I’ve always been a HUGE advocate of software users groups. When I was on staff at an association and a daily user of my AMS, it was incredibly valuable to have a community of like-minded users for me to easily access when I had a challenge. Many (but not all) of the AMS vendors now hold annual users conferences where their clients can gather to learn more about the product and the company, as well as to learn from each other. These meetings are incredibly valuable and I always encourage my clients to attend them.
A nice trend that I’m seeing among the AMS vendors is the addition of quarterly “town hall” teleconferences. With these conference calls, the AMS vendor has an opportunity to present the latest information about the product and roadmap. It’s also an opportunity for the vendor to get direct feedback from their client base.
If your vendor is hosting quarterly town hall teleconferences, be sure to participate in them. And if your vendor isn’t offering them, find out why!
“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