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?”