Double interview with Shannon McCarthy (Datatex Americas Head of Business Development) & Federico Lopez (Datatex Americas Delivery Manager)
1. Hello! How would you like to introduce yourself to the Datatex Magazine readers? Who are you? What are your passions and hobbies?
SHANNON MCCARTHY: I am Shannon McCarthy, and I am the Head of Business Development and Administration for the Americas. Outside of work I am a husband, a father and I coach youth basketball. My family and I like to travel to visit our extended family and other exciting locations, cheer on the Atlanta and Georgia Tech sports teams and enjoy the vibrant dining scene in Atlanta.
FEDERICO LOPEZ: Hi my name is Federico Lopez, I was born in Mexico City and love outdoor activities like hiking and camping. My passion is my family.
2. When did you start working at Datatex? What do you remember about when you started working with us and the first year you worked here?
SHANNON MCCARTHY: I started at Datatex in 1995 fresh out of business school and began with a focus on marketing. Soon after I moved to the implementation side to help with a project in a denim company. An early impression on me was how diverse the different companies that use our software are.
FEDERICO LOPEZ: I joined Datatex in December 2003. There are two things I remember about my first year. My first project in the US was in a very small town of Alabama where the only Hotel (Motel) available was like the ones you see in the Hollywood movies where the Vacancy neon light is flickering.
The second thing I remember is a kayak trip we did on one of the Georgia rivers, about 1 hour drive from the office. It was a lot of fun, during the trip is when I got to experience the camaraderie that exist between Datatex colleagues.
3. What do you appreciate most about your job and what are – in your opinion – the positive features and strengths of the Datatex world?
SHANNON MCCARTHY: I enjoy the culture of the company and the variety of the work. Datatex is owned by multiple families, and it feels like family. I have colleagues at my wedding and attended weddings in their families also.
The variety of the work also keeps our job interesting. The companies we support are in every type of textile and apparel that you can imagine. Also, we work with some of the largest companies, but also medium-sized and small organizations and they all have unique business requirements and company cultures. We work with executives and also people on the manufacturing floor.
One of the strengths of the Datatex world, outside of the excellent products, is that many of our customers also work together in their supply chain, so we have some close relationships amongst our customers as well. They share their experiences and are willing to provide support to each other as they venture into new areas of the software or business.
FEDERICO LOPEZ: I appreciate the opportunity that I have every day to learn. Learn from new circumstances, new scenarios, and new challenges that our customers bring to us as requirements. I also value the knowledge and expertise in the industry and our software of the people around me.
I have always described Datatex as a company that executes and delivers. With all the options we have in our toolbox (Our Software and Technology) we always find a way to do it and we realize it. Datatex is a small company compared to other big ERP Software companies but it give us a strength. We are small enough to care for every single customer and at the same time big enough to fulfill our customers expectations around the world and learn/improve our system globally.
4. From a professional point of view, what has been the most important moment, and what has been the most significant accomplishment, that you have achieved since working at Datatex? Would you then also like to tell us a curious or funny story regarding Datatex?
SHANNON MCCARTHY: In the early 2000s I was given the opportunity to manage our implementation team. Our office had continued to grow since I joined in 1995 and now we had a larger implementation and support staff. We changed our approach from a single consultant working independently on an implementation, to a team approach with several consultants working together on an implementation. This allowed us to better serve our customers and better utilize our internal resources. Around the same time, we established an Americas help desk in our office, so we no longer had consultants going directly to developers outside of the Americas, but were supported centrally in our own office, which led to greater knowledge sharing amongst the team. As a next step we added several native Spanish speakers to our team in Atlanta so that we could directly support our implementations in Latin America, which previously were supported from Europe. I believe this led to our success in the region.
There were many laughter filled dinners and chaotic travel stories over the years. A unique funny story is the time my now wife, but then partner, announced to the office that she was leaving because we were going to get married. We had kept our relationship a secret, so no one believed me when I told them the news, they thought I was joking, which I’m known to do. One of our colleagues said we should kiss to prove ourselves, so we did, and the office erupted in cheers and hugs as they realized it was true, we were going to marry.
FEDERICO LOPEZ: I believe that there are two moments that mark my professional career at Datatex. One is the go live at Parkdale in 2005, this was the largest project I had participated in, and it was my first project I executed as Datatex employee from beginning to end.
The second is the Protela Implementation and this is because it was a project that included all our modules available at the time and multiple integrations with other systems. Also, the team involved in the implementation was the largest I ever had to manage.
A curious story working for Datatex is that in 2015, I traveled so much that I accumulated (spent) 246 nights in a hotel chain.
5. Tell us a virtue and a defect of the colleague who is sharing this double interview with you, and tell us something about how you have collaborated and work together in the company (successes, clashes, discussions, debates)?
SHANNON MCCARTHY: Federico is intelligent, kind, and hard-working, but perhaps his greatest virtue is he takes ownership of his responsibilities and sees them through to a conclusion. I can’t recall any clashes we’ve had but we’ve certainly discussed and presented our different opinions overs both internal administrative responsibilities as well as business analysis and configuration decisions for our implementations. I think we have a heathy respect for each other’s opinion and experience and take the time to discuss our different points of view when they occur. We both probably eat too many sweets, that is a defect we share.
FEDERICO LOPEZ: Working with Shannon has been a very good experience, as I mentioned earlier I value the knowledge of the colleagues and I like to share the different situations/opportunities that happen in the projects with Shannon because most of the times he has a different perspective and that gives me an opportunity and challenges me to analyze other possible alternatives. I normally go into his office, ask him if it is a good time to speak and we have these casual but very valuable conversations.