If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Here’s how to avoid surprise fees that can be lurking below the surface.
Determining how much your next association management software (AMS) system will cost you can be a tricky thing. There are many factors that determine how much you will pay for an AMS.
Many of the costs are predictable if you know what to look for. But others can be lurking below the surface.
It’s not uncommon these days for associations to invest in a new AMS system only to be hit with additional, unexpected costs during implementation. It’s important to be wary of any AMS vendor offering a lower than average software or per-user cost.
These vendors will likely try to make up the fees during implementation in areas such as data migration, product integrations, training, and project management. They might also charge high prices for product upgrades and related services down the road.
TIP: Some AMS vendors might claim that product upgrades are free of charge, but that could mean they are expecting your association to perform the upgrades on your own. Consider opting for an AMS the has every customer is on the same AMS version, and the upgrade is performed by the vendor.
You can avoid these types of sneaky, hidden costs by working with an AMS vendor that includes all costs of the AMS as part of the proposal.
Here’s what you should look for:
- A price estimate of all work related to your specific implementation, including project management, testing, training, data migration, integrations, etc.
- Product upgrades that are included at no additional charge, so you’re never left stranded on an older version of the product.
- All customers are always on the same updated AMS version and have access to a full sandbox.
Beyond watching for hidden costs, there are ways to potentially lower the price of a new AMS. For example:
- Ask your vendor to help you make the right decisions when it comes to what and how much data to migrate into your new system. Minimalism with data conversion can save considerable costs in the implementation process.
- Be ready to embrace change and have open discussions with the vendor. This often helps the vendor suggest requirements needed for processes that will save time and dollars down the road.
- Explore options for a multi-year contract. By committing to and paying for multiple years (typically three years) up front, organizations can lock in pricing at the current level and typically gain savings.
As you look for the next AMS system for your association, don’t be caught off guard. Be sure to watch for costs that can sneak up on you.
Learn more about AMS pricing and tips on how to keep the costs of your new AMS system down: Download our free guide, The Large Association’s Guide to Enterprise AMS Pricing.