Our Thinking

Top 3 Questions that we got asked at the AMS Fest, Chicago!

AMS Fest in Chicago was an incredible experience, filled with enlightening sessions, inspiring conversations, and invaluable networking opportunities. While the event covered various aspects of Association Management Systems (AMS), I want to focus on three critical questions that stood out during our discussions. These questions are essential when selecting the right AMS for your association, as the future of your organization depends on making the right choice.

1️⃣What is the total cost of ownership? Do the costs go up, go down, or stay the same in the long run?

Knowing the total cost of ownership (TCO) is vital for budgeting and financial planning. This includes not just the initial purchase price, but also ongoing maintenance, upgrades, training, and any hidden fees. Do costs increase with additional users or data storage? Understanding the full financial commitment helps you avoid unexpected expenses and ensures that the AMS remains affordable as your association grows.

2️⃣What are the main reasons why clients move away from your AMS? What are the limitations of your solution?

This question is crucial as it uncovers potential pitfalls that might not be immediately obvious. Understanding why clients have left a particular AMS can highlight the system’s weaknesses and limitations. Are there recurring issues with customer support, system reliability, or feature limitations? By probing into these areas, you can better gauge whether the AMS will meet your long-term needs or if you might encounter the same issues down the line.

3️⃣Do I own the base technology? E.g., Salesforce, Dynamics, Oracle NetSuite. Can I retain the app if we decide not to use your solution?

Ownership of the underlying technology is a significant consideration. If the AMS is built on platforms like Salesforce, Dynamics, or Oracle NetSuite, you need to know if you can continue using the application independently if you choose to switch providers. This flexibility can save you from having to start from scratch with a new system, preserving your data and customizations, and ensuring continuity for your association.

Compressing the Event Highlights

AMS Fest was more than just a conference; it was an immersive experience that provided deep insights into AMS selection and implementation. Key sessions included an intensive bootcamp on the AMS selection process, a keynote on defining AMS requirements, and a discussion on integrating best-of-breed vs. all-in-one systems. The event offered hands-on workshops, interactive demos, expert panels, and ample networking opportunities, making it a rich learning experience for all attendees.

Continuing the AMS Journey

With decades of experience in helping associations find and implement AMS solutions (including building one from the ground up using Salesforce!), the 108 ideaspace team is here to guide you. We know that asking the right questions is crucial when selecting an AMS. To make this easier, we’ve created the “Know Your AMS” survey. This quick and insightful survey will help you identify the key questions to ask, setting you on the right path to finding the perfect AMS solution for your organization.

Take this 3-minute “Know Your AMS” survey to craft the questions to ask the AMS providers during AMS Fest. Your answers are 100% confidential.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you and helping you navigate your AMS selection!