Meet Rick Spahn President of Pace Software
Here is a brief interview which will give you an opportunity to get to know a bit about Rick Spahn.
When did you get a start in the Auto industry?
At age 16, I was hired as an apprentice mechanic at Joe O’Bryan’s Service in Park Forest, IL.
At age 19, I started my first auto repair shop Spahn Automotive in Park Forest, IL. In 1981, I was able to buy property for the business.
Tell us about your first computer?
I remember spending 45 minutes a day filling out EK Williams books and was looking for a way to expedite that process. I bought a Radio Shack TRS-80 computer with accounting software as a bundle hoping it would help shorten my bookkeeping time. This ended up adjusting my daily bookkeeping time from 45 minutes to roughly 4 hours, mostly because everything was not integrated. I liked the nice reports it produced, but I did not find the software to be time saving.
Periodically, the program would crash and show the source code. There was no tech support hotline I could call, so I just learned how to fix it. I ended up updating that Radio Shack program and was able to reduce my bookkeeping time down to 15 minutes.
This is what inspired me to write my own program.
What’s your favorite car?
Not an easy question to answer! My favorite car is a 1966 Chevelle. I have a long history with this car. When I was 17, I built a ’66 Chevelle in my garage with a Muncie 4 speed with a 4.11 Posi. Shortly after, however, I was rear ended and the car was totaled. Luckily, my then girlfriend (now wife) and I escaped the accident unharmed.
38 years later, I built another Marina Blue ’66 Chevelle! This one doesn’t have a Muncie 4 speed, but it’s still beautiful.
What makes your software different from all the others out there?
While at a tradeshow, I was talking to different existing customers about what they like most and what they like least about YES. Many of them answered that what they loved about YES is how it is so flexible and easy to adjust to the changes in their business. What they liked least was how flexible the program is which lead to so many ways to do most everything. They found it was sometimes hard to decide which way would work best for them.
I think another thing that sets us apart is that we are a company who loves helping auto repair shops succeed. We love helping our customers with billing procedure challenges. Some of our customers have referred to YES as the world’s largest tool box for billing – with tools to address every situation. We’ll have customers call us after going to a conference or seminar excited about a new idea. They’ll ask us to make something only to find out that it’s already been developed and simply needs to be switched on. Other times, the solution is not so simple and we either get started on developing it or recommend a different procedure. Either way- we love being here to help.
Who inspires you?
Many people have inspired me through the years, starting with my dad Bob Spahn who always encouraged me to get things done and to refuse to give up. There is always a solution.
Some people who inspire me within the industry are Lee Iacocca and Doug Evans. They have both achieved so much in the auto industry.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
“Know your costs.” -Al Hauser
My step-father taught me that if you don’t know what it costs you to do business, it’s very hard to succeed.