Selecting association management software can be very daunting to an association due to vendor’s various offerings being extremely variable. At OptfinITy, we will work with you to analyze various vendors offerings and help you examine the different aspects of the software you need to examine. The steps we will take include the following topic areas:
Who is involved in using the AMS?
If all staff members will be involved in using the software, it is important to involve all of these staff members in the evaluation and decision. Otherwise, what might work well for certain departments could be a diaster for other departments.
How long will the process take to implement the AMS?
When making such a major change, it is important to schedule this change around upcoming events, memberhsip drives and renewal periods, to streamline the process.
What is needed from the AMS?
What do you need the AMS to do? What, specifically, should the AMS address? Do you require additional components such as Message boards, event registration, dues payment and renewal capabilities? It is important to make a list of what you NEED and what you WANT?
How much will the AMS Cost?
The cost of an AMS is not a simple one time fee. In most cases, the fees include implementation, special features, and ongoing costs. It is important to review what you can afford, and also, what the AMS might be able to generate in revenue as well.
Which AMS’ should you review?
It is important to know which softwares are out there and what each offers. A good starting point would be with ASAE and their annual technology show which OptfinITy has been a part of for many years.
Talk to the Vendors
You should always talk to the vendors and let them know what’s on your list and see what they can accomodate.
Check References and See the Actual Product
One recommendation we always have is to see the product in action at an actual client. It gives you a real (not marketing) view of the product while giving you access to real-time advice.
Ask the right questions
While there are many questions you could ask, here are some ones to start with:
- What is included in the setup?
- What does the implementation process entail, and how long does it take?
- Are product updates included or must you upgrade the software to receive updated features?
- How often is the product updated?
- What technical support and training is included and what are those charges?
- How secure and reliable is the software?
- What additional hardware or software is needed for installation?
- How many admin licenses are included?
- Who hosts the software?
- Who owns the data and website, the client or the vendor?
- What are the vendor’s terms of cancellation?
- If you’re looking at web design as part of the AMS solution, does the vendor use stock templates or is the website custom-designed?
- How does the vendor handle payment processing?
Let OptfinITy help you pick your AMS
OptfinITy does not have partnerships with any AMS specifically so we can remain neutral in our review of our clients needs. For more information, please complete the form to the left or call us at 703-790-0400.