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Trust is critical to success
9 September 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments

It may be a cliche, but one of the most critical elements to the long-term success of your database is a high level of trust between you and your software vendor. You have to view your vendor as a partner in your success (and you a partner to their success). You can’t view the relationship as a zero-sum game where if you gain, they lose, and vice versa.

When a potential client calls me and tells me they’re interested in looking for a new association management system, one of the questions I ask them is which system they are currently working with and what kind of relationship they have with the vendor. Very frequently, I find that the level of trust between the association and the vendor has degraded to the point that the association doesn’t believe anything the vendor tells them. This is not the type of relationship you’re looking for.

So what is the key to a trusting relationship? Communication. My most successful clients are continually communicating with their vendor, letting them know what’s working, what’s not working, what new initiatives are taking place, and so on. And like all relationships, it isn’t all wine and rose. Sometimes there are very difficult discussions that have to occur, but most importantly, conversations are occurring. Both parties are talking. And they’re both focused on success.

Here’s a little more I had written about seven years ago.

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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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