When I help associations seek out and select new association management systems, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What’s your relationship like with your current AMS vendor?” (Assuming they are using a vendor.)

Too often the response is something along the lines of “We don’t talk to our vendor except when there is an emergency.”

This is a dangerous arrangement, and in most cases will lead to disappointment and ultimately abandonment of the current system.

As I’ve written before, when an association buys a new AMS, it’s not buying a product; it’s entering into a relationship much like a marriage. It’s a relationship that requires continual nurturing (much like a marriage), lest the relationship goes bad.

In order to nurture the relationship with your vendor, you need to look at them not only when you have an emergency, but when times are good, too. When was the last time you spoke with your vendor when it wasn’t a complaint or an emergency?