By Mike Lobue, Membership Management Executive
If you are involved in technology decisions for your association, more likely than not, you’ve engaged with multiple vendors, each providing a separate technology solution. You’ve probably talked to a company that provides an association management software solution, while engaging with another that will handle your association website needs and another for your mobile app and so on. All the while being promised all the systems will ‘talk to’ and integrate with your association management software. The question becomes, ‘How are you accomplishing your goals when you have multiple systems and data points?’ Data is king, but can your membership database really be accurate if there are multiple sources and it doesn’t transfer from one system to next seamlessly? In the end, are you creating more work for your staff and inadequately engaging with your members?
Simply having disparate systems is an antiquated model, which may work, but certainly won’t be aligned with the way associations and members are now expected to interact and engage. The old model makes one thing clear, although the systems may attempt to ‘talk’, they are not truly integrated, making the system inefficient and potentially inaccurate.
That being said, how do you find the right association management software solution that won’t create disparate systems and data silos, won’t be difficult to learn, and will offer a best-in-class partner to navigate you through implementation and then offer themselves as a consultant to help you maximize all the tools available to your organization? Does an integrated platform even exist?
Yes, and WebLink goes well beyond an integrated solution. WebLink provides a powerful platform built on your data that completely integrates with your website and, subsequently, your other software platform components. This can happen because WebLink develops all the platform components. The CMS lives within the database making the association management software and website one solution. The transfer of data is real-time and seamless. From updating the association website to capturing event registration, the data never leaves the WebLink association management software. Further, WebLink’s mobile solution and propriety iPad app are completely integrated to the database and website, passing data back and forth in real time to the primary database record. Membership management, communication, and event management all become easier and more efficient. Posting transactions to your accounting system happens with the click of a button, while pulling vital and powerful reports happens in seconds. Gone is the need to have multiple vendors.
WebLink provides the platform and model to grow and accelerate your association. I often equate WebLink to one of the core tenants in the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Although there are other themes throughout the book, the tenant of “Using technology to accelerate growth” is a key characteristic of successful organizations. Associations that understand and utilize the best available technology position themselves for success, rather than fighting inefficiencies within. The focus becomes membership engagement, value, and growth, not disparate systems and inaccurate data. Associations that understand this will succeed and better engage with their most important asset, their members.
What data silos do you struggle with?