In order for associations to grow their membership and increase revenue, they must adopt “scalability.” In simple terms, scalability is an organization’s ability to expand membership and grow revenue without a significant drop in functionality, performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
Association growth or change in one area is typically tied to a change in another. Having a plan of action in place allows associations to adapt to changes proactively. Using scalability, operational adjustments can be made without slowing progress.
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If an association isn’t using scalability, they’re slowing progress and impacting performance, and/or sacrificing the standards that members depend on. In essence, scalability is to associations as fast internet is to streaming. Either way, you can watch something, the question is, are you going to have to pause to let it buffer at the very best part? Or are you going to be able to focus on the program without distractions that reduce the enjoyment of the experience?
Scalability is critical because associations are working with more members, which means more data, which requires more resources. When spread too thin, the result is reduced association efficiency, which leads to inadequate member relations, which impacts renewals, and on it goes.
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To retain members, associations must be prepared to react to their membership’s evolving priorities and shifting interests. Adapting to these changes in a time-sensitive manner requires a scalable operating model to be in place. When something changes, it can be the signal of an ongoing sequence of changes. Preparation is key.
Effective scaling should allow associations to:
- Sustain staff efficiency.
- Safeguard quality service.
- Maintain their focus on the mission.
- Ensure that programs aren’t compromised.
By freeing association staff from time-consuming tasks, associations can allocate their talents to areas that drive membership growth and boost revenue. A robust AMS is built for that exact purpose – allowing association software automation to handle the mundane while ensuring details are accurate.
A powerful association management software system is the foundation on which scalability is built. As the epicenter of its management and operations, an association’s strength goes hand-in-hand with its AMS software.
Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on April 2, 2019. It has been updated.