Before you choose association management software, consider these important software vendor characteristics.
Features and functionality are important in your AMS, but equally important are your software vendor’s values. Here are four traits that make the difference between a so-so vendor and one that truly helps move your association forward.
When you’re looking for a new association management system (AMS), you likely have a list of feature and functionality requirements. That’s important. But it’s also essential to have a list of the traits you want in a software vendor.
Here are four qualities to consider as you search for your next AMS vendor:
Quality #1: Stellar service during and after system implementation
When it comes to initial services, many AMS vendors use the same basic implementation phases: Onboarding, Discovery, Implementation, and Launch. Where the difference lies is how they approach those phases.
For example, when a vendor talks about “Discovery,” are they simply asking you a few questions? They should go further. They should take time to understand your business goals and processes and set realistic expectations so they can implement your new AMS system in a way that truly meets your needs as well as project timelines and deliverables.
The Nimble AMS team takes a unique approach to project implementation, building best practices into the implementation process to make sure you get the most out of your new system. Here are just a few of the guiding principles Nimble AMS uses for product implementations:
- Getting “Discovery” right – We dig in to understand your goals, and then implement Nimble AMS in ways that best meet your needs. The way we look at it, the more we learn about how your business works, the better we can figure out how to best configure the system for you.
- Putting efficiency first – We continually look for ways to configure Nimble AMS to support each of our customer’s most common processes, and minimize time and cost intensive customizations.
- Staying flexible – We’ve built product implementation phases as a blueprint for Nimble AMS implementations, but keep it flexible enough to ensure we meet your specific business goals and work within any time constraints you may have.
- Understanding how to use the AMS – The launch of your AMS is not the end of your project. It’s only the beginning – the moment you begin using the product in your day-to-day world. It’s important that when you reach your “go-live” date, you understand your new AMS and feel self-sufficient with it. That’s why we offer training throughout the implementation process, a detailed Customer Success Guide, and additional classroom and online training on Nimble AMS administration.
Quality #2: Proactive support process
Your AMS vendor shouldn’t just quickly answer your question or fix an issue and move on. They should dig deeper.
For example, the Nimble AMS team works to understand what you’re trying to accomplish in case there may be a more efficient or effective way to tackle the task. And of course, they always take the time to make sure they don’t do anything that might break your solutions tomorrow at the expense of “fixing” an issue today.
In addition, the Nimble AMS team runs nightly automated tests to watch for any potential issues so we can proactively notify our clients. Customers can then let the team know if they would like us to look at the issue further. This is particularly helpful for customers who are doing their own product configurations because the Nimble AMS team can notify them of anything that may become an issue down the road.
Our clients like our approach to service and support. In fact, Nimble AMS support has an exceptional Net Promoter Score of 94.
Quality #3: A commitment to innovation
Associations must continuously innovate to remain relevant to their members. But instead of fostering innovation, the old school, on-premises AMS systems often hinder it. Look for an AMS vendor with a future-forward approach.
For example, commitment to innovation is one of the reasons Nimble AMS is built on the Salesforce platform. Salesforce has been named among the top three companies on Forbes’ list of the world’s most innovative companies every year since 2011. Built in the true cloud, the Salesforce platform makes it easier for Nimble AMS to release new and innovative features. There is only one version to support and maintain, so the Nimble AMS team can concentrate on delivering features versus maintaining older versions of the software. Plus, software upgrades are frequent, free and automatic. This type of innovation brings unprecedented agility and empowerment to professional and trade associations.
Quality #4: Professional Expertise
To have an AMS solution that works for associations, the team building it must be knowledgeable about both associations and software. For example, the executive and product management leadership at Nimble AMS have all worked in associations and have experience specific to membership-based organizations. Because Nimble AMS has been working with associations since 1992, we can offer best practice and insight from hundreds of engagements.
Plus, Nimble AMS certified developers are experienced in working with leading technologies such as APEX, .NET, Force.com, Node.js, AngularJS, C#, Git, BitBucket, TeamCity and Bootstrap. Nimble AMS certified consultants and project managers bring years of real-world association and implementation experience to the table, helping to ensure a successful on-time and on-budget project.
As you narrow your list of potential AMS vendors, be sure to consider their qualities and values. A vendor’s ability to meet (and exceed) your association’s expectations depends heavily on customer-focused values and a future-focused approach, backed by proven association and technology expertise.