The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
(The Chamber) provides services and advocacy for businesses throughout the Rochester, New York area. In 2015, The Chamber went through an organizational transformation as they appointed a new President & CEO and rebranded to the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, formerly Rochester Business Alliance. As part of their transformation, The Chamber needed to overhaul their existing Association Management Software (AMS) and website in order to better serve and communicate with members.
We sat down with Bill Anderson, Senior Director, Support Services for The Chamber to discuss their dramatic transformation.
Needs Not Being Met. The old AMS had been in place for nearly 20 years and was not meeting the needs of the organization. A looming costly upgrade was required just to maintain the status quo.
- Limited Online Offerings to Members – The Chamber had a number of manual and time intensive efforts for tasks such as membership renewals and product ordering. Their website was outdated and their AMS was clunky at best.
- Lack of Flexibility with an Outdated Platform – The Chamber’s ability to maintain existing integrations and to scale with their changing needs was stifled by an antiquated system. With that old system came fewer options to extend and enhance their AMS with additional tools and apps. The old AMS was a limiting factor on delivering member value.
- Rogue Systems and Databases – The Chamber was tracking sales products in a separate database that was not integrated to the AMS. This resulted in non-centralized data and made it difficult for staff to understand the full membership picture.
“Our old system was painful. It limited our potential as an organization and yet it was the foundation of our business. A costly upgrade on the same, antiquated system was not going to deliver the type of change and innovation that The Chamber needed.”
Inspire through Innovation
The Chamber considered other low cost solutions designed for chambers of commerce to replace their old system but the reality was that neither of those solutions had the technology platform or necessary features, nor the team to support the Chamber’s vision to become a technological inspiration and resource to its members. The Chamber knew that a Salesforce-based platform
would bring cutting edge innovation to the table, and NimbleUser’s past experience serving Chambers of Commerce would make for a smooth and comprehensive implementation.
“There was no doubt in our minds that Nimble AMS was the right move for the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. As a representative of all business members in our region, it is our job to lead, educate and influence the business community about the benefits of innovative technology use in their own businesses. That starts with our own internal operations.”
A Transformation Realized
The Chamber is now positioned with a long-term technology strategy. The Nimble AMS platform provides the innovation and power of a world class CRM, with the necessary features of a member-based organization. The Chamber is also able to leverage additional apps and technology in the Salesforce ecosystem. Nimble AMS works seamlessly with The Chamber’s new website, which serves as the members’ go-to resource for business news and needs. Routine tasks such as as membership renewals and product ordering now happen online through Nimble AMS. NimbleUser worked closely with their chosen web design firm to ensure that the member portal was a seamless, integrated experience for their members.
“With the Community Hub member portal feature of Nimble AMS, we were surprised by the number of members paying their membership online and how easy it was for them to do it!”
Internal processes are enhanced by: 360 Degree View of the Member: Nimble AMS is home to all of the members’ information and activities, allowing The Chamber staff to measure and track member value.
Business on the Go: Nimble AMS data is easily accessible via a native mobile app giving staff access to critical information from anywhere at anytime. The staff that are on the road and visiting member organizations have easy access to the critical information they need to serve these members appropriately.
Ease of Use: The staff benefits from an intuitive, mobile friendly system that efficiently organizes the various functions of the Chamber including advertising/membership sales, financial, membership, events and communications that make up their day to day operations.
Actionable Business Intelligence: Staff needing information can now get the information themselves. Through powerful reporting and dashboards, staff is empowered to make data driven decisions.
“Staff have been able to run with things on their own and we also have reexamined a number of processes we now realized were based on the limitations of our old AMS. We never realized how handcuffed we were before. It is nice to be in a position to challenge the status quo.”
“Behind Nimble AMS is a great team of dedicated and knowledgeable experts. They were educators, guides and true consultants on this journey. They made sure the project went smoothly and were in tune with our needs, our timelines and of course, best practice. All of this made for a successful transition from implementation to go-live.”
About The Chamber
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce serves and advocates for the nine-county Finger Lakes region, which includes Monroe
, and Yates
counties. The Chamber helps our member companies and their employees stay connected to the issues, as well as the people, who can make a difference. More information about The Chamber and its programs is available on our website: www.greaterrochesterchamber.com