Beware: Small things can add up to big time suckers…

When I work with clients, one thing I focus on is process. How is data managed within the organization? What steps are followed? What technology is used? Where does staff spend their time?

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that what often seems like a small thing can turn out to be a big time sucker. A process that seems simple enough, repeated many times per day, can really add up.

For example, one association I worked with has a corporate membership category. With any given corporate member, anywhere from five to 50 people may be associated with the member. When these members drop membership, all of the associated individuals have to have their membership benefits removed.

Each individual record only takes about one minute to update, which doesn’t seem like a lot, until you consider that some companies may have 50 individual records to update. So what started out as a “one minute process” now is heading toward one hour. What looked like a small process has ballooned into a big one.

In this particular example, the association was smart enough to recognize the problem and used their software to create a process that would automate the removal of benefits from each individual record.

So look around your organization. What “little” processes might be adding up to become big time suckers? And what can you do to change that?

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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