Seven Deadly Sins of Association Management Software Procurement

Lately, we’ve been publishing posts mainly about association software procurement. Many organizations end up on our page when they are seeking new software, so, we thought a fun post for today would be to write about the 7 Deadly Sins of Software Procurement! These “sins” are just some don’ts in the process of procuring.

Gluttony – Biting off more than your members can chew

While having tons of features and interactions is great, it can get overwhelming, especially for your staff and members. Sometimes, less is more. If you notice that your members do not use a certain feature on your current or previous AMS, or aren’t understanding a process that you are providing, do not waste effort to continue providing or seeking it. Not every feature will be appealing for every College or association.

Envy – Another organization’s success shouldn’t determine your failure.

To be envious is to be jealous, or to not be in content with the current state of your association in comparison to another. It is okay to be inspired by other associations that may be more “successful” than yours, but remember, each organization moves at its own pace to success. Member engagement does not happen in a day, and your solution is only a part of the equation. While vendors aim to make your association or College a leader in its industry by making their solution the best competitively, it is your responsibility to provide your members and applicants with quality information, so that your website is a one-stop resource that they can visit again and again, out of curiosity, rather than just to renew their membership or pay a fee.

Lust – Give your vendor some quality time.

Don’t act too fast and love the solution you’re procuring before you’ve even gotten to know it. While this is a compliment to the vendor, they expect you to ask questions, ask for tweaking, and for you to experiment. Vendors want you to get to know their association management software very well. This means email members, add profiles, create applications, and anything else. The more you experiment, the more random scenarios you’ll end up using the software for, and the more you’ll learn how to use it in and out. If you get to know it well, you will truly learn to love and trust it! If you treat it like it’s disposable, you won’t see it’s full value.

Greed – Don’t expect things too soon.

You vendor is working with you in the timeliest manner. With most license or association management software, implementation can take weeks to months. This isn’t because they are being slow; transferring a large database takes time, especially with having to filter out the bad data, and reorganize the good. Rushing your vendor won’t do your organization any good, because they are only trying to give you the highest quality database and solution.

Sloth – Failing to know and communicate…

Failing to inform your vendor about all your requirements or needs by just giving them a “short rundown” of what you’re looking for shows you aren’t looking for a huge improvement in your current processes. The more time you spend communicating with your vendor about the successes and fails of your organization, the better results you’ll get.

Also failing to report any issues with your solution could result in workload backlog for your College or association. Take the five minutes to write up a quick email, it can likely be fixed in no time! Make sure to let your vendor or support desk know what’s on your mind, communication is the key to a successful vendor/association relationship! Be sure to also look for quick solutions on the vendor’s website. It’s common for vendors to publish content for clients to refer to, especially  when they receive the question frequently.

Wrath – Getting frustrated with your vendor…

Try to be understanding with your vendor – often what seems like a monumentally huge issue, turns out to be something simple. Usually with a little training or configuration that problem that seems to be a show-stopper gets solved quickly.  Remember that a good vendor care about their clients and always know that your success means their success.

Pride – Take your vendors ideas!

Don’t be too proud to take the advice of your vendor. If you’ve done your research, then you’ve picked a vendor that is an expert in this field. Sometimes, an organization tends to have a very specific idea of how they would like to solve a problem, but often vendors have dealt with multiple association-related issues, trust them! Often the most valuable thing that your vendor brings to the table is the experience in implementing countless others – they’ve often handled similar problems many times.

There you have it, the seven deadly sins of software procurement. They’re not exactly, deadly, but if you catch yourself headed in the direction of one of them, avoiding it would help you keep a positive relationship with your vendor.

If your association or regulatory body is considering new software, use our software procurement checklist below! This checklist can be used to compare any and all license management or association management software!