By Jeff Kline


6 Reasons Why So Many People Dislike their Association Management Software

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

There are many reasons, but let’s take a look at 6 of the root causes:

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1. AMS providers are overly invested and entangled in older technology

Many of the AMS providers are heavily invested in older technology that often times involve on premise software and depend on expensive development software. These AMS providers are so invested in this outdated and expensive technology that to bring forth current technology that is relevant would be equivalent to starting all over. Thus, it has become more economically attractive to continue to invest in older technology. Ultimately, this has become an Achilles heel for many existing AMS providers.

2. Software was not developed with the final/big picture in mind

Many AMS providers developed their solution to address their customers current problems and were continuously in a reactive mode to address their customer requirements. Their product development cycle is to find a quick fix to a customer requirement and then move on to the next one. Symptoms of this development strategy is when the software is extremely difficult to use, many of the features and functionality are foreign to you and clicks of the mouse teleport you to totally random places. This results in a cobbled-together mess that rarely works.

3. Data silos and fragmented data

These data silos occur when using multiple software applications to meet your organization’s requirements. When your applications include AMS software, website software, event software, email marketing, and CRM, it results in your data being isolated and fragmented in many different locations. You can also end up with thousands of duplicate records and outdated and extraneous data.

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4. Attempting to make customer relationship management (CRM) software work in place of AMS 

This poor solution is akin to putting a square peg in a round hole. It results in customizing CRM software for functionality it was not originally created for. This approach winds up being very expensive because you end up totally customizing the software and integrating with other 3rd party software to address missing key elements of the software. This approach becomes very costly and leaves you extremely dependent on the company(s) that provides the customization.

5. Not having a fully integrated website and mobile application  

This is one of the most important components of your AMS solution.  Using a 3rd party website (content management software) causes many problems in the integration with the AMS and becomes another cause for your data to end up in silos and fragmented. Additionally, it makes incorporating a mobile app extremely challenging and often results in bringing in yet another 3rd party application.  Not to mention, Millennials have become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and they are used to and expect seamless connectivity across systems & devices.

6. Poor User Experience/User Interface

Nothing can more negatively impact the rollout and adoption of a new AMS than a poor user interface and user experience. Once your new AMS is fully implemented, the staff and members decision to use the software will be most influenced by how easy it is to use. If the AMS is too complicated to use and requires excessive training to learn, they will find reasons to not use the software.

So how do you solve for these headaches? Our best tips for choosing an AMS system are in Part 2: 7 Tips for Choosing an Association Management Software.

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