly open, honest, caring environment. I can honestly say I've never seen someone treated differently because of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or age.

    - Benefits are stellar.

    Cons

    - The VAST majority of personalities are awesome, but a few sour apples have a large impact, and while upper management is aware, nothing substantive is done (or at least perception is as such).

    - Two words: Peter. Principle. This is slowly being rectified as the company fleshes out roles.

    - Most of the hires in ops roles are recent grads. Not having a non-CI work environment to set a standard means sometimes people feel entitled about little things (like snarky Wanna-be-Yelp-reviewers of the free lunches), or don't know how to respond in a "grown-up" way to the challenges/expectations set upon them.

    Finally, this is more of a mix than a con. I saw other reviewers say that they feel it's hard to move upwards in the company. This is very true as often roles are super competitive. However, the people who succeed are ones who put their necks out and make their own opportunities. Lots of Inkers seem to feel that simply being good at their current job warrants moving up or out of their departments. Managers are looking for people who are looking to move towards something specific, not just away from their current roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember to constantly check yourself and understand the nuances of where we are in 2014 vs. 2010 vs. 2006 vs. 2001 as a company. Other than that, keep on keepin' on.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Fun Company, Could Use Tweaking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales/Service Representative  in  Reno, NV (US)
    Former Employee - Sales/Service Representative in Reno, NV (US)

    I worked at CustomInk full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -Fun, light hearted work environment with opportunities (though no pressure) for socialization
    -Ability to move between departments with relative ease. Shadowing sessions are easy to coordinate
    -Smaller sized company means that it's easy to get to know most coworkers and to make work friends
    -Everybody is very open and approachable. Even the CEO
    -Managers prefer to coach somebody to success than to fire them
    -Company takes pride in it's work and it's employees
    -Thorough interview process weeds out a lot of bad apples
    -Competitive benefits package
    -Within Sales and Service, fairly easy to find shift coverage
    -Catered lunches 2x weekly
    -Tons of free SWAG. T-shirts, tote bags, etc.
    -Sales and service reps are empowered to come up with best solution for customers
    -Company does it's best not to feel or act like a typical call center

    Cons

    For sales and service...

    -Your day is very rigidly scheduled and every break is timed
    -Quotas are difficult to meet. It's difficult to provide excellent customer service AND hit a certain number of calls per day, especially when you're encouraged to design shirts while you're on the phone with the customer.
    -The sales and service teams are expected to do a little bit of everything, which is okay but it's better to have a department devoted exclusively to chat OR calls OR emails. My current company does this, and it's great
    -Training is two weeks long and gives future SS Reps limited phone exposure. More phone exposure would have been nice
    -Since HQ is in Virginia, there are more limited opportunities for advancement in Reno if you want to go to a dept like marketing, finance, HR, etc.
    -SS Reps all have to work overtime during busier seasons
    -Sometimes the company's "customers first" attitude breeds abusive or demanding customers. SS reps are often pressured to bend over backwards in the name of customer service, even in these situations
    -Young managers often started as SS rep and lack management experience
    -Low compensation (could be average for call center) isn't really enough to support yourself

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Divide up the sales and service departments to focus on specific tasks for better efficiency and consistency. It's also ok to hire outside managers with actual experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Fairfax, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA (US)

    I have been working at CustomInk full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Very casual work environment, lots of great people, fantastic benefits. The company values are awesome. It's refreshing to work with people who love what they do. The company is also growing pretty quickly.

    Cons

    Very fast paced...but I can't even really say that's a con because that generally means that things are going well. It would be nice if pay was a bit higher considering the cost of living in the DC area. I wish there was a bit more room to grow, as far as salary goes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have had nothing but great experiences with management. It may be a younger crowd in most areas, but very capable and willing to go above and beyond.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for CustomInk? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.