I’m often asked this question (or a variant of it) by my clients and others. “Well shouldn’t every association management system have [fill in the blank] functionality?” The answer is, “Well, maybe.”
I’ve pondered this question for several years, actually, and I’ve finally decided there are only four basic functions any product that calls itself an association management system should have. (Drumroll, please…)
Of course, there are plenty of other tools that an AMS might have, and for every association, there are tools the AMS must have. But these are the four that I think an AMS must have in order to call itself an AMS. And for what it’s worth, I’ve seen more than a few products called association management systems that were missing one or more of these (most often they’re missing #1).
So what do you think? Did I miss something? What baseline functionality should every AMS product have?
“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