I was recently called by a potential client who was looking to move from their existing software to another AMS package. As I talked with them, I learned that they're using what I consider to be a really good AMS package, but they are not happy with it. They find it too cumbersome, not flexible enough, and hard to understand. What's interesting about this particular situation is that the association received the software for free. The challenge they face is that they don't want to spend a lot for a new AMS package. The one they have would be way out of their price range if they had to buy it a street value.
The question is: What should they do? Should they trash a really good product and try to find a less-expensive product that staff finds easier-to-use? Or should they work with the vendor to try to learn how to use the system better? Or is there yet another option they haven’t considered?
What would you advise?
“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