You can imagine our delight when we opened our morning Associations Now E-mail to see Ernie Smith wrote about Association Management Software. Being a solution ourselves, of course we have our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in our space and we’ll be the first to agree that the scene is changing, as Ernie suggests.
Any software worth its salt should grow, change, and develop with the needs of the customer. Ideally, this should involve improved functionality, enhanced offerings, streamlining of processes, and speedy response to unfortunate but inevitable bugs. But that’s the product. What about the company that offers it?
MemberClicks, for example, works directly for Small Staff Associations. We always have, and it’s what we love. We understand their needs and offer price-competitive solutions that tap directly into the specific requirements needed to make life easier for a staff of 1-10 overseeing potentially thousands of members. We know we’re not the only AMS on the scene, however. We have several competitors out there who offer a wide range of solutions, and we encourage our potential customers to shop around! After all, it’s more important for you to be happy with your solution than uncomfortable in one that doesn’t fit for your needs.
It’s several of those competitors that are going through big changes in their business structures. We’ll let you research that on your own, but suffice to say it’ll probably be something on your radar soon, if it hasn’t been already.
As an association executive facing all these changes, why should you worry? After all, once you go through the long process of finding an AMS, you kind of want to just set it and forget it. In other words, it just needs to work. Transferring platforms or even companies likely seems like a huge headache for you, and we can see why.
As Ernie said in his article, don’t get blindsided. He points out that it’s tough to tell how company mergers and changes are going to go, but “a little clarity goes a long way.” Your AMS provider has a responsibility to keep you posted as to what’s going on with the software and the company. If you don’t feel as if you’re getting enough information through regular correspondence with your AMS provider, open up the lines of communication yourself! A company who can’t respond to help calls or inquiries is a red flag. Clear communication is key!
Also, if you're being impacted by changes to your AMS provider, it's a good time to reevaluate your needs. If you're going to be facing a migration anyway, you may as well survey the marketplace and see what other providers offer. Chances are your association has grown and changed since you implemented your AMS, or possibly decided you don’t need/can’t afford one. Is your current solution still right for you?
Finally, don’t assume this is a “phase” of changes with AMS. Like I said earlier, with any technology company you have to change, rearrange, and update or you’ll get lost. Trust us, you want new releases! They’re all to make your life easier. When you get some time, do a little reading on the changing world of Association Management Software, and take this quick quiz to see if your AMS is still working for you. If it’s not, give us a call!