Association moved from a DOS-based system to Nimble AMS

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is a community of groundwater professionals working together to advance groundwater knowledge and the success of their members through education and outreach; advocacy; cooperation and information exchange; and enhancement of professional practices.

NGWA believed that a CRM-based AMS would allow them to do better business with and for their members. We sat down with Mark Kibble, IT Director of NGWA. He recently celebrated 10 years with the organization and his primary role with the association is to support the staff running the association and looking strategically at new technologies to make staff members more efficient.


NGWA previously had a DOS-based system that was extremely outdated.

  • Staff members were frustrated that they could not get statistics on a certain member base or work group items. Their previous system simply didn’t have the business intelligence capabilities that a CRM-based AMS does.
  • NGWA’s old AMS “got the job done” but lacked the ability to do business analysis.
  • Another association that had also used the old AMS recommended Nimble AMS to NGWA. Beyond the recommendation, NGWA liked that Nimble AMS was a Salesforce-based product.

Taking Off the Handcuffs

NGWA knew they needed to make a change in order to take the association to the next level and that Nimble AMS was the solution.

“Leaving a 20 year software package is not an easy decision to make, but if you have been handcuffed like we were with an AMS that would not play well with CRM then look no further. Nimble AMS brings you the flexibility for all your Association’s transactional needs while allowing you to leverage the number one CRM platform in the world. Built by a team of people that come from an AMS background, they understood our needs.”

Compared to other options, NGWA found that Nimble AMS offered a better business model, platform, architecture, user experience, user base & community and had the business intelligence capabilities they were looking for. Additionally:

  • Cloud-Based – Both Salesforce and Nimble AMS products release three major upgrades each year. Each of these 6 releases provide new functionality and features.
  • Integrate with a Powerful API – The Salesforce API’s make it easy to integrate Nimble AMS with outside applications like content management systems, job boards, publication management, exhibit sales, and online communities.
  • Workflow & Approvals – Salesforce has powerful workflow and approval capabilities to facilitate the automation of business processes that have generally been manual in other systems.
  • Configuration Without the Customization – The Salesforce platform allows NimbleUser to easily configure Nimble AMS to meet specific needs without requiring hefty customizations. Much of our work is considered “point and click configuration” – which means it does not require code development to achieve. The AppExchange, Salesforce’s online marketplace, offers thousands of applications built on the platform to extend the functionality of Nimble AMS.

“Anyone that knows me knows that my expectations are hard to meet. People constantly tell me that I have very high expectations with our vendors and I expect more than I should, and maybe I do. However, Nimble AMS reaches those expectations for me.”

A Culture That Lives

While NGWA knew they wanted a Salesforce-based AMS, they were surprised by the people behind Nimble AMS. He believes the culture “lives” and that NimbleUser seeks out employees and even customers that appreciate that culture too.

“Originally, we chose Nimble AMS because it was based on the Salesforce platform and by virtue of this, has a large ecosystem of consultants, support, and developers all over the world. Once we met with NimbleUser, it was an easy decision. It wasn’t as much about the promises of what Nimble AMS could do because we felt that Salesforce was a solid company and platform. We met the people at NimbleUser and thought, ‘these people are definitely going to do it and this is a group we want to be a part of.’”

“The culture surprised me. It really lives. They aren’t just words on a wall or website. It’s almost too good to believe. When I go to their office and meet with the people, it is a culture that lives. Because of that, we have a better product, a better relationship and my staff have what they need to get their job done and are happy with me.”

Family – You Can Buy the Platform Somewhere Else, but You Can’t Buy the People.

Mark stated that there were two reasons why he would recommend Nimble AMS to another association–platform and people. First, he believes Nimble AMS has a solid platform with all of the association features needed. Secondly, the people truly set apart Nimble AMS from its competitors.

“The people are like family. I can buy a Salesforce-based AMS somewhere else but I can’t buy the people. I truly believe that. Those aren’t just words. It makes a difference. I don’t think that the NimbleUser staff realize the difference it makes.”

“Our relationship with NimbleUser has been very good. As with any relationship, there have been speed bumps but it doesn’t matter because we feel like we can get through it together. No relationship or engagement is going to be perfect but what is really important to us is that the NimbleUser team hasn’t sold us a product and left us. They have been there to support us all along. We don’t feel like we were left alone on an island after implementation was over. NimbleUser really feels like family because we’re in it together for the long run.”

Flexibility, Speed, & Change

NGWA is now experiencing unparalleled flexibility and speed with Nimble AMS. They are able to do more and push the envelope because they are no longer restricted by an antiquated system. Nimble AMS, by virtue of the Salesforce platform and a team of association technology experts, has introduced a level of innovation NGWA hadn’t experienced before.

“My life is easier now. We can track our customers and have much more business intelligence. We didn’t realize how easy transactions can be. We had been on the old software for so long that we pretty much got set in our ways. Now we have a new tool that makes the staff’s work so much easier.
The biggest benefit for using Nimble AMS is the speed at which we are able to adapt it. It took us a long time to get our old system to do those things. We can actually build what we need and move quickly.”

And of course, with a new system comes change. NGWA is not alone in this. We often hear that clients are rethinking internal processes and asking tougher questions when they move to Nimble AMS

“Change is always hard, but the more we get into it, the easier is. We are finding that we are five years into a new software package in 3 months. Meaning, what took us 5 years to accomplish in the old system, we got there in 3 months with Nimble AMS. It really is amazing. People don’t realize this until they actually use Nimble AMS. It took us 15 years to learn how to adapt the old software into working for NGWA. We got that in 3 months with Nimble AMS. We are building things that are answering questions we just couldn’t answer before.”

Hear what Mark and other customers have to say about Nimble AMS by visiting the Salesforce AppExchange!

“Leaving a 20 year software package is not an easy decision to make, but if you have been handcuffed like we were with an AMS software system that would not play well with CRM then look no further.  Nimble AMS brings the flexibility for all your Association’s transactional needs while allowing you to leverage the number one CRM platform in the world.  Built by a team of people that come from an AMS background they understood our needs.
Since moving to Nimble AMS we have been able to not only improve our transaction needs to run our association but also leverage the flexibility of the platform to answer our own unique needs within days as opposed to weeks, months and longer on our old system.
​Truly refreshing to work with an amazing team from the initial discovery processes, through implementation and now into helping create an even better system.  You truly become part of the family and I never feel like I am working with just another vendor.”-Mark Kibble – Love being part of the Nimble AMS family!