In our "Best-In-Class" blog series we discuss an Association Management System feature that is. . . well. . . the best in their class of features that AMSs provide (in The AMS Guy’s opinion.) We will showcase a different feature that stands above the rest in each post and give a synopsis of why. In this entry, we discuss Admin-Led Imports.
Data - The most delicate commodity managed by your Association Management Systems. When you move to a new AMS, it is imperative that your data is migrated cleanly and accurately into the new system, otherwise, it will not work properly for you and will not return accurate data. Data import is usually managed by the AMS vendors (or an authorized implementation partner) because they understand that associations don't have the requisite expertise in the new platform to ensure that this critical step is successful. Many vendors project that there will be one import from each customer (the initial data migration), so they didn't spend time building an import feature that the users can use at any time. But they should because Admin-Led Imports is a Best in Class feature. Here's two great reasons why.
Well. . . duh! Contrary to vendor beliefs, there are times outside of the initial data migration when clients could use an import feature. Let's say you are a trade organization with corporate memberships, but employees of each company get accounts as well. The company could ask the employees in the company to create an account, but they know that won't be done by everyone. A company rep can create accounts for everyone, but that could be a huge burden on the rep, especially if its a large group. If the company could supply you with a spreadsheet of the employees, you could import that company's roster, create accounts for the employees, and save everyone time! That is if your AMS allows Admin-Led Imports.
Updates. . . in Bulk
"Bulk Changes" is listed #1 on our list of 5 Things All AMS's Should Have. We won't dive into the reasons whiy here, but we will say this:
The ability to make changes to accounts in bulk saves, cuts back on, and gives staff more. . . TIME!
Many Admin-Led Import tools compare the imported data with the system's existing data to identify duplicate accounts. When it locates duplicates, it overwrites the existing accounts with the imported data. This means that the import feature can be used to perform bulk updates!