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Bad Systems Can Make Good People Leave
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.

This presents an interesting “chicken and egg” phenomenon. Did the staff leaving cause the system to break down (i.e., become less effective) or did the staff leave because the system was not working correctly? My experience is that both can be true.

Over the years I’ve met with many associations who have told me, in so many words “Our terrible technology is causing our best employees to leave.” I even had one executive director tell me that in exit interviews from the prior year, she had three different staff tell her that the AMS was one of the primary reasons they were leaving.

Bad systems can make good people leave.

So when you’re calculating the cost of keeping your existing system or upgrading/replacing your AMS, be sure to include the cost of NOT doing so. You may be causing your best people to look elsewhere for work!

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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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