The challenge the AMS providers see
Over the years I've asked AMS providers what they see as the biggest challenges their customers face when it comes to successful data management. Two issues always rise to the top:
- Not knowing all of the features available in the system. I see this a lot with my clients. Very often when I'm working with a client on a particular issue, I'll hear something along the lines of "We want to do X but the system doesn't do that," when I know that system actually will do that. Typically this happens because staff hasn't actually asked the question of the vendor, or the functionality came in an update that staff are not aware of.
In either case, the best approach is to always get a definitive answer directly from the vendor before ultimately saying "The system can't do that."
- An unwillingness to change processes to better leverage the software (i.e., keep doing things like you always have). I see this far too often among my clients. In the old system, the steps for process X were A, B, and C. In the new system, the same outcome can be achieved but the steps are now D, E, and F. Different steps (and possibly more or fewer steps), and different enough that the staff thinks it's too difficult to do it the new way. And as a result, either a workaround or (worse yet) a customization is developed to mimic the old process.
The best approach is to focus on outcomes, not inputs. Be completely open to changing how you do things if it means you can achieve your outcomes more effectively or more efficiently.
Addressing both of these issues is entirely in your control. Having a positive and open relationship with your vendor will allow you to be aware of all the functionality in your system. And having an open mind toward changing how you do things will let you maximally leverage your software.