If You Think Your AMS is Good as Is – Things Have Changed

Every so often, your association should spend time reflecting – thinking about what worked for you and what didn’t make the grade. You should devote some effort to evaluating each of your resources to conclude whether they will empower you (and your membership) going forward.

It may be the case that you’re contented to just carry on with things as they’ve been. While that approach may be the path of least resistance in the short-term, it will most likely lead to long-term troubles. You should never let any of your solution providers get too comfortable. They should be kept on notice that they constantly need to earn their place in serving as your provider. There are just too many options out there for your association to be putting up with anything less than just what you need.

Resist the idea that, once you implement a solution, you no longer need to concern yourself with the process it was intended to complete. You can certainly take some level of comfort when you’ve decided on a solution. After all, you procured it to make your life easier. However, don’t give that solution a pass in perpetuity. It’s always the case that when you decide you can continue on with a solution without evaluating its worth, things change and you fall behind.

Speaking of things changing (for the better), Guild is changing the AMS game by revolutionizing provider involvement and solution tailoring. We have seen associations become frustrated with providers that seem to have no interest in standing behind their offering. In these instances, we were more than happy to step in and show them how clients should be treated. Things have changed in the AMS industry, in many ways – including the following.

The “out-of-the-box” solution that has been touted for far too long is beginning to see its demise. At Guild, we say good riddance. “Out-of-the-box” is really just a sneaky way for providers to subtlety telegraph their intention to sell you without supporting you. The “out-of-the-box” moniker allows disingenuous providers to market their “cut-and-run” intentions in a positive light. Frankly, we’re tired of seeing associations get had by AMS providers who do not stand behind their solution. Fortunately, their time is coming to a close. Providers, like Guild, are putting the pressure on the industry by setting a high standard of customer support. Our philosophy is that once a customer invests in our solution, we have their association’s back for the duration of their use of our AMS. We are proud of and have confidence in our offering, so we shepherd users to ensure they are mining as much benefit as they can out of it. We want our growth to result from our passion for associations – not because we place all of our efforts in sales and none in support. Sure, providers that place expedited profits over passion will experience short-term benefits. However, when you’re passionate about something, the short-term doesn’t matter much to you. The only way to positively influence the AMS industry in the long-term is to show you care by supporting those who share the same passion. The days where providers can sell and move on are over. So, if you feel like your association has been left high and dry by your AMS provider, don’t settle – it’s time to make a change.
Following from the last, and at the risk of repetition – that “out-of-the-box” mentality applies to this point as well. It goes without saying when a solution is sold as is, there’s not really going to be the opportunity for customization. Frankly, why would your association opt for a standardized system when you can implement software that is bespoke? I think it’s fair to say the answer is, you wouldn’t. Of all our customers, we have never come across an association that does things the same as any other. Every single one does things differently, has unique needs and has distinct goals. Understanding this reality is why we, at Guild, do not pander or push “out-of-the-box” solutions. It would be disrespectful to our existing and future customers to suggest something we know will weigh them down. The only relationships we have any interest in building are ones where we know we are providing customers with a system that will empower them to successfully accomplish the goals they intend to achieve. The type of system that empowers each association doesn’t just happen. It comes from interfacing with association representatives, paying close attention to details, ongoing collaboration with administrators and direct support of the membership. None of these things can come “out-of-the-box”. They come from customization. Fortunately, the “out-of-the-box” phenomenon is fading from the AMS industry. If your association is in the market for a member management system, don’t buy-in to any “out-of-the-box” hype. You are entitled to a solution specifically adapted to your needs.
This item goes hand in hand with how well your solution provider supports your association and its membership. In the past, it may have been the case that providers could get away with delivering their solution as requested and wipe their hands clean. However, that’s no longer an acceptable approach. Reason being, your association is an ever-changing organization. It needs to be responsive to the times and adaptive to the trends if it’s going to remain relevant within its target industry. As your association changes, all of the resources you draw upon to support your efforts will need to adapt to those changes as well. You can’t be using outdated solutions when you’re trying to advance and improve. You need resources that will empower you to continue evolving in a positive direction. This is why we, at Guild, do not build systems that aren’t expandable. What’s the good of an AMS if it can only support your association as it is now? What about later? It’s certainly not acceptable if a system you’ve invested in can’t rise to the occasion. Guild will only build solutions that are configurable so they can be easily adapted as things change. If you’re currently using a member management system that hampers your ability to plan for the future because of its inadaptability, it’s time to take your business elsewhere. Your software should conform to the way you want to do things – not the other way around. Your association should be empowered to serve its industry, no matter the direction it is trending in. With the right AMS, it will follow you wherever you choose to go.
Transparency is nothing new in business. In the provider-customer relationship, it’s very important to have it. Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen in the AMS industry, this has not been the precedent in many cases. We’ve heard far too many horror stories about previous providers our customers had to suffer before we began our collaboration. Fortunately, things are starting to improve in the AMS industry. Guild and other AMS providers that have made the choice to be genuine with their customers are making it so you really can’t get by in this industry without being forthwith. So, if you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel like your provider is being open and honest with you, and they’ve caused confusion before – don’t put up with it anymore. Bare minimum, your association deserves to have all the information when investing in an AMS. Don’t accept anything less than being completely in the know.

The biggest mistake you can make is becoming complacent with your AMS solution. The industry is always changing and getting better and you should demand of your provider that they ensure you are always getting the best out of their offering. Don’t let them rest on their laurels – force them to push the envelope. Never allow your provider to fall asleep at the wheel.

If you’d like to discuss how Guild keeps your association at the top of their game, or would like to schedule a live demo – please click here.