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Seek Dividends, Not Just Insurance

One of the primary services I provide to my clients is helping them select and implement new association management software. Because there are so many choices available (here’s a list that I follow), my clients use me as an insurance policy, to make sure they make a choice that’s right for their organization.

While having a good AMS in place is the first step to long-term success, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just the first step. A well-implemented AMS should provide dividends (i.e., return on investment), not just insurance that you’re managing your data effectively.

For example, several years ago I helped a client move from an old client/server AMS to a fully web-based system. Among other things, this switch allowed the client to provide online membership application and renewals. As a result of this change, the association went from a six-week turnaround on membership joins to just 48 hours! For the association, this meant not only radically improved customer service, but they were also able to realign staffing and change the kind of work their staff was doing. That’s real ROI.

So if you’ve got a relatively stable AMS in place, your next step is to ask yourself: “How am I leveraging this system to get as much value out of it as I can?”

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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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