About

Businesses survive, stabilize, grow and maximize their potential with Spader Business Management. Our proven collection of timeless business principles addresses both the financial and human sides of business. Whether you’re looking for one-on-one coaching and consulting, access to your peers through 20 Groups, key management training or tools to help make business more efficient, Spader is ready to lend a hand.

Duane Spader

Duane Spader1Before he even stepped foot in high school, Duane Spader was learning the art of sales by selling campers for his dad on the family farm in Oldham, South Dakota. The business, along with its lessons, followed Duane through high school into college at South Dakota State University where he gained mentors and investors. Instead of completing his formal education, he moved his fledgling dealership from Brookings to Sioux Falls.

As Duane built his business in Sioux Falls, he worked steadily to create a franchise-like model for dealerships by developing a top-to-bottom management system. He wanted to be able to take “an average person off the street and make them an above-average manager.” Eventually, Duane, along with his bookkeeper, Noel Lais, developed the financial tools and equations that serve as the cornerstone of Total Management 1 to this day.

Training

By 1976, Duane Spader’s growing reputation had him speaking in front of the entire RV industry at the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association and led to him create Spader Business Management, a business that originally served peer 20 groups in the RV and marine industries. The foundation for Spader 20 Groups is an easy-to-use reporting standardization developed by Duane and Noel Lais that allows any dealership with an accounting system to participate. Today, Spader 20 Groups exist in not only in the RV and marine industries, but also in the farm equipment, lighting showroom, motorcoach, office furniture, powersports and pet industries.

Just as Duane and Noel were making good progress on the Spader Total Management system, the economic crisis of 1979 caused the RV dealership to lose 75% of its revenues in 90 days. From a high of 30+ employees, Spader Camper Center was run by just Duane and Noel during the winter of 1979-80.

Duane knew that dealers needed more than just 20 groups to learn the Total Management system. He never wanted to be a trainer, but in the interests of helping small business owners survive and thrive, he began teaching Total Management in 1980. That first workshop consisted of eight marine dealers sitting at school desks in the Spader Camper Center showroom. Duane’s wife Elaine brought home-cooked lunches in each day, and in just four and a half days, Duane taught those dealers how to manage the financial side of their business.

Duane continued to lead the programs at Spader Business Management until he retired in 2012.

Software

In the early ‘80s, ten members of the marine Spader 20 Group contributed $5,000 each to help Duane Spader develop accounting software for their indispensible reporting system. As luck would have it, Duane ran into Jeanette Wolcott, a New Jersey computer programming professor who was staying with her family in a camper at the KOA Kampground owned by Duane. She agreed to write the first set of software on an Apple Macintosh computer. Working closely with Noel Lais, Jeanette developed the Spader Grand Ledger system. Sales Analysis, the Big Ticket unit inventory and sales system, soon followed.

Duane and Noel grew the software business over the next several years by hiring a staff of programmers, installers and support specialists. Over the next fifteen years Spader Software grew to be the largest dealership software provider in the marine and RV industries, with a staff of nearly 50 employees.  In 1997, the company received an offer to sell future development rights on the software and Spader scaled down to a lower business plateau and concentrated on training, consulting and 20 groups in expanding industries.

John Spader

arms widerIn 1987 Duane’s son, John, joined the Spader RV dealership as a salesman and learned first-hand how the Spader Total Management system worked. John discovered a natural ability to see how numbers relate, and soon migrated over to Spader Business Management, first as a sales trainer, then working through several other positions in the company.

Eventually, John was added as the third person in top management, working closely with his father and Noel Lais to pilot the company through its evolution from software development to consulting and training. In 2003, Duane turned the company over to John as president, with Noel continuing his instrumental role as vice president of operations.

Dr. Michael O’Connor

Dr OIn the early years of Spader Business Management, while Duane Spader was refining the “financial equation,” he was equally interested in developing the “human equation” of businesses. Duane met Dr. Michael O’Connor, who later became vice president of development at Carlson Companies in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Duane and Dr. O’Connor began a friendship and a business relationship that has continued and expanded over the past thirty years. In 2008, they launched the first Total Management 2 workshop in Sioux Falls, with Noel Lais, David Spader and Dr. O’Connor as the pilot instructors.

In 2010, Spader Business Management merged resources with Dr. O’Connor, which included Life Associates, Inc. and the Center for Managing by Values. This strategic move brought the resources of Dr. O’Connor to Spader full-time, adding significant capacity for helping clients on the “human side” of their businesses. Dr. O’Connor currently serves as Executive Vice President for Spader’s consulting division. He is an internationally-recognized thought leader who has contributed to several different types of breakthroughs for producing higher personal, team and organizational performance. Dr. O’Connor’s past thirty years of research has translated into many best-selling books, including “The Leader Within,” “People Smart,” and “Managing by Values.”

Our Vision Statement

Providing leadership and guidance that result in business and individual success in ways that create fulfillment and a better world.

Our Mission

We are a highly valued resource that helps business leaders, owners, and employees succeed professionally and personally through our training, consulting, and management services and products.

Our Core Company Values

Trust

Strong, healthy and respectful relationships

Excellence

Expectations anticipated and met or exceeded

Financial Success

Strong return on invested time, money, effort and other resources

Teamwork

Ambitious goals achieved as a team that we couldn’t accomplish as individuals

Customer Service Intelligence

Customer Service Intelligence (CSI) is an assessment system that focuses management and employees on customer-centricity, empowers businesses to be immediately responsive to their customers’ needs, and assures customers that their satisfaction is imperative to the business.

Spader uses CSI in several ways:

  • To document whether or not services are being delivered by management correctly,
  • To provide actionable reports for all programs, along with a tracking system that compares month-to-month and year-to-year progress,
  • To enable businesses to address changes in manageable steps, and
  • To produce a simple, seamless, step-by-step process toward customer-centricity.

Jenkins-Spader

Jenkins-Spader business forms help make RV and marine operations run more efficiently. Forms vary from repair orders and daily time tickets, to warranty claims and delivery request packets. To view a full list of forms, click here.

Life Associates

Life Associates and The Center for Managing by Values bring the “human equation” to Spader resources. Their products and services are based on the principles of Managing By Values®, Dr. Michael O’Connor’s unique philosophy and process for building and managing all-win, high-performing organizations. Dr. O’Connor works exclusively with Spader Business Management to provide the valuable services and products he has spent a lifetime developing.

Click here to learn more about Life Associates and The Center for Managing by Values.

Statistical Surveys

Statistical Surveys is a premier provider of market intelligence to the marine and RV industries. Spader utilizes the Cube Analysis System to help RV and marine dealerships manage their inventory, identify strong market potential and understand marketplace changes before the competition. Dealer Profile is also used to help dealers measure and monitor market share, quickly identify hot-selling products in their market and offer analysis of price-point penetration.

Trainer/Consultant

If you have experience in owning or managing a successful business, this is an opportunity to use that experience to help other business owners.  The key responsibility is leading ongoing management peer groups.

Qualified candidates will have a strong understanding of the financial side of a business, will have demonstrated successful management practices in other businesses and have a track record of identifying and implementing successful business initiatives. Excellent communication skills are required and must be willing to travel.

Spader Business Management offers a competitive compensation package and benefits including 401(k) profit sharing.

Click here to submit your resume and cover letter. You may also mail us at:

Spader Business Management
PO Box 2820
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-2820

Fast Facts

Spader Business Management got its start in the RV industry but soon recognized their business principles could help any industry or small business. They now work with many industries including farm equipment, lighting showroom, marine, motorcoach, office furniture, powersports, RV and trailers.

  • Founded in 1976 by Duane Spader.
  • John Spader is currently president.
  • Employs approximately 35 employees.
  • More than 5,000 businesses have sought out Spader Business Management’s expertise.
  • More than 10,000 people from 3,000 businesses have successfully completed Spader’s Total Management 1 Workshop.
  • Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Image Gallery & Media Usage

All images, unless specified otherwise, are copyright 2007-2016 BMR, Inc. dba Spader Business Management, all rights reserved. These images are available for use, unaltered, in support of editorial and business publications about Spader Business Management. They may not be used for any other purposes, commercial or otherwise.

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