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Or How to Conduct Your Own Symphony!. Technology Case Study: Medium Sized AMC Growing from a Trio (individual technology solutions) into a Jazz Band (Association.

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Presentation on theme: "Or How to Conduct Your Own Symphony!. Technology Case Study: Medium Sized AMC Growing from a Trio (individual technology solutions) into a Jazz Band (Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 or How to Conduct Your Own Symphony!

2 Technology Case Study: Medium Sized AMC Growing from a Trio (individual technology solutions) into a Jazz Band (Association Management System) Where we began Where we are today How we got here How we paid for it Why this works for us Sharing what we learned How we plan to move forward

3 Where we began December Full Service client 2.5 FTE Staff Trio Instruments Database Accounting Software Website Software applications/processes inherited from previous management

4 Where we began - Challenges Technology customized for the needs of a single client Reliance on staff for all processing – no automation Multiple systems for single client Inefficiency/duplication of effort Technology not meeting member expectations Getting second client … Unable to expand to meet growing needs of multiple associations

5 Where we are today February 2013 – 8 Full Service Membership Societies; 11 Chapters 17 FTE Staff Clients vary in size and scope with operating budgets ranging from $20K to $1.7M Majority of staff work with multiple clients

6 Where we are today, cont. Jazz Band Instruments Association Management System (AMS) Accounting Package Website Content Management System E-Commerce Learning Management System Certification Module Marketing System Forums/Listserv Voting Module Survey Module All clients utilize the same system

7 Where we are today - Benefits All software applications are integrated All clients utilize the same system Greater than 50% reduction in manual processes Simplified staff training Ability to grow/meet changing technology needs

8 How we got here Evaluated client needs Assessed internal resources Developed objectives for current and potential future clients: Centralize all data in one source and eliminate redundant data management Improve customer experience Increase staff efficiency Enhance customer self service options

9 How we got here, cont. Spent approximately 1 year in research and development process Evaluated individual client processes and identified technology needs Identified areas between clients that could use similar technology or processes Developed strategies to streamline into a single system Transitioned staff into technology roles to manage administration

10 How we paid for it Obtained buy-in from all full service clients Demonstrated need for technology improvements Assessed potential return on investment Submitted detailed proposal to all client boards Worked with client budgets to develop payment plan Clients paid for approximately 80% of the system

11 How we paid for it, cont. Pricing Model: Each client pays % of the total cost Fees calculated on client usage: # of members/users Modules utilized Ongoing costs (hosting, renewal costs, etc.) are charged to the clients using same percentages New clients buy into the system using same pricing model

12 How we paid for it, cont. Pricing Model - Benefits to Clients: Shared costs allow clients the opportunity to benefit from a larger scale AMS that clients could not afford on their own. Income from new clients for system is re-invested in enhancements to the current technology system or refunded to the original clients Bringing in new clients allowed us to continue to upgrade/enhance the technology without adding significant costs for our initial clients.

13 Why it works for us Clients have similar technology needs (even if not budgets) – membership societies Staff are well versed in software applications – reduces inefficiency in switching between multiple systems Reduces staff time spent on manual processing – automation New clients must be able to function within the scope of technology system – limits potential client base

14 Sharing what we learned Be Flexible Develop methods to modify your processes to fit the system rather than customizing everything Process modification = cost savings Streamline/Automate EVERYTHING Evaluate current processes to make sure that they are consistent cross client Automate processes whenever possible

15 Sharing what we learned, cont. Understand what you have invested in Take advantage of all of the opportunities that the system provides Communicate Promote communication between technology staff and program services staff Technology staff must understand the client needs in order to use the system to the fullest extent

16 Sharing what we learned, cont. Take advantage of the expertise of your vendors Vendor relationships are critical for small/medium AMCs Treat vendors like part of your team – the more they understand the overall project the better the end result Invest in training for current personnel for technology roles Participate in user groups/forums Enlist help from other AMCs Other user experiences can be invaluable when implementing a new system

17 What we would do differently Limit Customization Evaluate your needs to determine the most efficient and cost effective technology that will work for all your clients Determine which requirements can be adjusted to fit within technology solution rather than customizing Customization = $$$$$$ and limits upgradability Customize only when it benefits overall system – not just one need

18 How we plan to move forward Continue to upgrade/update technology Make use of our ongoing updates to the software Upgrades often provide additional enhancements that may meet a current need Develop new opportunities from current systems to make better use of the software Continue training current staff to become experts in the system

19 Allison Travis Director of Technology Custom Management Group 154 Hansen Road, Suite 201 Charlottesville, VA Tel:

20 or How to Conduct Your Own Symphony!

21 Introduction Charles L. Sapp, CPA, CAE Director of Association Management Services, Talley Management Group, Inc. Responsibilities over all 22 full service clients Interaction with board governance regarding everything from strategic to tactical issues to contract negotiations A member of the TMG Senior team that oversees all strategic and operations direction of the company

22 Director of Association Management Services – 7 Years Prior to TMG - 7 Years with a 12 unit AMC. Operating Philosophy - What All AMCs Strive For Cost – Then and Now

23 Integrated Approach The hallmark of the integrated AMS approach is efficient access and use of the member information. From traditional communication to social media The ability to easily slice and dice member demographic Efficient staff usage and cross trainingthis was the AMCs driving need. Fully integrated accounting Web integration

24 What was the strategic decision? 5 years ago, TMG moved away from the sole AMS model to include not one, but now four different AMS. Why? Large incoming clients that had already made huge investments Larger self-contained client staff teams within TMG Integration of ancillary apps specific to their needs Bottom Line: this was not a strategic decision!

25 With technology moving at such a fast pace, the embrace of technology is so much more common today in all its different aspects by the volunteers and boards.

26 A common discussion among all of our associations are the expectations of our technology performance. Cost versus Benefits versus Expectations Does one model fit all? How do you recoup system cost?

27 What other steps did we take? Client focused services and structures Develop a more diverse set of vendors that can address the different applications. Develop more specific training for staff.

28 What do we gain with multiple platforms? Broader understanding, flexibility, and ability to meet different client needs. Client decision based on web presence Needs and availability Enhanced customer service Ability to look at a broader range of potential new clients.

29 Biggest gain without question: Better margins derived through greater expertise with technology which improved our internal efficiencies.

30 To provide an AMS or not? More clients see their web presence as critical to their brand. Do we lose or gain a major hook for clients?

31 Charles L. Sapp, CPA, CAE Director of Association Management Services Talley Management Group, Inc

32 or How to Conduct Your Own Symphony!

33 Introduction Worked with over 200 associations Currently managing over 30,000 association presentations In 2012 Registered over 70,000 users 450,000 learning modules delivered 120,000 certificates issued Most association users now integrated with AMS or other platform. Now integrated with over 900+ associations through the Boxwood integration – Career Learning Center

34 Single Sign-On

35 Conducting your vendor orchestra Treat your Technology Vendor as a partner Sharing vision and goals Everyone needs to read from the same sheet music and know how the song ends! Allow free flowing discussion between vendors. Let the orchestra members practice together without the conductor always present Verbally encourage creative ideas/solutions throughout the process. Most music scores are dramatically improved while the song is being practiced

36 Managing audience "expectations Member expectations The audience wants to know what to expect. Board expectation Does the Board envision the same final deliverable? Try to avoid as many mid-stream changes as possible Some changes are easy (changing tempo) others are not (requiring new instruments) – not always easy to know initially

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