One of the more common complaints I hear from my clients is that the vendor doesn’t provide enough information about certain aspects of their software. For example, when a vendor offers a new upgrade, associations will often say “Tell me what is in the upgrade that will be important to me.”
Well, the problem is, the vendor can’t really do that. Because only you really know how you’re using the system now, and how the upgrade will affect you.
To be sure, the vendor should certainly provide upgrade notes that highlight the most significant changes the upgrade brings (at least from their perspective). But the reality is, what the vendor thinks is important or significant may be completely unimportant to you and your organization.
The sad reality is, there are some things you’ll just have to do for yourself. You’ll have to review the upgrade notes and identify which upgrades (if any!) are applicable and important to you. And you’ll have to communicate this to your staff.
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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