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When Difficult Decisions Lead to Successful Outcomes

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Case study of NCFR's Association Management System (database) decision and implementation process. Presented at Digital Now conference - April 9, 2010.

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When Difficult Decisions Lead to Successful Outcomes

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  2. 2. When Difficult Decisions Lead to Successful Outcomes<br />
  3. 3. National Council on Family Relations<br />Founded in 1938<br />3,300 members<br />~ $1.5M budget<br />11 full-time staff<br />Mission: “Strengthening Families”<br />
  4. 4. The National Council onFamily Relations is . . .<br />The premier professional association for the multidisciplinary understanding of families<br />Publisher of<br /> ~ Journal of Marriage and Family<br /> ~ Family Relations<br /> ~ Journal of Family Theory & Review<br /> Provider of the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation<br />
  5. 5. Old database situation<br />AMS purchased in 2004<br />Implementation delayed<br />Software company went out of business<br />Product sold twice<br />2nd time to a company in the Philippines<br />Went live in December 2006<br />
  6. 6. There were problems<br />No reporting software<br />Membership periods imported incorrectly<br />Membership orders generated errors<br />All attributes were fixed length CVAR<br />E-commerce module failed in March 2007 – went back to re-keying online orders<br />
  7. 7. Quickly became apparent, this wasn’t going to work out<br />Inefficiencies and errors frustrated staff<br />Resolving basic issues was a challenge<br />Customer support: 13 hour time difference and a language barrier<br />Conference calls scheduled at inconvenient times<br />E-mail replies came in the middle of the night<br />Decision made in mid-2007 to move on<br />
  8. 8. Choosing the right AMS takes time<br />Nov ‘07: RFP for consultant to guide selection<br />Feb ‘08: Internal technology audit<br />Apr ‘08: Business process analysis<br />May ‘08: RFP to AMS vendors<br />July ‘08: Scripted product demonstrations<br />Aug ’08: Finalist follow-up discussions<br />Sep ‘08: ACGI selected as preferred vendor<br />
  9. 9. And then things changed<br />NCFR’s AMS purchase was placed on hold<br />
  10. 10. Six months later…<br />NCFR financial reserves had not recovered<br />Notified ACGI of pursuing other option<br />ACGI proposed an alternate approach<br />Association Anywhere Standard Edition<br />Up front cost reduced by half<br />Ongoing cost reduced by a third<br />Key advantages retained<br />
  11. 11. Implementation process<br />14 week timeline<br />Data conversion handled mostly in-house<br />Three on-site “boot camp” weeks<br />Configure and train simultaneously<br />Consensus decision making process<br />Team approach to setup tasks<br />
  12. 12. AMS implemented on schedule<br />August 10, 2008<br />and 30% under budget<br />
  13. 13. Keys to success<br />Talented staff committed to success<br />Strong grasp of business processes & needs<br />Thorough understanding of existing data<br />Flexible processes met system configuration<br />Structured issue tracking system<br />Vendor who empowered us to take on more<br />
  14. 14. Outcomes<br />Membership up more than 10%<br />Over $300K in credit card payments processed<br />20% of members have updated their profile<br />Membership gap revenue recouped<br />Efficiency & capacity let staff focus on growth<br />

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