Should I stay or should I go?
Your association is constantly evolving over time – whether that be in size, leadership, location or mission. These changes can also affect how your member data interacts with your software, sometimes causing the need to move platforms. If you are considering moving to a different AMS, it’s important to first do a deep analysis of why you feel a move is necessary. Changing systems can be very challenging and take a lot of time. To help decipher whether or not you are in need of a new system think about these questions below:
1. Am I using my current AMS to its full potential?
Often times, we see associations move systems because they feel their current platform is too confusing or doesn’t serve their needs. Though this may be the case for some, we’ve found that many groups lack proper training and fail to stay updated on the platform’s offerings. While they think moving systems is better than trying to understand their current complex system, they may run into the same problem with a new software.
2. Is my database too large or too small for our current AMS?
There are so many AMS systems to choose from these days – some are built for large associations and others focus on smaller groups. If your database has grown to a point that would be better handled on a AMS built for large groups, then it may make sense to move over.
3. What tools am I missing in my AMS?
For example, if you frequently host events, yet your provider cannot take online payments, a move to a more robust event system would probably be very beneficial. However, if it’s a small tool that you’ll only use occasionally, consider ways you could work around it in your current system.
4. Does our current AMS lack regular updates?
Updates / upgrades are not only important for security reasons but they also indicate a companies longevity. If your provider fails to make frequent updates to their system, you may want to consider researching others.
How to move to another AMS
If you have decided to move platforms, there are a few items that you need to check off your list for a successful move. Check out our recommendations below.
- Sit down with your team and look at your current database. What information needs to be carried over and what information should be thrown out? For more tips on member data migration check out this post >> Member Data Migration: 4 Tips for a Smooth Transfer
- What tools are you using in your current system that are most important to your association’s success? If you generate a large amount of non-dues revenue from your events, be sure that this new platform can handle the type of event you are running in terms of registration, payments, coursework and reporting.
- Who will be involved in the move? Assemble a team and designate roles for each team member. Be sure to keep your board informed but use caution when asking for opinions – too much input and the project can quickly derail, pushing you further away from the designated launch date.
- Talk through your current system with potential providers. Let them know how you’re used to doing things, and be open to their suggestions. It’s likely they have their structure set up a little bit differently than what you’re used to, so make sure that you are flexible in organizing and configuring your data in a different way.
Choosing a new system can be challenging; check out this recent post from on our blog called 7 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Association Management Software