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Working in a homegrown system is malpractice
8 June 2010, by , in Data Management, 1 comment

Yes, that’s harsh, but more and more it’s true. I’ve written before about how associations should not be in the business of developing software. (Click here to read that.)

I’ve also written before about how there are very affordable AMS products on the market that obviate the need for homegrown association management systems. (Click here to read that.)

Yet I’m still encountering associations and non-profits that are struggling with their homegrown systems and trying to find a way to make them work. (As an aside, the smart ones come to me to help them get away from their homegrown systems and into a quality off-the-shelf system.)

I think there are three reasons why non-profits don’t make the move:

  1. They don’t realize there are off-the-shelf systems that can do what they need.
  2. They fear that an off-the-shelf system will be too expensive.
  3. They are convinced that off-the-shelf systems can’t possibly do what they need them to do.
All of these reasons are rooted in ignorance, of course. And that ignorance is malpractice.
If your organization is still struggling with a homegrown system, read my blog, read my free articles, and engage me to help you with finding a new database that will actually work for your organization.
About author:
  • Our association is currently using an homegrown AMS system. And I have found that after the upgrade and reorganization I did this past winter, and getting through the bugs this spring, I am receiving less and less errors and we are getting more and more stuff done. We are transitioning to a SaaS for our knowledge center but not sure if we will for the AMS portion. Just wanted to leave a positive about a homegrown.

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“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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