Getting the most out of your AMS
Trust, training and technology are three essential components that can improve the quality of life and relationship between your association staff, the association management software (AMS) and your members. During my 15-year tenure working with associations large and small, I have witnessed how these three criteria can transform an average AMS relationship into a great one.
An association management software (AMS) system is a set of software tools that organize and analyze membership data, allowing your staff to manage day-to-day business functions more efficiently. AMS can include event registration tools, Web-based membership portals and online payment tools.
1. Trust. Cultivate a trusted partnership with your AMS vendor. The AMS centralizes the majority of association information and supports critical day-to-day functions. An AMS is inherently designed to provide avenues that increase efficiencies for the staff and cut costs for the association. Trust your AMS vendor’s experience and ask about ways they have helped other associations streamline dues management, extend communications, increase event registration counts and deliver new member benefits through the web.
2. Training. We don’t trust our kids with the keys to the family car without a license and driver’s education, yet many new association hires are asked to master the organization’s AMS system on their own. Training from your trusted AMS partner not only expedites the learning curve and creates greater efficiencies for the staff, but it also provides a higher level of confidence in the system and trust in its capabilities. Much like driver’s education, AMS training is also much safer for the association and will ensure that all team members are aligned with the best practices of the system and driving in the same direction!
It should also be noted that great technological leaps can occur within a single year. An annual refresher orientation for the entire staff can provide insight into the newest features that have been released and can also shed light on dues and data best practices that could to be enhanced in the new year.
3. Technology. Status quo is a no go! Embrace the updates. It amazes me how many associations dedicate tremendous resources to the implementation of an AMS, and then rarely evaluate the system’s capabilities post-launch. Not only does technology change at a rapid pace, but your association’s requirements change with time too. Keep in contact with your AMS partner to understand what their technology roadmap will provide and how it can benefit your staff and membership. This will help to ensure that your association’s membership is exposed to the best and brightest online experiences. Your online membership experience should be memorable in a positive way!
When you trust your technology partner and are trained in AMS features, it is easier to consider your AMS as the “go-to” technical source for all things association! More importantly, the platform can transform an average AMS relationship into a great one for your staff and membership.
Brian Choate is the Executive Vice President of Timberlake AMS Solutions, a Naylor, LLC company.