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Attending TAUG

I had the opportunity to attend TMA Resources Annual Users Group meeting (TAUG) last week in Albuquerque. They put on a very impressive event, including two sessions specifically focused on AMS consultants.

TMAR is focused on their new AMS product dubbed Personify. The product looks very slick, including some nice integrations with Business Objects for dashboards, analytics, etc. I don’t have any ideas on pricing at this point, but I’m fairly certain this product will be out of reach of smaller associations (those with budgets under $5 million).

In one session on customer service, I got to hear the story of an association that had raised its dues by $5. As a result, as many as 25% of their members were paying the old dues, even though the new dues were clearly printed on the invoice. The customers were saying, in effect, sorry, I’m not paying higher dues. The association was seeing this as a “customer service” issue. I’m sorry, but if a quarter of your members are refusing to pay a nominal dues increase, you don’t have a customer service issue, you have a business model and value communications issue. No amount of customer service training or database improvements is going to fix that!

UPDATE: Full disclosure: EDM is an independent third-party consulting firm. This means we have no financial relationship with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog. We provide unbiased opinions on what we see.

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“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
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