Don’t Have an AMS Yet? Here are Some Signs You Might Need One

As your association grows and evolves, more effort is required from your administrative and management staff, just to keep the boat from rocking. Eventually, it will become apparent that it is necessary, for your community’s continued success, to implement resources that will support meaningful oversight of your membership.

Of the resources you can draw upon to lighten your load, and optimize your administrators’ efforts and members’ experience – there may be no better option than a comprehensive association management system. With an AMS, you get streamlined access to your membership, exceptional communication tools, event management systems, e-learning hosting, customized functionalities and much, much more. The possibilities are endless really.

Whenever an organization is scaling, it can be an intimidating time. Before making any decisions (including what solutions to integrate), you want to feel like you’ve diligently evaluated what the appropriate next step is. Below, we have provided some of the signs to look for that lend themselves to investing in an AMS.

Lost in the Shuffle
We’ve seen many administrators rely on paper processes or excel spreadsheets to track association members and their information. This can work if the data set is small enough. It won’t be the most efficient way to get things done, but you can get by doing it that way for a while. However, at a certain point, these systems will definitely fail. Information will go missing, locating and referencing specific members will be time consuming, and tracking of professional development and other credentials will be completely manual (which is to say, a nearly impossible task to execute in a reasonable fashion). The more data and information your association collects, the more reason there is to implement an AMS posthaste. When things become difficult to locate or go missing – those issues will only be compounded with time. Don’t let this one get out of hand. No matter what way you look at it, there’s no reason to track association information manually. It’s more cost-effective, efficient and simple to complete these processes in a digital, cloud-based, secure, intuitive and automated environment.
Aggressive Expansion
When word gets out that your association is the community people within the industry should be a part of, your membership will grow – rapidly. With a sudden influx of members to manage, administrators will be forced to neglect all else just to keep up with registrations and renewals. This is bad news for your association’s sustained growth. Your administrators should be able to stay ahead of the curve, instead of just keeping up. As your association grows, you need to seriously consider providing your administrators with a resource that will free them up and empower them to manage expansion with ease. The great thing about a comprehensive AMS is that it places your membership right at your fingertips. Each and every member is easily searchable and just a couple of clicks away. What’s more, the menial tasks of registration and renewal are automated – allowing administrators to put more effort and focus into initiatives that will further grow the association (like the planning of events).
Value is Being Missed
Whatever value propositions your association provides to its membership – you want them to exploit those resources. When you’ve put in the effort and taken the time to produce or procure valuable resources, but your members don’t make use of them, it’s a big blow and is discouraging. Most of the time, the reason members aren’t consuming your value is because it isn’t conveniently located or they just don’t know that it’s available. An association management system solves these issues. Since an AMS is intuitive to use and allows you to centrally locate your resources, it’s easy to find and access whatever you want to provide. Also, an AMS gives your association unprecedented capability to communicate with your membership in an expedited manner – allowing you to keep people in the loop whenever there is value to be had. It’s totally unnecessary for members to be missing out on their return on investment and allowing it to happen will diminish your ability to retain a healthy community. The best way for members to access value is through an AMS – no question.
Events are a Logistical Nightmare
Your conferences, get-togethers and lunch & learns are supposed to be fun. Not just the actual events, but the planning of them as well. Envisioning what an event could be is exciting and a great team-building exercise for your administrators. However, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to planning for a successful event. You need to conceptualize the theme, schedule the date, book the venue, draw on event planners and support staff, produce promoting content, and invite and manage attendees. If you don’t have a support system to automate some of those tasks and help track your level of readiness, managing an event can quickly become a nightmare of epic proportions. Fortunately, there’s no need to struggle with keeping everything in order. By implementing an AMS, your administrators will be supported in planning event logistics and managing invitation, communication and registration for the big day.
Balls Being Dropped
There’s a never ending list of tasks that need accomplishing when overseeing the day-to-day of an association. Sometimes, all it takes to seriously throw a wrench in the big picture is for one of those tasks to slip through the cracks. If you don’t have a system for your administrators to rely on, something not getting done isn’t a stretch. When your administrators have a comprehensive association management system at their disposal, you substantially reduce the risk of balls being dropped. Since administrators will be freed up by the member management software’s ability to automate processes on their behalf, they will be all the more meticulous with their execution of tasks.
Sending Members Away
If you’re responsible for the growth and well-being of your association’s community, this one is hard to stomach. Your association exists to bring industry members together and provide them with valuable resources. Sometimes, you need to point members in a different direction for them to get the value they’re seeking. After all, you can scratch every itch and, above all else, your interest is for members to consume value (wherever it may be). However, when you could be reasonably providing the value that you’re sending people elsewhere for, that’s a missed opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with drawing attention to resources that are outside the bounds of your association, but you want to keep members inside your ecosystem as much as you possibly can. What’s great about an AMS is that it’s a fantastic vessel for housing a whole range of resources that would be beneficial to your membership. From e-learning, to mentorship seminars, to tutorial content – the possibilities are endless. What’s more, it centralizes and makes everything easy to access – ensuring members can find and make use of the value you offer. Having to send members away more often than not will eventually take a toll on your ability to retain and attract members. With a comprehensive AMS implemented that allows you to offer diverse and valuable resources, your association can do nothing but grow.
Communication isn’t Enjoyable
Interacting with your members should not be a drawn-out, cumbersome or monotonous task. On the contrary, it should be so easy, quick and intuitive that your administrators don’t even think twice about it. When you attempting to manage your membership manually, communication can be quite a project. Luckily, we live in a world where, with an AMS, communications can be scheduled, customized and fully automated.

As your association expands, many things will need to be considered. Of all the things you implement to streamline your efforts, nothing will have as positive an impact as a comprehensive AMS does.

Guild’s AMS solution is the most supported and customizable platform on the market. If you’d like to learn more about what Guild offers, or would like to schedule a live demo, please click here.