Month: March 2016

If you're sending more than five RFPs, you're doing it wrong.

I once heard of an association who had worked with a consultant on selecting a new AMS. The consultant had the association staff sit through a week’s worth of demos from 10 different vendors. TEN vendors! That’s malpractice. There are never going to be ten different vendors that your association would have to so seriously consider …

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"There are no solutions, only trade-offs"

I first heard this from Thomas Sowell many years ago. And I’ve written about it here and here and here. But it’s so important that it bears repeating, time and time again. When it comes to data management, and especially data management software, there are no perfect solutions, only trade-offs. The software might be really good, but it’s …

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Vendors: PLEASE stop saying "only" or "first of its kind"

Here’s the thing about being “first” on anything. Only ONE company or person can be first. Only one. So when I read proposals from vendors that say things like “the first cloud-based AMS” I  think “The writer is a fool or a liar.” A similar thing is true about the word “only.” Once two companies are …

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Associations need to formalize and operationalize data management

In my 2015 Data Management Benchmarking Survey, I asked associations: “Do you have a formal data management team?” Only 22% replied yes. This number needs to increase dramatically if associations are really going to take advantage of the data that they are managing. The simple fact is that the amount of data you manage is only …

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To host or not to host? That is the question.

I’m often asked by my clients, as they seek a new AMS, should they be looking at hosted options? Or more to the point, should they bother looking at premise-based solutions anymore? My answer is: For the vast majority of associations, a hosted solution will work fine and is actually preferable to premise-based. (Please keep …

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Have you looked at your documentation recently?

Many years ago I wrote an article about how important documentation is to the long-term success of your AMS. (You can read that article here.) What I wrote in that article is still pertinent today. Documentation of processes is absolutely vital to long-term success. Staff needs to clearly define and document how data will be processed throughout the organization. …

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Take advantage of your vendor's training programs

I wrote recently about one vendor who provides free training to new employees. It’s a brilliant idea that all vendors should follow. But what about long-standing employees who just need a training touch up? This is where you need to take advantage of the training options your vendor provides. For example, many (though not all) …

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