Subscribe to my newsletter EDM News
Archives: March 2015
When I help my clients through the process of selecting  a new association management system, they also get the benefit of reviewing  existing business processes and thinking about the people involved. Every project is about people, process, and technology. Selecting a new AMS gives you the opportunity to review all three of those aspects of...
30 March 2015, by , in Rants and Kudos, No comments
Long ago, I defined business intelligence as a business process using data to make decisions. The key to the definition is “make decisions.” That is, to take action. As consultant David Maister has said, we all know what to do, we just don’t do it. In other words, we don’t take ACTION. A good idea...
When discussing how much access staff users should have to the database and its functionality, I always tell my client “Give them the absolute minimum they need to do their job.” My clients will often respond with “Let’s just give users access to everything and then over time we can determine what functionality they don’t...
26 March 2015, by , in Data Management, No comments
I was very pleased to read this recent article in Associations Now by Joe Rominiecki about the Society of Hospital Medicine’s efforts to make their online join process easier. From the article: Last year, [SHM] reduced its membership application from 64 data fields down to nine required fields. At the same time, it has become...
25 March 2015, by , in Random Thoughts, No comments
One of the most important skills I’ve learned in my 15 years as a consultant is the ability to listen. And one of the best ways to ensure that you are listening is simply this: when you’re in a conversation where you’re trying to learn something, let the other person finish their thought before you...
23 March 2015, by , in Data Management, No comments
One of my data management commandments is that data should never have to be re-keyed. That is, once data has been entered into a system (e.g., the customer has completed a form online, or staff has entered data into a spreadsheet), that data should never have to be re-keyed again. Once data is in electronic...
20 March 2015, by , in Random Thoughts, No comments
I’ve written before about the amazing advances in technology that I’ve seen in my lifetime (and I like to think I’m not that old!). But the other day I was reminded that, as a child some 40 years ago, the mailing list that was used for monthly mailings of the newsletter that my 4-H club...
19 March 2015, by , in Data Management, 1 comment
One of the more important services I provide my clients is what I call a systems audit. The purpose of the audit is quite simple: to determine what is working, and what is not working, when it comes to the systems in use and how data is being managed. (With today’s highly integrated systems, this...
18 March 2015, by , in Data Management, 2 comments
When I help associations seek out and select new association management systems, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What’s your relationship like with your current AMS vendor?” (Assuming they are using a vendor.) Too often the response is something along the lines of “We don’t talk to our vendor except when there...
17 March 2015, by , in New article, 2 comments
I believe understanding and measuring member engagement is not a fad; it’s a critical part of every association’s long-term survival and relevance. When associations measure member engagement, they discover that some portion of the membership (20%? 30%? 50%?) is not engaged at all and the natural tendency is to say “We need to do something...

Archives

Sign-up for EDM News

 

 

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