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Archives: August 2008
28 August 2008, by , in Rants and Kudos, 2 comments
I recently had need to call Carefirst (my health insurance company) because they had made a billing error. I had paid my premium, the check was cashed (online proof from my bank) yet my account had not been credited. I dutifully called the “Questions about your invoice?” number on my statement, and was on hold...
26 August 2008, by , in Data Management, 1 comment
There was a discussion on a users group listserver a few days ago about the pros and cons of centralized vs. decentralized data entry. The question was, should all staff be able to enter and correct data in the database, or should that function be restricted to just a few? Several people weighed in, and...
One of the most significant changes to occur over the past couple of years in database management is the idea that the database must be more customer-friendly. Prior to Al Gore inventing the internet, when associations considered which database they might use, the only audience to consider was staff. That is, how would staff interact...
19 August 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments
By show of hands, how many of you have an “IT” person on your senior management team? Is the most senior IT person in your organization part of the executive management team, or do they report to someone else who is on the executive management team? What I see far too often is organizations will...
14 August 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments
When I work with my clients on the implementation of a new database, there is a tendency to focus on everything that is not working. That’s human nature, of course. We want to fix it if it is broken. Unfortunately, all of this focus on the “broken” tends to lead people to believe that the...
I recently traded emails with an association colleague of mine, an executive director of a small association, asking him how his search for a new AMS was going. (He is not a client, but chose to do this on his own.) He has called the process “a train wreck.” Here are just some of his...
I had the opportunity to sit through a lengthy demo of the Polaris product from ARC Solutions. Overall I was pretty impressed with what I saw. Their product is entirely web-based and takes advantage of all the latest technology available to web-based databases. ARC is still a relatively young business (7 years old) and still...
5 August 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments
If you are an association staffer or executive, I’d appreciate it if you could answer my one question survey. It will take only a minute or two to reply. Last year at this time over 100 of your association colleagues responded to this survey, and the results were fascinating. You can read about that here:...

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance