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Inconsistent processes leads to inefficiencies (and errors!)

Standing in line in airport security last week, I noticed that half the people in line were taking their shoes off while others were not. I wasn’t surprised because I’ve been at airports recently where all passengers were being told by TSA agents that we could leave our shoes on. So naturally, some of us thought “Hey, we can leave our shoes on.” Of course, that wasn’t the case.

In the same security line, I also heard one of the TSA agents yelling “Be sure to KEEP your boarding pass with you!” This is the first time in years that I’ve heard that request.

Not surprisingly, these changes were confusing all the passengers, and everything in security was being slowed down as people went back to their bags for boarding passes, or had to be told to take their shoes off before going through the scanners.

Inconsistent processes like these lead to confusion, which leads to inefficient throughput (security was REALLY slow as a result), and it can lead to errors (several passengers went through without their boarding passes. Does this mean they weren’t screened properly?!?).

Now look at your organization, and how you process data. Do different staff process the same data differently? If so, not only is it going to slow down your data processing, it’s also going to lead to errors. You need to your processes consistent, and then you need to document those processes so everyone is doing it the same way.

Don’t let the TSA be your model!

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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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