If you have a car that was manufactured in the past ten years and you’ve taken it into the shop, you’ve probably noticed something interesting: One of the first things your mechanic does is plug your car into a handheld computer, to run diagnostic tests. Today’s cars have so many computers on them that in order to diagnose what, if anything, is wrong with your car, you have to plug it into a computer. (I once owned a Jaguar that had, allegedly, 32 distinct computer chips on it!)
While the mechanic may ultimately use some tools that have been around forever (think wrench and pliers), she can’t do her job effectively without that handheld computer.
So why do so many associations continue to use decades-old technology to manage their association’s data? After all, you wouldn’t trust your car to a mechanic who doesn’t have the computer, would you? Yet too many associations continue to give their staff turn-of-the-century tools to manage the organization.
Given the broad array of AMS products available today, and many of them extremely affordable for even the smallest associations, it’s simply malpractice to continue to force your staff to use old tools. If it’s good enough for your auto mechanic, isn’t it good enough for your professional organization?
“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