When I work with clients on their data management processes, I’m always looking for ways to make life easier for the staff as well as for the customer. That typically means finding ways to make the database do more of the work for us, so as to lower labor intensity.
But sometimes it’s either not possible, or prohibitively expensive, to make the database do exactly what we’d like it to do. And that’s when a workaround makes sense.
For example, at the recent ASAE Tech conference, in one session I sat in, a panelist discussed a major customization made to their database so as to accommodate a particular process within his association. The panelist explained the customization cost nearly $100,000. The process is executed twice a year. Surely a process that is executed only twice per year can be done for less than $100,000.
Granted, this is an extreme example, but the point obtains. Sometimes it simply doesn’t make sense to try to get the database to do every last thing for us. And it’s at those times when a workaround actually makes sense.
“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