Meet Our Tenants: PACE
We sat down with Craig Swift, Managing Director at PACE, to find out more about the software development company and why they chose to locate themselves at Sheffield Technology Parks.
Tell us a bit about the company:
PACE was formed in 1993 from a larger group of companies, working with clients such as the Post Office, Abbey National and HSBC, and became an independent operation in 2002. PACE is made up of staff with over 25 years experience in bespoke software development. We specialise in data-driven, bespoke software solutions and have recently worked with clients such as Bosch Siemens Home Applicances, Hubbell Lighting, Tata Steel and University of Portsmouth as well as local clients such as University of Sheffield, Fletchers Bakeries and Meadowhall.
What is unique about the business?
We consider ourselves as an extension to a client’s IT department. We provide a specialist IT resource that many clients are unable to afford full time in house. Our work is all about building relationships with our clients and 8/10 are core customers with whom we have built long term an ongoing relationship.
What are your plans for the future?
The way we work means that we become invaluable to the clients we work with, so we work in a reactive as opposed to a proactive way. We have been developing our marketing, in particular our web presence, to engage with prospective new clients, but our niche market within software development means most of our work comes from longstanding clients.
What do you like about being at Sheffield Technology Parks?
Having an S1 postcode is great as it gives validation to the business and the location is ideal as it is within close proximity to the train station and other transport links. There are a lot of like-minded businesses in the Tech Parks and we’re looking forward to the launch of the refurbished social hub which will offer more networking opportunities.
Why did you set the business up?
Working independently gave us the ability to move quickly and innovatively in an ever changing market. We wanted to be at the cutting edge of business software development. Working this way enables us to do that.
What were the challenges?
We’d traditionally come from financial sector clients, that had great focus on structured business analysis and software development. Other sectors are less structured and more innovative. We’ve built our approach around working with the clients strengths, and managing/providing the services they traditionally can’t, in order to give them the full solution they need.
What would you say to a start up in the tech sector at the moment?
Technology for the sake of it is pointless. It doesn’t deliver a client’s core business. Focus on understanding the client and the client’s needs before you focus on what technology you can apply.