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The Missed Value of a New AMS System

When implementing a new AMS (association management system), we typically see all value of the functionality it brings: Things like the ability to process online orders, or being able to capture key data in one system. But one of the greatest values of implementing a new association management software system is often overlooked: re-engineering business processes.

I know, it doesn't sound very exciting, but improving your business processes can be (should be?) a nice side-effect of implementing a new data management system. Any new database should force you to look at how you process everything, from adding records, to adding transactions, to running reports. Implementing a new system gives you an excuse to look at what you're doing now to try and determine if you could be doing things better.

The alternative is that you implement new software that replicates your old processes, which would be an incredible waste of time and money. So when implementing a new system, look for the opportunities to re-engineer, including throwing out processes you don't need anymore.

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1 Comment on "The Missed Value of a New AMS System"

Joe Grant - 6 June 2007 Reply

Nice post. I'd like to add that most AMS vendors have created their process around industry best practices. This means...unless it's absolutely critical for the delivery of the member experience, adapt your processes to the system. Unnecessary customizing can cause some real headaches down the road.

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“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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