Association management systems are the perfect way to manage your associates, helping to serve them better by putting in place a more efficient and streamlined method for communication and marketing and for members to access information. If you have ever wondered exactly what the difference is between associate management systems (AMS) and traditional member management systems, read on for the key differences and how to find the best one for you.
Membership or association systems
Any association system is quite simply a more complex and powerful version of standard membership management systems. The members you have on your own books, such as for fundraising purposes, need a far less complicated system than associates, who may need to access online booking for conferences, access to training, subscriptions and so on. Examples of those who may need an AMS include trade groups
As association management system is likely to be costlier than a simple membership system; however, as associations make money from membership, it tends to pay for itself.
The best associate systems – what to look for
There are plenty of systems out there and they range in price from a few hundred pounds for basic systems to options costing in the thousands and offering a comprehensive and thorough service. If you run a large organisation, make sure you opt for a service that can cater to hundreds of members. It is also advisable to buy a system that can be purpose built for your needs, such as those offered by http://www.ofec.co.uk/Membership-Management-Systems.aspx. Other features to look out for include automated administration tasks, ongoing support and consultation, and excellent website integration.
Your associate needs
Before you choose an AMS, make sure you have identified all your needs and that nothing has been overlooked. This will include your benefits structure, the needs of your associates, how you deal with events and conferences, and how you want to communicate with your online communities.
An AMS is essential for all sorts of associations, such as unions, trade groups and professional associations. The right budgeting will ensure that the software pays for itself from members’ dues and will be as advantageous to them as associates as it will be to you as a service provider. Look out for software developers that can offer you a tailored service, ensuring that all your needs are fully met.