Association Management Software Satisfaction Levels in 2012
How much value is provided by your current Association Management Software?
Recently, I created a poll via LinkedIn within the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) group, asking, "How satisfied are you with your current Association Management Software?" I measured the data from the dates ranging February 9, 2012 to March 5, 2012. The results, as well as input and discussion given to the question at hand were very informative.
There were five given responses available to answer the question in radio option format, ranging from:
- Very Satisfied
- Very Dissatisfied
The resulting satisfaction levels were as follows (taken from LinkedIn):
As you can see, the majority of the individuals voting in the poll fell between either being satisfied or dissatisfied, having a normal distribution that's skewed slightly towards having a positive regard for their current AMS by five votes. Interestingly enough, near the start of the poll (February 9-18, 2012), a large portion of the votes had gone in the direction of holding a negative feeling towards the individual's current AMS provider. In turn, this lead to a much heated discussion on what sort of pain points exist from implementation of a particular AMS to its current use.
Cindy Simpson, CAE and Director of Programs and External Relations at Association for Women in Science, stated:
"We have our website, database, and email all tied in together. Lately there have been a massive amount of problems which has all but crippled our association. Make sure you go with a tested provider and get references."
Her statement followed strong suit. Many associations today are faced with a wide array of vendors who sale on the false premise of guaranteed satisfaction. Appropriate due diligence is required in order to get what you're really looking for out of a membership management system. Donna Dunn, CAE and Executive Director and CEO at the Association of YMCA Professionals stated:
"After only 15 months with our current AMS we are starting the process of identifying and moving to a new AMS. Should be done late this summer. Our biggest issue is that data goes in and we can't get it out. That makes it less than useful. There are a host of other issues as well, but that's the big one. Why have data we can't put to use?"
An interesting point had also arisen from the results of the poll: Out of the 64 individuals who voted, 60 percent (38 people) ranged from being neutral to very dissatisfied with their current association management software. Moreover, approximately 38 different people involved with various associations, clubs, or organizations have held or are currently holding an unsatisfied relationship with their existing association management solution, be it in-house development or through a vendor.
On the flip side, those who reinforced their AMS or vendor with positive statements mentioned having constant improvements and ongoing upgrades to their system. In essence, this helps solidify the relationship and reliability between user and provider, as the association is able to get the most out what their solution provides.
All in all, when it comes down to association management software, an important question constantly resurfaces: "Are you getting the most out of your current solution?" It remains very important for an organization, club, or association to find the membership solution that best fits its needs and business rules. A critical point in any association's success derives mainly from the value they're receiving out of their resources.