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7 December 2016, by , in Executive, 1 comment
To have the courage of your convictions means to do or say what you think is right no matter who disagrees with you. What I often see from my clients is a very strong conviction about the value of their products and services, but very low willingness to price these products and services according to...
I’ve written a LOT about business rules over the years. The reason I do is because business rules are generally one of the few things we actually have some control over. Generally speaking, outside of rules mandated by bylaws, staff has full control over business rules within the organization. We get to set pricing, how we...
2 December 2016, by , in Random Thoughts, No comments
Over the years, and even recently, I’ve had clients tell me they want to discourage their members and customers from paying with a credit card, because of the transaction fees (typically between 3% and 5%). While I understand the desire, I think this is short-sighted, because many consumers (and companies!) WANT to pay with credit...
28 November 2016, by , in Data-driven Marketing, No comments
In over 17 years of consulting, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation similar to this one: Client: “Our database sucks.” Me: “What makes you say that?” Client: “The data is bad. I pull a list of board members and I see lots of errors.” Me: “Why is the data bad?” Client:...
16 November 2016, by , in New article, No comments
Every association is in the sales business. Whether you’re selling membership, event registrations, products, or certification programs, the fact is, you’re selling. Not only is it time for associations to acknowledge that they are in the business of selling, it is also time to start implementing actions and creating a culture that support the sales...
2 November 2016, by , in Data Management, No comments
A recent episode of the Freakonomics Podcast was entitled “In Praise of Maintenance,” and asked the question: “Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?” As usual for Freakonomics, it was an excellent discussion, and it got me to thinking: When it...
1 November 2016, by , in Executive, No comments
In the past week I’ve met with two different associations who are struggling with their current AMS systems. A common theme between the two was lots of staff turnover. That is, since the time the system was first implemented, many (if not all!) key staff had left the organization so effectively “new” people were in charge of the database....
26 October 2016, by , in Uncategorized, No comments
When I work with clients on selecting a new AMS, it’s not uncommon for me to hear some variation of the following question: “Can’t you just tell us which AMS is the best one?” I’ll often hear something along these lines, too: “I think I could design the perfect AMS that every association would use....
24 October 2016, by , in Rants and Kudos, 3 comments
A client of mine wanted to send an RFP for redesign of their website to a design company I had not previously worked with. Because I had no contacts there, I used their online form, which included a category for “new business” and submitted my name and some details, in order to find out who...
In my experience, when associations make a database system change, staff will sometimes talk about how the old system used to work. They’ll say things like “In the old system, we could add a new individual record in two minutes; now it takes five.” Or “In the old system it was really easy to pull a list of...

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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