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“Can’t you just tell me which shovel is best?”
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. It’s so obvious.”

If you search for “shovel” on Amazon, you’ll receive over 400 results. Why? Because there are different shovels for different needs, and no single shovel can serve every need. Assuming that one AMS could be designed for use by all associations is akin to saying you could design one shovel for everyone’s shoveling needs. It’s just not going to happen.

So the proper way to look at this is to ask: “What functionality do I need from my AMS?” and “Which AMSes come closest to addressing those functions?” Of course, you also have to ask “How much am I willing to spend on this solution?”

So don’t fool yourself into thinking there is one AMS out there that will serve all associations’ needs. It’s quite possible there isn’t even one to serve all of YOUR association’s needs! You might find that 80% is good enough!

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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
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