Moving to new association management software can offer many benefits for your association.
Here’s how to time the move for the lowest cost, greatest benefit, and most positive impact across your organization.
Getting new association management software (AMS) can be exciting for your organization. Finding and using the right software can give you the tools you need to attract and engage more members and boost revenue. But in addition to selecting the right software, it’s critically important to find the optimal time for a new AMS system.
Here are four tips for timing the move to a new AMS system for the lowest cost, greatest benefit, and most positive impact across your association:
1. Allow time to build the business case.
Your executive team and board of directors won’t necessarily feel the same sense of urgency for a new AMS system that you do. They don’t see the outdated, slow, and feature-poor software you and your team must work with every day. It will take time to build the business case for a new AMS system and gain board approval for the new technology.
So, be sure to present your pitch for a new AMS well in advance – as much as a year before you foresee implementing the new software. By the time you get approval for the budget, select the right AMS product, get the system installed, and train your employees to use it, it won’t be a minute too soon.
Get your whole team involved. For example, a membership leader could gather data to quantify the cost behind these common problems caused by an inefficient AMS. The right AMS can solve these problems and generate more revenue with the solutions below.
- Members who do not renew annually
If you have a platform with an autorenewal option you could significantly increase retention rates.
- Dues collections not up-to-date. There are multiple possible solutions here:
- Many membership-based organizations are months behind in collecting dues, but if you have a platform with automated processes, you can setup workflows to follow-up with members and get up-to-date.
- You can increase membership revenue when members can pay dues in payments over time.
- Also, retain more members when several members can have their membership paid (or register for events) by one person at their organization.
- Inefficient monitoring of chapter’s membership attrition and dues collection
Organizations that manage chapters add the complexity of managing members in multiple systems. Those organizations need an AMS that can bring all that data into one system for leadership. Even better, an organization that offers a Chapter Portal version of the software.
TIP: Learn how to convince your board of the benefits of new software for your association and why it’s time to make the investment: Read the guide, Gaining Board Approval for New Association Technology Budget.
2. Get your new AMS before a big hiring period.
Imagine the headache of trying to adopt a new software system while you’re onboarding and training a group of new employees. If at all possible, skip the hassle and implement the software first.
Train your current employees, who are already familiar with your processes, policies, and procedures. Then onboard new employees and train them only on the new system. Otherwise, you’ll be training new employees twice – once on the old system and again on the new.
Tip: Select an AMS vendor that holds regular trainings that new staff can join to learn the product. NetForum Cloud has trainings held several times a year, as well as custom training options available at an incredible price.
3. Time it immediately after your busiest season.
Consider your organization’s overall schedule. For example, if your association has membership drives or an annual conference planned for a specific time of the year, this is the worst time to try to get new software installed and train staff.
Instead, plan the implementation for directly following your busiest time of year. This approach gives you time to implement the new system without running into your next busy season. It also helps ensure that your staff is comfortable with the new AMS before having to kick into high gear in using it.
Tip: AMS implementations can take around 10 – 12 months! Look for vendors who offer options to get you up-and-running faster, like NetForum Cloud with pre-configured functionality. Then, you can continue to expand NetForum Cloud as your needs grow.
4. Implement during your IT team’s least busy time.
You might be tempted to time your AMS implementation around the schedules of your production and operations teams. But consider scheduling around your IT team’s calendar instead. They’ll not only appreciate it, but they’ll also be more available to you during the process.
Tip: No developer staff? NetForum Cloud offers Dedicated Teams Professional Services to provide white glove NetForum developer services for you, at a fraction of the cost of having an internal developer team.
5. Schedule right away if you are losing time and money with an outdated system.
However, if you are hemorrhaging money, if your billing isn’t up-to-date or you are losing more members than you can recruit: Don’t wait. Contact us today and we will help you.
Tip: If your organization is not overly complex, needs a new AMS fast and is on a tight budget, our optimized adoption with the pre-configured functionalities needed to run your organization. We can get you online in a fraction of the time and at a lower cost without custom implementation.
Choosing the right AMS can take your association to the next level. Find out more about how to find the right AMS for your association. Download How to Find Your Next Association Management Software: A buyer’s guide for mid-to-large size associations.