Recipe for Success: Talking Career and Cooking with Shilpa Nandakumar
Shilpa Nandakumar grew up in India where she studied marketing, finance and information technology in college. Life eventually led to an opportunity to move to the U.S., where she’s built her career as an ERP consultant. Shilpa joined the Silverware team in 2017, after working for nearly seven years in the industry. But that wasn’t the path she initially started on. When she was tasked with putting together inventory reports, she learned the capabilities of Microsoft’s software, which eventually prompted Shilpa to make a career change.
We recently spoke with Shilpa Nandakumar about work and the things that motivate her.
What inspired you to pursue a career as an ERP consultant?
My first job was in sales management for an international restaurant franchise company, and I was responsible for increasing sales for nine local restaurants. It was there that I was encouraged by one of the managers to consider consulting as a career option. I am happy that I listened and followed their advice, and I’ve never looked back.
How have the industry and your job changed since you began working at Silverware?
The industry is ever evolving, and the tools just continue to get smarter. Since I began, my job has only gotten more challenging and more interesting. I am exposed to new and different business processes all the time, so I am always learning.
When I joined the Silverware team, I started at our Phoenix office. For the last two years, I’ve been working full-time from a remote home office based in California. Silverware as an organization has grown and now has employees spread across the country. We still have our office in Phoenix and one in Seattle, but there are more employees now working from home offices in various cities.
What are some of the biggest challenges your customers face and how are you able to help them overcome these challenges?
Employee turnover is one of the biggest challenges my clients face. As part of any implementation, we help train employees (users) and losing those core trained members costs a lot to a company, especially when they incur a loss of knowledge. When they have to hire a new staff member, they have to spend a significant amount of time on training to get new hires up to speed on the systems and business processes.
To help our clients bridge the gap, we recommend that our customers try to maintain a knowledge base, and we share recordings of all our trainings to be used for training new employees. Sharing training videos has proven to be a success. It allows users to learn the tools and they can use the videos as a reference at any time. One of our clients, MicroAge has the best track record for dealing with this issue. We document any changes or new developments in the environment, provide detailed information on the process and we share it with the client. On their end, they have a dedicated resource in the company that documents every process and adds it to the company’s database of resources. This gives users the information they need and access to refer to the info at any given point in time.
Do you have any advice for other young women considering a career in the tech industry?
I recently read an interesting article that offered some good insights for aspiring techs. Here are a few points that I found particularly intriguing and which could be helpful to other women trying to build a career in the tech industry:
- • Follow good people: Work for a company that has intelligent leaders that care about their employees. Money will be a byproduct, not the criteria to work.
- • Stay up to date: Time & technology waits for no one. So, keep learning.
- • Make sure you find a good mentor: Be proactive and continuously learn from your peers and seniors.
- • Climb your own ladder: Learn from your seniors, but be yourself!
We understand you enjoy cooking. If you were hosting a dinner and could invite anyone (living or dead), who would it be and what would you make?
It will be a dream come true if I could meet Kamala Harris in person and congratulate her on being the first ever woman Vice President and let her know what an inspiration she is to all of us. Wouldn’t it be nice to chat over dinner, along with some scrumptious home cooked South Indian food?
If you would like to learn more about how Shilpa Nandakumar and the team at Silverware Inc. can help improve your business operations with an ERP implementation, contact us for an initial discussion.